View Full Version : Proper drill bit for endpin jack?

12-19-2011, 05:46 AM
What is the proper type drill bit to use when installing 15/32 [12mm] endpin jack?

12-19-2011, 06:17 AM
I believe you need a step drill bit.

Adam2180 did a video on it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67uBkqId_Y0

UkeMinutes 69 shows how to install a pickup. Joe Souza shows the steps he uses. He also uses a step drill bit.


12-19-2011, 06:27 AM
thanks. that's the bit I need , his drilling technique is a bit iffy.

12-19-2011, 06:48 AM
thanks. that's the bit I need , his drilling technique is a bit iffy.

Yeah, we had a bit of a "skuffle" in the original thread where adam posted that... better to secure that uke on a flat surface (even a table top w/something under the uke to provide support & stability) before drilling. But... the bit in question should do the job. Personally, I used a Forstner bit, slow drilling & wide bit of blue painters tape around the end joint to add a bit more protection to the finish. To me the harder part is getting an under-saddle p/u properly installed & its wires secured from buzzing.

12-19-2011, 07:27 AM
The Uni-bit does work well. I have several from my Autobody days and have used them without issue. I agree that a Forstner bit is a better option and probably easier to find... When I drill holes in anything, I like to have the floor covered with marbles and then stand on one leg!

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-19-2011, 07:57 AM
If the uke is freshly finished I'll use a brad point bit that is a bit smaller than needed and open it up with a hand reamer. Somehow being able to take it slow with a reamer just gives me a bit of comfort. At least half of the time when building an uke I forget to drill the hole for the pickup until after it's finished and buffed.

07-24-2012, 05:22 PM
Nice demo..I'll try and drill my hole "center" though.

07-24-2012, 06:49 PM
I would seriously suggest to experiment on a scrap piece of wood before you go drilling into your Ukelele,
me being super cautious
first to check how deep and fast to use that step drill bit
which arn't cheap by the way
to get an idea of when to stop drilling.

07-24-2012, 07:38 PM
Interesting question, but not enough information. Is it a solid wood or plywood uke? What type of finish? Was there an endpin, i.e. is there a smaller hole there already? Is there an inlayed piece across the end seam? All of these things make a difference in how you could do this. Safest is to drill it smaller and then expand the hole with a reamer. Reamers are expensive. I've done it on a lot of guitars with this method. Obtain a very sharp 15/32 bit. Drill a smaller hole through the end, say 3/16. (guitars usually already have a hole for an end pin or for a screw to hold one) Cover the hole with a piece of strong tape. I don't like the speed of an electric drill to do this since whats done is irreversible. Make a handle for your bit, I use a vice grip pliers. Using your small hole as a guide, slowly turn your bit to expand the hole out to 15/32. If you push too hard the bit will grab and you are screwed. Once you have expanded the hole to the full width of the bit and drilled in a little you can chuck it in a drill and safely finish the job. I could give you some more tips if I knew more about the actual uke you are drilling. I have done this on about 100 guitars through the years with no problems. Had I known it would be so many I would have bought the reamer years ago.

07-25-2012, 05:59 AM
Actually, its nice to know how thick the block is so that when you "punch through" the force applied to the drill doesn't drive the chuck into the side.

07-25-2012, 06:14 AM
I used this (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002438LC/ref=pe_175190_21431760_cs_sce_dp_1) Lenox 1/2" step bit, and it worked marvelously. I like drilling holes.

07-26-2012, 06:01 AM
I wouldn't use a forstner bit. Step drill or reamer is best. You can make a pin vise with an old drill chuck. I screw a small one onto a chisel handle and it works great.