Can I drill a hole in a finished encloure without ruining the finish?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by KissTone, Feb 15, 2009.


  1. KissTone

    KissTone Supporting Member

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    I need to add a couple of holes in an already finished Hammond enclosure (adding a pot and switch). Would you drill from the inside or from the outside? I don't want to pop off the finish if I can help it . . .
     
  2. smogfalls

    smogfalls Member

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    I managed to drill 4 holes in a finished (and lacquered) enclosure without any problems at all. Oh, and I went from the outside > in ;)
     
  3. Panacea

    Panacea Member

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    I would start by putting some tape over the spot i'm drilling (outside). Mark the spot, use a small drill bit 1/8", then I would use a 'Uni-bit' to gradually increase the hole to the size needed. I've done this many times with no problems, as long as the original finish is solid.
     
  4. Structo

    Structo Member

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    Take a scratch awl or sharp center punch and lightly tap it in the center of their hole you want to drill.
    Don't smack it too hard because it can dent in the top.

    Then as suggested drill the hole with a smaller bit than the size you want, like a 3/16".

    The drill the required 3/8" hole or whatever size you need.
    The retaining nut on the new component will hide any chipping that occurs around the edge of the hole and if you use a new sharp bit the chipping should be minimal.
     
  5. 155

    155 Supporting Member

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    use the unibit for sure
     
  6. whoismarykelly

    whoismarykelly Oh look! This is a thing I can change! Supporting Member

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    Depends on the finish but mask the entire enclosure first and mark your hole spots. Pilot home first then a unibit to make the hole as big as you need. If the finish is weak the tape might damage it but if thats the case youre best off drilling and then refinishing if you need.
     
  7. IAE

    IAE Member

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    Yes, put masking tape over the area to be drilled, it will stop paint cracking.
     
  8. KissTone

    KissTone Supporting Member

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    Thanks all---it's finished in hammertone, and I'm assuming that it's pretty solid as I haven't seen any chipping or flaking yet. I'll mask the top with some low-tack blue masking tape before I start, and then I'll just work my way up with different bits as I don't have a uni-bit.
     
  9. starfish

    starfish Supporting Member

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    You probably won't have a problem with a hammertone finish following the techniques on this thread. I have had issues with heavier auto type finishes. I drilled a finished Lucibox, using tape, awl, and sharp Unibit and the clear coat separates around the drilled hole. But the worst part of this is some of the debris from drilling gets lodged in there too. You first first need to carefully remove the debris - a dental tool works well. Then, I found using a heat gun or hair dryer on a low setting helps heat the clear coat enough to seal it back to the finish. It's not perfect but it's certainly better than a separating finish that can continue to peel over time.
     
  10. KissTone

    KissTone Supporting Member

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    Update----drilled tonight without a hitch. Thanks again!
     

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