Drilling Mini pot hole to standard pot size

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by cpspoon, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. cpspoon


    Dec 30, 2013
    South Carolina
    Can I drill out holes that are for mini pots to make them big enough for a standard pot without doing damage to the finish? Will it crack the surrounding area? Any precautions our experience on this issue would be appreciated.
  2. It doesn't really matter if the finish is damaged, because it will always be hidden under the nuts and washers when the pots are installed.

    It is best to enlarge holes with a hand reamer tool, not a drill.
  3. Means2nEnd

    Means2nEnd Supporting Member

    I use a dremmel at high speed will not damage anything I have done it bunches...Reamer tool will lift clear coat and paint and make a real mess...
  4. cpspoon


    Dec 30, 2013
    South Carolina
    Never even thought of the dremmel. Sounds like it should work. Thanks.
  5. You're pushing too hard, then. It's impossible to damage anything if you go slow and let the tool do the work.
  6. cpspoon


    Dec 30, 2013
    South Carolina
    With a reamer tool do you go from outside in or inside out?
  7. Both ways. A tapered ream makes a conic hole in thick material, so you need to go from both ends to better approximate a cylinder, with an hourglass-shaped hole.
  8. gravesbass

    gravesbass Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    San Jose, CA
    Endorsing Artist: MesaBoogie-SpectorBass-Dunlop-EMG Pickups-Darkglass-Hipshot
    Reamer Tool.... Be VERY careful with these. Clear coats will lift from the friction if the clear coat is thicker. trust me, I know from experience. As Means2nEnd states, use a dremmel.
  9. Maz


    Jan 9, 2011
    If you have any skill with tools, a variable speed power drill will work fine. Set it on slow and don't apply pressure until the bit has cut a bevel around the outside.
  10. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    I've never lifted the finish with a reamer.
  11. xaxxat

    xaxxat Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    I do it the easy way with step drill bits.

  12. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    This is the correct answer and what I've seen every repair person do when a hole needs to be enlarged. I did it myself with a MIJ Jazz Bass control plate so that standard CTS pots would fit in it. Worked like a charm!
  13. To minimize chipping, put tape on the surface to be drilled and drill through the tape. Whether you use tape or not, drill slowlyand don't apply pressure. Let the bit do the work.
  14. gravesbass

    gravesbass Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    San Jose, CA
    Endorsing Artist: MesaBoogie-SpectorBass-Dunlop-EMG Pickups-Darkglass-Hipshot
    As noted, SOME finishes can lift. I was VERY careful and work on guitars all the time. Used to work for a luthier. My Spector finish is thick on one of the basses I was repairing and I used a sharp reamer very light turning with blue painters tape on the top of the existing pot hole. I went from the inside out, light on the top and the clear coat lifted a little around the hole. You can use water bases glue to seal but it was just a general note to be careful and work slow. Some finishes won't have a problem.
  15. Sparky_1947


    Mar 12, 2014
    I would like to replace the pickguard on my Fender Squier P Affinity Series. I don't know if it is a 'mini hole' or not. Really I'm not even sure what that is referring to, is that the size of the screw holes or the size of the control knob & jack input hole? Low information bass player, I just play it, don't know all the terms. Thank you for all and anyones help. Sparky
  16. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    hand reamer is the only safe way, and it's trivially easy; any kind of drill risks some very ugly tear-out.

    a dremel could work, but it's a trick to get the hole truly round, one slip puts an ugly scar on the finish, and who has the time? a hand reamer takes like 30 seconds.
  17. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    +1 for hand reamer.

    If you've never used one before, beware, they can work very quickly, even with (recommended) light hand pressure... Beginners should go half-turn, check, half-turn, check etc etc...

    If you ever have to use an end pin reamer it's more like 1/8th-turn, check, 1/16th turn, done!