Enlarging Epiphone Pot Holes

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner: Guitar & Bass Technical Discussi' started by Bigsby, May 5, 2012.

  1. Bigsby

    Bigsby Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Messages:
    769
    Location:
    San Francisco
    I need to enlarge the potentiometer holes on a semi-hollow Epiphone for a new harness. The last time I did this on a Les Paul with a drill bit, even though I went slowly, there was chipping of the paint and wood around the hole. The damage was covered by the washer, but I would like to avoid this on this new guitar.

    Any tips? I've got a hand drill and a dremel with a bunch of different attachments.
     
  2. Bob Pollock

    Bob Pollock Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,913
    Location:
    Drifting the High Plains
    Use a tapered reamer![​IMG]
    $10 +/- at most hardware stores.
     
  3. Guitarworks

    Guitarworks Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Messages:
    3,200
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    use a tapered reamer.
     
  4. Bigsby

    Bigsby Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Messages:
    769
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Thanks to you both. I'll head to Ace Hardware tomorrow.
     
  5. mike shaw

    mike shaw Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Messages:
    1,771
    Before you hit Ace measure the thickness of the body. If the body is thin, the reamer might bottom out on the rear of the guitar before reaming the hole. On my Echotone (a Hamer ES335 copy) I used a drill bit that was just barely larger than the hole and ran the drill in REVERSE with very light pressure. I can't recall if I had to repeat with yet another larger drill bit before I got to the proper sized hole. Once I had the proper hole, I took a wooden dowel with some sand paper wrapped around it to smooth the edge. The I took a red marker (my guitar is red) and colored the bare wood to make it looker a little more "stock". Finally, I vacuumed the inside to remove all of the dust etc. and I was done. Really pretty easy if you take your time and use a little finesse.
     
  6. levelfrets

    levelfrets Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Messages:
    597
    Location:
    Wilmington NC
  7. Bigsby

    Bigsby Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Messages:
    769
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Yeah, bought one of these. Obviously too long to work in a semi-hollow, but I wasn't thinking critically before I got it.
     
  8. Bigsby

    Bigsby Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Messages:
    769
    Location:
    San Francisco
  9. Bigsby

    Bigsby Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Messages:
    769
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Sounds like a careful approach. I'll give it a shot before buying any more tools.

    At least I'll be able to use the reamer on an SG I'm going to build up with a sustainiac, so it's not a wasted purchase.
     
  10. bsuite

    bsuite Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Messages:
    2,534
    Location:
    Central Michigan
  11. blong

    blong Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2002
    Messages:
    1,666
    Location:
    Texas Gulf Coast
    If you have a Harbor Freight near by find a tapered reamer or step reamer that fits a drill. I use one with my bare hand usually.

    Search Harbor Freight's website for a tapered or stepped reamer. They are much shorter. You can also find them at Lowe's or Home Depot.

    Bob
     
  12. blong

    blong Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2002
    Messages:
    1,666
    Location:
    Texas Gulf Coast
  13. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,937
    Location:
    mars
    They apparently make reamers wider than that, I have one that is about the size of a pot hole less than 1/2" up.
    This is tedious to do, but if you are worried about chipping the finish, score a line in the finish around the hole with an xacto knife or a razor blade.
    Again, very tedious but it stops chipping.
     
  14. Wake911

    Wake911 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2011
    Messages:
    675
    i just put painters tape over the holes, used my hand held reamer and super easily widened the holes on my Agile. It was painless and simple.
     

Share This Page