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Counter Bored String Ferrule Holes


guitar2005
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Welcome to the world of piloted counter-bore bits. Same kind of "bit" I use to convert small tuner holes to a bigger size for more modern tuners.

Now you know why the older guys might have a home shop no bigger than yours, but they're bitching about all the thousands of dollars worth of tools in the same amount of space.

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You could probably do the same thing with a stepped drill bit/hole reamer. I picked up a pack of 3 different ones for about $20 Australian...

Heggis

I use a Brad drill bit to recess my tele style ferrules.. Same result, just twice the drilling.

These are recessed flush with the body.

rearferrules.jpg

cheers, Stu

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Turns out these are readily available.

For the recessed string ferrules, here's what you need.

Their website is http://www.mscdirect.com . The pieces I bought are their part numbers 0879024 (3/8" counterbore) and 78903200 (5/16" pilot) - these are for the recessed lip on the ferrule.

I also bought a 5/32" pilot with 5/16" couterbore to get the main ferrule counterbore done.

Thanks to John Page for the info. You guys should check out his work at johnpageguitars.com

He's a real nice guy and does amazing work.

Edited by guitar2005
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  • 5 weeks later...
i dont see what the big deal is. use a big drill bit for the coutersink, then a small one for the string path. i dont see the point of using a special bit. does the same thing.

I imagine the idea is to have a stable way of doing the counter sinks. You could do the countersink first using a larger bit with a depth gauge, and then drill the string path through afterwards, except that typically wouldn't you drill the string paths out from their marked locations on the front of the guitar? If so, then just using a larger bit inside the existing hole could be a bit of a sloppy task to accomplish.

That's what I would think, anyways.

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Twist drill bits are crude. They don't actually drill perfectly round holes.

There's even some guys, who will leave something like a 1/8" bit in a drill press pretty much all the time. Drill most, if not all, the holes 1/8". Then later, have different counterbores with 1/8" pilot in their hand drill and go after the holes with that, and they can even do it after the guitar has a finish on it, because the counterbores are so much cleaner drilling.

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The classic " I need to dismiss the superior tools that guy is using".

Let me put it this way : When John Page was started out, he probably just used regular twist drills for everything.

We could go on and on with this (actually we do, here and there, on hobbiest dominated guitar building forums)

"What's the big deal with a precision ground straight-edge ? , I can use my aluminum yard-stick ."

"What's the big deal with the expensive spray rig ? painted my guitars with a rattle can."

"What's the big deal with the climate controlled workshop ? I built my guitar outside on a picnic table."

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i can understand the extrems. but seriously, when you can do something just as good with regular tools as specialty tool, i think its a waste of money. of course you cant always get a spray gun finish with rattle cans, and i do build my guitars outside on a table. have i ever had a problems with anthing tool related? no. only stupid personal mistakes. but i still disagree. sure it makes it easier to just put it in the chuck and start drilling, apposed to lining up a spiral drill bit to be centered in the smaller hole. but i really dont see the need for it.

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The more you build the more you demand consistency and accuracy. I know from my experience at least this is the case for me. I am always looking for a better tool or jig to make achieve cleaner better results. I agree with Soapbar 100%.

Peace,Rich

Yup. I ordered the bits from ICS Cutting tools and will be getting them this week. To me, this type of tool is a real time saver and time is something that I value. One less thing I have to worry about too in terms of measuring and whatnot.

I don't care how much the bits cost. In the long run, I'll be happy to have them.

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Those 3 quotes I wrote are hypothetical, which I think most of you know. Have nothing against someone working outside. My point was along the lines of "if you're going to think about it like that, then you might as well say things like this too..."

When I see experienced guys who are better tooled-up than me, I usually just have an " I better just shut up and take notes" feeling, considering that they are probably not claiming their fine-tuned method is the only way to do the job.

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ok, ok. but since i barley have enough money to make guitars in the first place, if i bought all kinds off cool tools and jigs and things, i probably wouldnt have any money for guitars to use them on. so my theory is use basic stuff, get good results, and sill have enough to build. being and 18 year old kid with minimal money is hard. so for now i cant get all the little stuff.

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ok, ok. but since i barley have enough money to make guitars in the first place, if i bought all kinds off cool tools and jigs and things, i probably wouldnt have any money for guitars to use them on. so my theory is use basic stuff, get good results, and sill have enough to build. being and 18 year old kid with minimal money is hard. so for now i cant get all the little stuff.

No one is asking or pressuring you to buy any tools at all and I don't understand your need to either justify yourself or shoot down other people's findings.

