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Question about drilling tuner holes

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by 311fan, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. 311fan


    Jul 20, 2004
    Salt Lake City
    I am finsihing a custom p bass and just have to drill the tuner holes, but I don't have a drill press. What are some other ways I can drill the holes? Any help would be appreciated.
  2. It's risky and it's difficult but it's not unheard of to hand drill using a forstner bit. It would be even better if you had a bit and brace. The reason I suggest it is that the larger area of a forstner and it's slower cutting speed allow you to see how even a cut you are making in the wood. As the shallow depression appears, you would eyeball it to level and proceed slowly. It won't be absolutely perfect but you've only got about 1/2" or so to go and you'll get it close enough for the tuners to work.

    If you patterned right onto the headstock, you could drill a small center hole and use a tapered reamer to enlarge it very slowly. The hole you are making is nearly as large as the thickness of the headstock so a tiny bit of skew isn't the end of the world.

    And for the price of a pair of tennis shoes - $65 - you can have an inexpensive, imported 5 speed benchtop drillpress to put under your bed. If you want to continue this, there's no excuse for not dropping that little dough and fixing this problem poste haste. If you need a link as to where to find these drill presses, I'll hook you up - PM me.