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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:24 pm 
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Cocobolo
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First name: Mitch
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Just wondering what people use for drilling out the ends of the slot in a slotted peghead. I think Cumpiano suggests using an Auger bit, but it seems with a self tapping tip, it might tear out a bit. Forstner bit? I'd do some tests, but I don't own either one in the proper size so I'm trying to save having to buy both. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:57 pm 
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Koa
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First name: Freeman
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It depends on whether you want a squared off end to your slot (in which case you still want a small radius, lets say an 1/8th inch bit, of if you want the slot rounded, in which case I use a 1/2 inch Forstner bit, You can also make or buy a router template and use a small router bit. Either back up your head piece with some scrap or drill before you do the final thicknessing so you don't get tear out on the back.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:46 pm 
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Cocobolo
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First name: Mitch
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I am going for the rounded top versus the square. I do like the square but I'm building from the Stewmac 000 12 Fret plan and have decided to follow it closely on the first one. I'm considering doing a pair of them built at the same time, and maybe I'll exercise a little more creative freedom on the second. Hadn't considered a routing template, but that makes some sense too. Would prefer to do that with a laminate router (which I don't have) and have been enjoying using more hand tools lately to be honest. I'll invest in the Forstner bit I'm thinking.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:37 am 
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Cocobolo
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Whatever OP chooses to do - - - I think it would be a dandy idea to test the tools and techniques on some scrap material of the same sort as that's used in the final product before committing to drilling on the 'real thing'. And practice enough till the results aren't hopes but expectations.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:57 am 
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Make sure that you drill your tuner holes first, Mitch. This will prevent any grain blow out in the slot.

Alex

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These users thanked the author Alex Kleon for the post: jack (Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:44 am)
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:21 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Please don't be insulted by this question, but you are going to be doing this with a drill press, aren't you?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:16 pm 
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Koa
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Mitch Johnson wrote:
I am going for the rounded top versus the square. I do like the square but I'm building from the Stewmac 000 12 Fret plan and have decided to follow it closely on the first one. I'm considering doing a pair of them built at the same time, and maybe I'll exercise a little more creative freedom on the second. Hadn't considered a routing template, but that makes some sense too. Would prefer to do that with a laminate router (which I don't have) and have been enjoying using more hand tools lately to be honest. I'll invest in the Forstner bit I'm thinking.


Barry Daniels wrote:
Please don't be insulted by this question, but you are going to be doing this with a drill press, aren't you?


A good set of Forstner bits is very handy, particularly for removing large amounts of waste wood before cleaning things out with a router. And, yes, be sure to do this with a drill press, don't try it with a hand drill.

I mostly follow the StewMac neck layout but I make all my necks with a scarf joined headstock - I think it is much stronger (it won't break in the usual place) and generates much less waste. Here are the pieces laid out against the SM plans, the little piece under the joint will be the volute (dart)

Image

One advantage to doing it this way is that you can take the head piece to the drill press and make the slot

Image

Image

For me this is a really hard joint to glue - the pieces want to slide against each other. I need to make some sort of fixture to better hold them

Image

Here is the dart before carving

Image

I drill the tuner holes AFTER the head plate is glued on and the head is shaped for two reasons. First I want the final thickness of the headstock after I've glued the headplate and any veneers on so I can get the holes in the center of the side, and second, the side of the head is not parallel to the center line so I want it established before drilling. I clamp the head to a block of wood and level it with respect to the drill press and I put a scrap of wood inside the slot to avoid chip out

Image

Of course you can buy (or make) a fancy drilling jig, here is one I made for drilling a 12 string slot head

Image

Btw - if you are using 3-on-a-plate tuners get those holes dead accurate and square or the tuners will bind.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:48 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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A third type of bit that you can use is a brad point bit. It sort of combines the cutting face of the Forstner and the reach of the Auger bit. It is generally less expensive than either.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:01 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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The nice thing about Forstner bits is that they can overlap. So long as you drill pretty well centered between two holes the bit won't slide off to one side or the other. Just dril the two end holes, then one in between, and holes between those holes, and so on. You can make a nice slot that will only require a bit of filing and sanding. If you want square ends you can do that with a chisle.

With a sharp bit you should noot get too much tear out on the top side (I drill from the back of the head). Taping a smooth piece of Masonite or some such on the top surface helps with that.

It's a lot easier to get the slot straight if you use a fence on the outside. Just make sure the neck shaft doesn't hit the fence or the slot won't be parallel to the edge. DAMHIKT If need be you can double stick tape a spacer on the outside of the head to move it away from the fence.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:44 am 
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Koa
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I drill undersized holes at the ends and then hog out material with a jig saw.
Attachment:
IMG_0738.jpg


Then I route out the remainder using a jig I made and a router guide.
Attachment:
IMG_0739.jpg


It makes for some clean slots.
Attachment:
IMG_0740.jpg


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:23 pm 
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Ken

Lovely work. Is there a thin piece of white under the headplate, or is that an illusion?

Ed


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:14 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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I've been using a mortising bit in my drill press to do slotted pegheads. I set up a fence to keep things in line. Because I use the modified bridle joint I can do the slots before I glue it to the neck shaft. This allows me to drill 1/2 way through , flip it, and drill the rest of the way through. It still requires some clean up work with a file .


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:27 pm 
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Clay S. wrote:
I've been using a mortising bit in my drill press to do slotted pegheads. I set up a fence to keep things in line. Because I use the modified bridle joint I can do the slots before I glue it to the neck shaft. This allows me to drill 1/2 way through , flip it, and drill the rest of the way through. It still requires some clean up work with a file .


Hmmm ... I have a hollow chisel mortiser languishing in the corner of my shop. :D

Alex

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:45 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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This is almost cheating but I love it.

Image

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:25 am 
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Koa
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That's the best way to go, Terence. Haven't been able to spring for one........yet.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:27 am 
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Koa
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Ruby50 wrote:
Ken

Lovely work. Is there a thin piece of white under the headplate, or is that an illusion?

Ed


Yes there is. Good eye, Ed.

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https://www.kenfranklinukulele.com


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:27 am 
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Cocobolo
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First name: Mitch
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Sorry all, I haven't had time to check back this week, but looks like lots of good suggestions and replies. This is actually not my first slotted peghead. I've done one on a classical and one on an acoustic lap steel. On the classical I used an auger bit which, if I remember gave ok results but cut a little fast (that was 12 years ago). I then cut out the center waste with a coping saw and paired to the lines with a chisel. I think this time I might take the same approach but with a forstner bit. A little background. I built a few guitars starting about 12 guitars but have since changed careers and location, and have been in the process of setting up shop at my new house. After living here for a few years, I finally have a set up that I can start building again. I have a few forstner bits, but not in the size needed...In the original question I maybe should have been more clear...I was mostly looking for which bit gives the cleanest cut. I will be using a drill press for all of this, and yes I will be drilling for the tuner holes prior to cutting my slots. Ken, I really like the shape of your peghead slots, and may try to go for something similar on my second 000. Looks like a clever routing template too. Freeman, I'm afraid it's a little late to take your approach, but also like the convenience of cutting everything prior to the scarf joint glue up, unfortunately, I have already cut and glued up my neck blank. I too like the strength and less wasteful approach of a scarf joint and stacked heel. Also a clever tuner hole jig on your twelve string. Did you still use a drill press when drilling your holes? Thanks for all the suggestions! Now I just need to find the time to get back out in the shop and get back to building. idunno


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