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  #1  
Old 05-04-2012, 10:12 PM
Bigsby Bigsby is offline
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Enlarging Epiphone Pot Holes

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.
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  #2  
Old 05-04-2012, 10:16 PM
Bob Pollock Bob Pollock is offline
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Use a tapered reamer!
$10 +/- at most hardware stores.
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  #3  
Old 05-04-2012, 10:37 PM
Guitarworks Guitarworks is offline
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use a tapered reamer.
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:52 AM
Bigsby Bigsby is offline
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Thanks to you both. I'll head to Ace Hardware tomorrow.
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  #5  
Old 05-05-2012, 05:35 PM
mike shaw mike shaw is online now
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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.
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:10 PM
levelfrets levelfrets is offline
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A stepped drill bit is the best way followed by a standard drill bit. Harbor Freight is where I buy them.....
http://www.harborfreight.com/3-piece...lls-91616.html
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  #7  
Old 05-05-2012, 06:21 PM
Bigsby Bigsby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Pollock View Post
Use a tapered reamer!
$10 +/- at most hardware stores.
Yeah, bought one of these. Obviously too long to work in a semi-hollow, but I wasn't thinking critically before I got it.
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  #8  
Old 05-05-2012, 06:35 PM
Bigsby Bigsby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by levelfrets View Post
A stepped drill bit is the best way followed by a standard drill bit. Harbor Freight is where I buy them.....
http://www.harborfreight.com/3-piece...lls-91616.html
I've seen those at Lowe's near my work. I'll check it out.
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  #9  
Old 05-05-2012, 06:45 PM
Bigsby Bigsby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike shaw View Post
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.
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.
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  #10  
Old 05-05-2012, 08:24 PM
bsuite bsuite is offline
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you can use a 3/8" dia straight reamer in a drill (slowly) also without problem.
http://www.google.com/products/catal...ed=0CHwQ8wIwAA
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  #11  
Old 05-06-2012, 09:23 PM
blong blong is offline
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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
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  #12  
Old 05-06-2012, 09:27 PM
blong blong is offline
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I found a link to the handle I use. It's much safer than using the drill:

http://www.harborfreight.com/3-piece...hes-38560.html

Here's the bit:

http://www.harborfreight.com/3-piece...its-66463.html

or

http://www.harborfreight.com/1-4-qua...ill-44460.html

Hope this helps. They work great for hollow bodies or thin guitars.

Bob
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  #13  
Old 05-07-2012, 08:37 PM
Rockledge Rockledge is offline
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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.
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  #14  
Old 05-08-2012, 10:12 AM
Wake911 Wake911 is offline
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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.
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