Jump to content

Ferrules --getting Them Straight

Recommended Posts

I searched but haven't found what I wanted to know --if you can point me to it, thanks.

Here's the problem --I can do the string through holes just fine --they come out nice and straight on my test pieces (and they're covered up by the bridge anyway).

But when I try to make them large enough to fit the ferrules, that's where things go wrong... how do you line up the drill bit so it gets EXACTLY in the center?

I'm trying to make a template that I'll be able to tape down to the guitar itself --I looked for a reamer at the store, but couldn't find one....I'm using a drill stand otherwise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Use a very small bit to predrill the holes from the top, then use a brad point bit to drill the countersink holes for the ferrule. the idea is to use a bit smaller than the point on your brad point bit so it will center itself

Here ya go dude

BigD did a tutorial


Edited by Scott Rosenberger
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If your pilot holes are right through the bridge (that would be the top, I hope) and go all the way through to the bottom, put the body in a nice, happy place on the press table where it can be moved around a bit, light-feed the bit down to your pilot hole and rotate the bit by hand BACKWARDS. When the bit no longer flexes or pushes the body around,

drill to the proper depth. Works for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Punch the top to locate the drill bit. Drill the top holes all the way through. Fill the holes from the back with a suitable (matching density/hardness) piece of wood dowel. Remark the holes, drill from the back to the correct ferrule depth.

They will now be PERFICK

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Punch the top to locate the drill bit. Drill the top holes all the way through. Fill the holes from the back with a suitable (matching density/hardness) piece of wood dowel. Remark the holes, drill from the back to the correct ferrule depth.

They will now be PERFICK

Heh...I keep trying....luckily I'm planning on painting this thing!

But I finally figured out the problem-- it's the POS drill stand I've been using--it's sending things on an angle, but never the same angle twice :D ... so it's back to the hardware store...again...sigh....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

what about drilling your pilot holes and then coming through the back with one of these. it looks like they have an adjustment for the depth of the countersink, so you may be able to get deep enough for the ferrule to seat properly.



Link to comment
Share on other sites



No, the ferrules aren't scratched up, that's just weird shadows.

Yes, they're in line, that's just the angle of the photo, and

No, they're not pushed in all the way yet

Yes, just waiting for the glue to dry, then I'll sand and redo the last two holes

Yes, I'll be painting the guitar with a solid opaque color, you won't see the damage...

No, I'll never attempt a string-through again... :D :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Hi! A bit late in the day but here's what I've done and it's spot on..

With Bridge mounted on top of guitar drill through outer two holes all the way through. Drill the other four holes just past halfway. Then turn guitar body over and mount the bridge (double-sided sticky tape worked for me) with the outer two holes (hopefully) properly aligned. Drill through the other four holes and they should meet with the holes you drilled earlier from the top.

Then you're left with holes in the back and no easy way to centre your larger drill bit (8mm is it?) for the ferrule fitting. So what I did was get two pieces of scrap wood with straight edges and stick these onto the body either side of your string-thru holes with the holes perfectly centred between the wood pieces, and the wood seperated by the width (diameter) of the main body of the ferrules. I used these wood pieces as a guide for the 8mm drill bit.. I used a brad point drill bit and the outer edges are fairly squared off so the bit runs against the wood scraps without cutting in. A fairly practical jig.. did the trick for me. Alternatively, as mentioned above if your initial holes are a similar diameter to the guide tip on your brad point drill bit, then you can probably just line it up using that to eyeball it.

Then if you decide to sink the ferrules in flush with the body you'll need to enlarge the holes further to 9.5mm and drill down a tiny bit, just enough for the upper rim of the ferrules. I'm using a 9.5mm counterbore with a 4mm guide bit.. this is ideal because the guide bit goes into the original string-through holes which means the bore is perfectly centred. If your string-thru holes are not 4mm the guide bit can be replaced.... there is an allen key in the collar for swapping the guide bit out. And because it's counterbore rather than countersink, the cut is square rather than sloped. Here's the bit I bought for an example of what I mean...


A nice find this counterbore.. thought I'd share.

Hope this helps if you decide to try string-thru again. This is my first attempt at a guitar and doing it this way (thanks to BigD's excellent tutorial for the string-thru holes) I managed to get really nicely lined up holes, and my ferrules are perfectly flush with the body.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, I'll never attempt a string-through again... mad.gif lol.gif

Don't say that dude!

My first attempt was needless to say a diaster...

But since than I have drilled the holes for 3 guitars and they all came out perfect.

You just have to take your time and clamp it down and make sure that drill bit is EXATLY in the center of where you need to drill.

What I did to help me line up the drill bit is I layed out the ferruls upside down exatly where they need to go. Than you draw a line on both sides of the ferruls as thick as the hole you need to drill (now you should have two strait parrallel lines with the space between the lines as the hole you need to drill). This will help you to see if the bits off or not. You can look at both sides of the bit and make sure it's not going over one of the lines. (It looks like in your picture that you already have been doing this so mabye you just arnt taking your time in lining up the bit?) try it on a bunch of scrap wood (preferably the same kind of wood you will be doing it for real on) and keep trying until you get the hang of it and can do it perfectly time after time.

That probably made no sense...

PM me or whatever if you need and more useless help :D

Edited by Godin SD
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Take er easy! Do it again on some scrap. A couple times if you have to. You will get it eventually. People here always seem to use brad pints or forsteners but the one flaw with those is that if you have it wrong when you start drilling you cant really move the drill bit. The leading edges that cut the hole start cutting and you're committed.

A little machining tirck: You can move a normal drill bit as long as you havent reached the full diameter of the drill bit yet.

Use a normal SHARP drill bit. Run your 1/8 inch pilots half way through from both sides. For the ferrules draw the edges out so each ferrule is boxed in to the correct size. This gives you the perfect size for the bit. Then just lightly start the normal bit, see if it centered it the little box you made. (you dont want to dive right in you just want a little dimple at this point) If its off correct it. Drill a bit more and correct it if its off. By the time your cut from the bit has reached the lines you've marked out it will be perfectly centered.

Edited by GuitarGuy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh yeah, I kept at it and finally managed to get a pretty straight line (not absolutely perfect, I admit) ....but because my drill stand (now a hat rack :D ) refused to drill a straight line and because my buddy-with-the-drill-press was on vacation, I used a gimlet.

No fooling. A gimlet.

With that I was able to line up the point on the gimlet exactly in the center of where the holes needed to be. (Knighty --I was going to do the same thing, but then I discovered that the drill stand wasn't straight)

But still, my next guitar's going to have a LP Jr type tailpiece...

And as I mentioned elsewhere, the project I was working on had to be trashed --I'd used scrap ash given to me by the above-mentioned buddy, but the wood wasn't dry enough and ended up splitting the maple I'd glued to it.

No big deal, that one was the learner project. NOW I'm ready to move on to Da Real Deal.... :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...