tie block hole sizes

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
User avatar
geoff-bristol
Amateur luthier
Posts: 215
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:31 pm
Location: Bristol - UK

tie block hole sizes

Post by geoff-bristol » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:31 pm

I drilled all my first ones at 2mm - no problems really. But they are a tad too big I think. I find 1.5mm a bit skinny and the drill bit that much smaller and more prone to wander. Since I can get any 0.1mm increment - whats best - 1.7mm happy medium.

I ask - because I have just made a new brass index plate thats currently drilled @ 1.5mm ( new spacing of 59mm - 12 hole block - previous guitars were @ 55 ) and I do not want to drill it out - then regret it ! 2mm is nice and easy for stringing - and melted ends will go through 2mm.
Whats normal ?

Dave M
Posts: 206
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:39 pm
Location: Somerset UK

Re: tie block hole sizes

Post by Dave M » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:33 pm

Without a lot of experience 1.5 works well for me. And I love the 12 hole block
Dave

User avatar
James Lister
Luthier
Posts: 7081
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:53 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: tie block hole sizes

Post by James Lister » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:41 pm

I think 1.5mm is as near as we have to a standard, and should be fine for any standard classical strings. 1.6 or 1.7mm would be acceptable, but 2.0mm is definitely too big.

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

User avatar
Michael.N.
Posts: 6489
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:28 am
Location: UK

Re: tie block hole sizes

Post by Michael.N. » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:16 pm

1.5 mm is what I use, always have. It's a while since I've done a 7 string but I think I used 1.5 mm for the low D too.
Historicalguitars.

Paul Micheletti
Amateur luthier
Posts: 491
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:48 am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: tie block hole sizes

Post by Paul Micheletti » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:23 pm

I use a new 1/16" bit when drilling tie block string holes. That makes a hole just under 1.6 mm.

User avatar
geoff-bristol
Amateur luthier
Posts: 215
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:31 pm
Location: Bristol - UK

Re: tie block hole sizes

Post by geoff-bristol » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:15 am

Yes - I felt the 2mm was a bit airey ! Looking at proxon they have some nice bits at 1.6mm -

http://www.chronos.ltd.uk/acatalog/Prox ... -Bits.html

- I like this heavy shank and limited drill stock depth. Adds some rigidity to the bit and a better fit on a larger piller drill chuck.

User avatar
Trevor Gore
Posts: 896
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:57 pm

Re: tie block hole sizes

Post by Trevor Gore » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:52 am

1.5mm, steel drill guide 10mm deep.

SteveL123
Posts: 370
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:05 pm

Re: tie block hole sizes

Post by SteveL123 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:08 am

For those in non metric countries like here, number drills #1-60 in a set may be easier to come by than metric. http://store.curiousinventor.com/guides ... _Cross_Ref

1.5 mm is very close to 0.059" which is a #53 drill.

I am setting up tools to convert a 6 to a 12 hole tie block. I'll be using a smaller bit #55 which is 0.052" since my bass E is 0.046"

vesa
Posts: 422
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:52 pm
Location: Sulva, Finland

Re: tie block hole sizes

Post by vesa » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:40 am

1.5 bit and then 6th string back and forth through the hole until it ends up 1.6. - 1.7 ish.
Vesa Kuokkanen

Antonio Marin nr. 813 1995 (Bouchet)
Vesa Kuokkanen 2016

User avatar
James Lister
Luthier
Posts: 7081
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:53 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: tie block hole sizes

Post by James Lister » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:51 am

SteveL123 wrote: I am setting up tools to convert a 6 to a 12 hole tie block. I'll be using a smaller bit #55 which is 0.052" since my bass E is 0.046"
0.052" seems a bit small to me - that's about 1.3mm, and although the E string will fit through the holes, it might be quite difficult to do. It's also going to be quiet a fragile bit, with a higher risk of breaking while you're drilling, which you really don't want to happen.

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

SteveL123
Posts: 370
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:05 pm

Re: tie block hole sizes

Post by SteveL123 » Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:24 pm

James Lister wrote:
SteveL123 wrote: I am setting up tools to convert a 6 to a 12 hole tie block. I'll be using a smaller bit #55 which is 0.052" since my bass E is 0.046"
0.052" seems a bit small to me - that's about 1.3mm, and although the E string will fit through the holes, it might be quite difficult to do. It's also going to be quiet a fragile bit, with a higher risk of breaking while you're drilling, which you really don't want to happen.

James
James, thanks for your input. I will test the #55 0.052" drill bit by drilling a hole in a simulated scrap tie block and see if my low E pass through with ease or not. If not, I will upsize the bit. How about using the #55 for the other 5 strings? Do all holes need to be the same size for aesthetic or other reasons? Or is it for convenience?

User avatar
James Lister
Luthier
Posts: 7081
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:53 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: tie block hole sizes

Post by James Lister » Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:58 pm

The main reason would be aesthetic, but you might also consider that at some point someone might want to convert the guitar to left handed. What's your reason for not wanting to use 1.5mm?

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

SteveL123
Posts: 370
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:05 pm

Re: tie block hole sizes

Post by SteveL123 » Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:24 pm

As a test I drilled a 0.052" hole in a piece of wood and fed the 0.046" E string through it. It went in without much fuss but was a snug fit, not a lot of wiggle room. I checked the existing tie block holes and a #49 bit (0.073"= 1.85 mm) fits snugly in them. You're right, a small drill like a #55 is a bit floppy. As you suggested all along, I'll be using a #52 drill which is 0.0635"= 1.613 mm. Thanks!

Return to “Luthiers”