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Aug 4, 2020 - 10:38:30 AM
14 posts since 7/23/2020

This has likely been discussed ad nauseam, but the search option via phone is pretty clunky. I would like to make a jig to drill the hole in the heel for the dowel. I have a lathe, drill press, and lots of routers. Any one of those tools could theoretically be utilized for such a task. I bet there’s a thread on here somewhere that showcases all the different methodologies that have been tried. I’m new here, could someone tell me if such a thread exists?

Aug 4, 2020 - 11:15:38 AM
likes this

3325 posts since 5/29/2011

Go to Stewart MacDonald's web site and look under Trade Secrets. They have articles and videos going back for quite a few years. Trade secret #12 deals with installing a dowel stick as taught by Don MacRostie. That was the way I learned how to do it. If I knew how to post the link I would.

Edited by - Culloden on 08/04/2020 11:16:39

Aug 4, 2020 - 11:19:24 AM

2941 posts since 2/18/2009

I use a ShopSmith set up for horizontal drilling, but you could use a drill press the same way, it would just be a bit more work to make a vertical table out of wood to index the neck to the drill bit, or maybe there's a better way I haven't thought of.

Aug 5, 2020 - 5:38:44 AM

wtalley

USA

257 posts since 7/2/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Culloden

Go to Stewart MacDonald's web site and look under Trade Secrets. They have articles and videos going back for quite a few years. Trade secret #12 deals with installing a dowel stick as taught by Don MacRostie. That was the way I learned how to do it. If I knew how to post the link I would.


https://www.stewmac.com/video-and-ideas/online-resources/learn-about-building-instruments-and-kits/installing-an-old-time-banjo-dowel-stick.html

Aug 5, 2020 - 6:28:33 AM

3325 posts since 5/29/2011

Thanks, William. That's the one.

Aug 5, 2020 - 6:37:55 AM

14 posts since 7/23/2020

Thanks for the link. That could work with some modifications if using an orphaned vintage pot. It’ll be great for all brand new stuff without any existing holes. I think what I am going to attempt is to make a sled that I can mount on the bed of my lathe. I can chuck up a forstner bit on my four jaw, and use the tailstock to advance the neck into the spinning bit. I’ll make a new thread showing how I built it when finished. It should be accurate and most importantly, safe.

Aug 5, 2020 - 8:43:45 AM

2171 posts since 2/7/2008

When I did mine, I used the long bit like was done in the StewMac video, then, leaving the bit in the hole it just made, I used it to align the table on my drill press (my drill press table rotates sideways). Then I clamped the neck to the drill press table, swapped bits and drilled the larger hole.

By the way, if you have existing holes, you can always make a fresh start by turning a plug on the lathe and fitting it in the hole.

Aug 6, 2020 - 3:02:37 PM

LNP

USA

255 posts since 4/2/2011

Here are some photo's of my dowel jig that uses a half inch electric drill. I've done eight or nine necks with it. Pictures of some of them on my home page


Aug 6, 2020 - 3:17:01 PM

14 posts since 7/23/2020

Thanks for the pics. I like this. Very simple, pretty easily repeatable. I might be over thinking this. My idea using a lathe is pretty much the same concept but I would advance the neck into the bit vs the bit into the neck. I know with a lathe I could make a highly adjustable and most importantly a very rigid setup. More rigidity = more accuracy. But, with your idea, I could be drilling a hole in an hour, vs several.

Aug 6, 2020 - 4:21:21 PM

LNP

USA

255 posts since 4/2/2011

If you go to my home page and look at these same photos the captions under the photos, which didn't show up in my post, will explain in more detail what's going on.
Larry

Aug 6, 2020 - 10:19:55 PM

194 posts since 8/11/2015

My primitive setup that I put together last year consisted of horisontally hand drilling with a really long thick drill bit through a predrilled pilot hole in a block of wood. This block was fastened to a board that had the neck clamped down onto it, angled.

This was really done out of necessity (no workshop or machines) but I think the method is pretty good. Using a hand drill, the drill bit cannot stray from its pilot hole and is steadied by it. The pilot hole was some 4 inches deep in my case. I think I stole the idea from someone.

I’m sure the «factory» methods are sounder and so I mention this as a curiosity. :)

Aug 7, 2020 - 3:48:10 AM

1581 posts since 12/26/2007

Variation of the hand drill in a sled method:

* Hand drill is dedicated to the jig
* bottom of the sled is waxed to make it slide smoothly
* sides of sled are confined by moldings to make the sled track true w/ centerline on jig base
* jig base is perfectly flat, cutouts on sides to allow use of clamps, centerline drawn from center of drill bit
* jig base is raised on 2x4 scraps at ends to give clearance for the clamps

- place neck fingerboard down on jig base
- shim the neck parallel to the jig base to raise the center of the drill hole to the elevation of the bit
- shim the peghead end of the neck to give desired string height at the bridge.
- clamp so that the neck is aligned w/ centerline at the drill bit and at the end of the jig base (near peghead)
- place tape on bit to indicate depth of socket
- check everything twice
- drill




 

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