How do I widen a pot hole in a pickguard?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Rotten, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. Rotten

    Rotten Silver Supporting Member

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    I had to get a new pot for my PRS SE One. However, the pot is too wide for the hole. Is there a tool that I can use to widen the pot hole? Thanks!!
     
  2. Hwoltage

    Hwoltage Member

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  3. brianr0131

    brianr0131 Member

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    Yep....remember there's a washer on top under the knob too.....don't worry it'lll be fine. If you're going up in diameter by a good deal.....do so in "steps" move a bit at a time larger and larger in diameter.

    It's simple I'm overcomplicating it.....drill away
     
  4. Hwoltage

    Hwoltage Member

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    Depending on the material, doing it in steps isn't a bad idea. The last thing you want is the bit to grab onto a big hunk of plastic and split the guard. I usually use a drill bit, but spin it by hand to slowly remove the material.
     
  5. Chris Scott

    Chris Scott Silver Supporting Member

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    A tapered reamer is what you should be using, though a drill bit, when used carefully, will work I reckon.
     
  6. russ

    russ Supporting Member

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    Tapered reamer only
     
  7. Hwoltage

    Hwoltage Member

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    Agreed. I was going to suggest that but they are spendy.
     
  8. slipperyfingers

    slipperyfingers Member

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  9. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

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    I would use a tapered reamer or a unibit.
     
  10. Hwoltage

    Hwoltage Member

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  11. AnchorHoy

    AnchorHoy Member

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    Works OK if you're reaming out something thin like a plastic pickguard. With thicker sections like a guitar body with rear-mounted controls, IMO the taper is way too steep, even if you're working the hole from both sides

    I use one of these, held in a regular tap handle

    [​IMG]

    #7 Taper Pin Reamer
    Left-hand spiral, Right-hand cut

    Absolutely no chatter (wavy-edged holes) like you can sometimes get with a straight-flute reamer. #7 is the perfect size for enlarging pot holes from metric sizes up the 3/8" standard American size found on CTS pots, and it also happens to be perfect for other jobs like enlarging tuner bushing holes from 'vintage' size to the 10mm size needed for Schaller/Gotoh/etc.

    ~ $30 shipped from any machinist supply company like Travers or MSC

    More than a drill bit. Potentially a whole lot less than the cost of fixing a buggered hole caused by a drill bit chipping out a big hunk of body or pickguard

    Ya pays yer money, and ya takes yer choice........
     
  12. whiteop

    whiteop Senior Member

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    Tape over the hole first. Go slow.
     
  13. Chris Scott

    Chris Scott Silver Supporting Member

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    Though this thread certainly doesn't need more recommendations, I would hasten to add that if you are going to use a drill, you definately want to back the 'guard up with a block of wood - otherwise you'll get a crash course in how the spiral flutes on a bit work...
     
  14. Hwoltage

    Hwoltage Member

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    haha indeed. That is why I recommend spinning it by hand.

    Even if you back up the cavity, you'll rip the leads right out of the pickups if the bit catches (configuration dependent). If anything, you're in danger of damaging to selector switch.
     
  15. nateclark

    nateclark Member

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    This will work fine. Screw the pg down to a work board first though.
     
  16. Ronsonic

    Ronsonic Member

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    Good tip, thanks. My local flea markets often have old machine tooling. Might find one there or try the discount tool guys like Enco or Grizz.
     
  17. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    This is best. A rat tail file will work too.
     
  18. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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  19. stringman340

    stringman340 Member

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    Round file? Again, take it easy.
     

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