Depth Stop Drill Bits

youtube ZlvLFT1ss-Y


Use this 7-piece Depth-stop Drill Bit Set to avoid catastrophes when you install guitar tuners, pickguards, string trees, truss rod covers, pickup rings, and more.

Video Transcription

[on-screen text reads: Dan Erlewine - Stewart-MacDonald]

7-piece Depth Stop Drill Bit Set

Dan Erlewine: We have dozens of small screws in the guitar business for mounting pick guards, truss rod covers, guitar tuners, the like. Don MacRostie figured out that seven drill bits can cover all these screws, and he came up with a set. Four of them are fractional like you'd find at the hardware store, from 7/64 down to 1/16th. These three are the harder to find number bits that fall in between those sizes and give you a complete set to cover all the range. And then he color coded them with plastic sleeves so you know which bit is which. And the cool thing about these sleeves is that they act as a depth stop. You can adjust it for the depth you want and back it up against the jaws, and that's going to keep you from drilling into a peghead or make sure that the screw holes are always the depth you want.

Pro drilling tip

And here's a tip. If you're breaking off screws or coming up with sloppy holes that are stripped out, you're not measuring the screw before you choose the bit. This is a tuner screw going into maple. It measures 94. I go on the outside of the sharp threads. I'm going to select a bit that's about ten-thousandths smaller than that. In this case would be the red one, which is 86. That gives me eight-thousandths of maple to bite into. If I was drilling into a softer wood like mahogany, I would probably choose the blue drill bit that's even smaller and gives more wood to grab.

I'm using the red bit, the number 44, to install these tuners. Get a little mark so I can drill into that. I'll put the drill in reverse just to start that. This gets this little chamfer going. Then I'll go forward, clear the chips. If you don't clear the chips, you're going to bind up maybe or fill up the flutes of the drill. And that gives you a screw to start with. Then it's going to be easy to line up the rest of them working from this end down to the other.

When you get your drill bits, the sleeves are supposed to slide, and sometimes they're tight and you'll have to push it a bit. Then you use it a while and it can get loose on you. If it gets too loose and drops down while you're drilling, put a little drop of super glue on the shank and slide the sleeve over that and let it set. You can break it loose easily later if you don't use too much. Now, I used a lot here because I want it to freeze in place, and I'm going to leave it that way as a special drill bit just for the screw it's made for. I have a whole set glued up that way.



Dan Erlewine

Guitar Repairman and Builder