When I built my first guitar, I didn't have the tools I have today that make my building experience easier and faster. I'm sure I'll be making more jigs and getting more specialized tools with time. The original post was simply to show a different way of doing things. If you already have a good system and are happy with it, then good for you. Some people might be interested in these counter boring bits. I didn't even know they existed and wanted to pass along the info.

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I believe in overkill. If you've got exacting standards then you don't want your workpiece ruined by the tool you are using making it's own decisions and going off-kilter. Standard brad point bits can lay holes next to each other within 0.1mm with a trained eye and hand. No problem. Countersinking is best done with a tool designed for the purpose. Every tool is designed for a purpose, although it is assumed too much that they can be adequately used for purposes outside of that design. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. If you're short on the dough, then you gain the experience in making do with what is around you, and you either learn from mistakes or gain skills and knowledge from creative thinking.

If you need to hit a target with a guarantee, you need to cheat or tip the balance in your favour. Being good is not a guarantee. I am sure John Page would not want to potentially make an imperfect workpiece for a client just by having to use brad point bits. Counterboring bits are created for the exact reason he is using them, which is why he is using them. No stretch of the imagination there.

Killemall8 - you're 18, making guitars on next to no money and managing it. All power to you man. You'll gain good skills on how to use broad use tools to acheive what you need. Not a bad thing. You will of course be working without the safety net that professional luthiers require in order to produce perfect work. This is the zen of perfection man. Making guitars for yourself has a different satisfaction to sending guitars out into the client wild, where the game is different.

Neither approach is wrong. Just different.

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No one is asking or pressuring you to buy any tools at all and I don't understand your need to either justify yourself or shoot down other people's findings.

When I built my first guitar, I didn't have the tools I have today that make my building experience easier and faster. I'm sure I'll be making more jigs and getting more specialized tools with time. The original post was simply to show a different way of doing things. If you already have a good system and are happy with it, then good for you. Some people might be interested in these counter boring bits. I didn't even know they existed and wanted to pass along the info.

i was never shooting down anything. i just have never believed in spending money on something that can be done with something else. i never said it wasnt a good idea, or a bad tool. yes i know it makes things easier, but sometimes new builders thing the only way you can possibly build a guitar is with the highest quality tools and newest gadgets and that just isnt true. my first build i did all with a drill press. i diddnt make the neck, but still. i know there are ALWAYS alternatives and easier methods. so a apologize for sounding harsh.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Those 3 quotes I wrote are hypothetical, which I think most of you know. Have nothing against someone working outside. My point was along the lines of "if you're going to think about it like that, then you might as well say things like this too..."

When I see experienced guys who are better tooled-up than me, I usually just have an " I better just shut up and take notes" feeling, considering that they are probably not claiming their fine-tuned method is the only way to do the job.

Soapbar is right use the right tool for the job in this case a piloted counter-bore bit. One bit, big bang for the little they cost and no guess work. You want precision to modify then metal working (yes these came from the metal working trade) tools are accurate. However your drill may not be Haaa

All this fuss over a $30 or under tool. Also try Enco.com cheaper than MSC but same company. You also don't need the finest counter-bore bit sold its just wood.

Did anyone not mention you have to be either crazy or rich to do this as a hobby. Join the crazy club or marry into a rich family if your poor LOL

Good luck

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Those 3 quotes I wrote are hypothetical, which I think most of you know. Have nothing against someone working outside. My point was along the lines of "if you're going to think about it like that, then you might as well say things like this too..."

When I see experienced guys who are better tooled-up than me, I usually just have an " I better just shut up and take notes" feeling, considering that they are probably not claiming their fine-tuned method is the only way to do the job.

Soapbar is right use the right tool for the job in this case a piloted counter-bore bit. One bit, big bang for the little they cost and no guess work. You want precision to modify then metal working (yes these came from the metal working trade) tools are accurate. However your drill may not be Haaa

All this fuss over a $30 or under tool. Also try Enco.com cheaper than MSC but same company. You also don't need the finest counter-bore bit sold its just wood.

Did anyone not mention you have to be either crazy or rich to do this as a hobby. Join the crazy club or marry into a rich family if your poor LOL

Good luck

Got mine and tried them out on my project. The quality of the cut is out of this world. Extremely precise. I'm real happy I got these. The amount of time I saved and precision is really worth it for me.

Only problem is that MSC doesn't ship to Canada or anyone with a Canadian billing address unless you have a $200 + order. I went through ICS Cutting tools. More expensive but they don't care where the billing address is. They got the order all wrong :D Don't buy through them. 2 out of 5 items were correct. I ended up buying though Fastenal. They have outlets all over north America, but again... more expensive than MSC.

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