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Aug 7, 2022 - 7:26:10 AM
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112 posts since 3/7/2011

How much smaller than the spike would be optimal for the pilot hole in a Persimmon fret board? I've successfully done this to a couple of Richlite fretboards but that material is a different density and hardness. I just got a Pisgah Walnut Possum and do NOT want to mess it up!

Thanks!

Aug 7, 2022 - 7:32:58 AM
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Players Union Member

Helix

USA

15846 posts since 8/30/2006

I use the old tapered spikes, so I got the tapered bits from stewmac.

But I learn they now supply round spikes, so 1/16" and a pin vise, hand cranked.

Aug 7, 2022 - 8:14:58 AM
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800 posts since 12/30/2008

Get a set of dial calipers if you don't have them. Caliper the shank of the spike and drill a hole that is 4-5 thousands of an inch less. Use a feeler gauge between the fretboard and the head of the spike to set the height, so that it will clear your 5th string by about one or two thousandths of an inch. I work a tiny drop of wood glue all around the inside of the spike hole with a tooth pick, before setting the spike.

Aug 7, 2022 - 8:17:10 AM

Bill H

USA

1974 posts since 11/7/2010

I chucked a small bit in my drill press and filed it to a taper. I sized by drilling test holes in scrap to fit the spikes I have on hand.

Aug 7, 2022 - 9:32:47 AM
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1406 posts since 1/9/2012
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I think that the size of a good pilot hole really does depend on the material, and it pays to do a trial run (runs?) on that type. My lifetime bag of spikes (with enough extra for everyone I know and then some) is labeled "medium," and the diameters right under the bend are between 0.033" and 0.040". (They're not round.) I don't imagine that everyone uses the same size spikes.

I had the opportunity to do my first spike installation recently, and it involved three different kinds of wood: maple, walnut, and mahogany. (No fret boards -- don't ask.) I have the standard set of tiny drills, #60 to #80. I ended up using 0.028", 0.024", and 0.020". What's crucial is the wood structure on those tiny scales.

I don't have any persimmon.

Aug 7, 2022 - 9:53:48 AM
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112 posts since 3/7/2011

I just successfully installed the spikes. Thanks all.


Aug 7, 2022 - 11:35:15 AM

112 posts since 3/7/2011

quote:
Originally posted by davidppp

I think that the size of a good pilot hole really does depend on the material, and it pays to do a trial run (runs?) on that type. My lifetime bag of spikes (with enough extra for everyone I know and then some) is labeled "medium," and the diameters right under the bend are between 0.033" and 0.040". (They're not round.) I don't imagine that everyone uses the same size spikes.

I had the opportunity to do my first spike installation recently, and it involved three different kinds of wood: maple, walnut, and mahogany. (No fret boards -- don't ask.) I have the standard set of tiny drills, #60 to #80. I ended up using 0.028", 0.024", and 0.020". What's crucial is the wood structure on those tiny scales.

I don't have any persimmon.


Nice! I wish I had that opportunity.  Those holes seem small! Wow.  I bent spikes in a Richlite fretboard just .003 smaller than the spike. My spikes are 0.034. I used a 0.030 pilot hole and a tiny dab of super glue in each hole this time. 

Aug 7, 2022 - 4:58:20 PM
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1305 posts since 11/9/2012

quote:
Originally posted by Banjercat
quote:
Originally posted by davidppp

I think that the size of a good pilot hole really does depend on the material, and it pays to do a trial run (runs?) on that type. My lifetime bag of spikes (with enough extra for everyone I know and then some) is labeled "medium," and the diameters right under the bend are between 0.033" and 0.040". (They're not round.) I don't imagine that everyone uses the same size spikes.

I had the opportunity to do my first spike installation recently, and it involved three different kinds of wood: maple, walnut, and mahogany. (No fret boards -- don't ask.) I have the standard set of tiny drills, #60 to #80. I ended up using 0.028", 0.024", and 0.020". What's crucial is the wood structure on those tiny scales.

I don't have any persimmon.


Nice! I wish I had that opportunity.  Those holes seem small! Wow.  I bent spikes in a Richlite fretboard just .003 smaller than the spike. My spikes are 0.034. I used a 0.030 pilot hole and a tiny dab of super glue in each hole this time. 


How far are you from Morehead Ky? lol! I'm too scared to hammer on my RK35... and nobody here seems to know how to do this stuff, not locally. 

Aug 7, 2022 - 5:32:23 PM
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10017 posts since 8/28/2013

You won't be hammering on the banjo, just the spike.

I can see your concern, but spikes are actually fairly easy and a less stressful job than many other repairs.

Aug 8, 2022 - 4:26:24 PM

12351 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by davidppp

I think that the size of a good pilot hole really does depend on the material, and it pays to do a trial run (runs?) on that type. My lifetime bag of spikes (with enough extra for everyone I know and then some) is labeled "medium," and the diameters right under the bend are between 0.033" and 0.040". (They're not round.) I don't imagine that everyone uses the same size spikes.

I had the opportunity to do my first spike installation recently, and it involved three different kinds of wood: maple, walnut, and mahogany. (No fret boards -- don't ask.) I have the standard set of tiny drills, #60 to #80. I ended up using 0.028", 0.024", and 0.020". What's crucial is the wood structure on those tiny scales.

I don't have any persimmon.


All persimmons are species of ebony and behave the same.

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