Acoustic End Pin Jack Installation?

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by T Bone, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    So I bought a Fishman Matrix Infinty VT for my Martin 000-28EC. Would like to do the install myself (saving the cash is good, and there's not all that much to it). But I am at a decision point on tooling.

    StewMac sells a nice reamer that mounts in the drill. It is probably the ideal tool for the job. But it's a hundred bucks, and I'll likely only use it once.

    The guitar has an end pin currently, so there is already a smaller hole. Are there other ways to do this without spending so much for a one use tool?

    Looking mostly for first hand experience, but of course other opinions are always welcome. A standard ½" drill bit is an option. As is a hand reamer, and also a step drill. Anyone done this with any of these (or other methods) and want to share their experiences, good or bad?
     
  2. GlenP

    GlenP Gretschie

    325
    Jul 23, 2019
    WA
    Practice on a scrap piece of wood. The large diameter bit may grab any purfling and rip it out, so you may want to score that with a blade first at the hole edge, if you have any of that plastic trim under the existing jack. You could try a Forstner bit, it will make a smoother edge hole. The jack nut will cover the edge of the hole, so if it does not look pretty, it may be covered up anyway.
     
    T Bone likes this.
  3. pilgrim

    pilgrim Country Gent

    Age:
    72
    Jun 15, 2010
    Mississippi
    NO NO NO ! Use a hand reamer. They are much easier to control. The EC is one of my favorite guitars and not the one to learn on.
     
  4. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Age:
    70
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Pilgrim is right---use a hand reamer.
    If you don't want to spend money for a one use tool, just take it to a luthier. You can do the rest of the install yourself.
     
    Henry and T Bone like this.
  5. CousinWarsh

    CousinWarsh Synchromatic

    608
    Jun 24, 2018
    Western NY
    I just put an LR Baggs M1 in my D16gt with a step drill bit I got at harbor freight. There were 3 different bits in the kit and it cost me less than $10, I had it from something I was doing around the house. The existing hole for the endpin was a good start. I taped the body so it wouldn’t chip and went slow. Opened it up to 1/2 inch and took no time at all.
    Probably not the most sophisticated way to go but...

    9D2EA835-2760-4DC2-BA83-08D9CADEC063.jpeg 2E541B3D-0EB4-4475-AA78-366AEA39D76E.jpeg 9D2EA835-2760-4DC2-BA83-08D9CADEC063.jpeg 2E541B3D-0EB4-4475-AA78-366AEA39D76E.jpeg
     
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  6. GlenP

    GlenP Gretschie

    325
    Jul 23, 2019
    WA
    032C261E-D628-43E4-9219-F6B26DA662B8.jpeg 01F1E082-7433-4676-9560-5E328CE8FEA6.jpeg

    This was a Fishman Acoustic Natural I installed in a student Aria classical, no big risk of messing up a high value guitar here, but it worked out okay.
     
    pilgrim, CousinWarsh and T Bone like this.
  7. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    I used a step drill bit when I installed an end pin jack in my mandolin. I used painter's tape to mark the correct diameter on the step bit, and I went slowly with a handheld power drill. If memory serves, I also put painter's tape over the existing hole to minimize chipping before I started. Easy as pie. The job went perfectly.
     
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  8. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    A hand reamer would also be a good tool, though I think it might make an uneven hole with my unsteady hands. I would not use a Forstner bit or a straight bit.
     
    T Bone likes this.
  9. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    Thanks guys. Lots of good info here. The Forstner bit I've ruled out, just don't see holding that steady with a handheld drill. A press yes, but not by hand.

    A step bit sounds good, I've seen several online who have used this. A standard bit my be an option. Would use a sharp new one if doing so, and of course no matter what I'd use I will tape the area well, possibly also taping a hard template over the area.

    The existing pin hole will act as a starter guide. A hand reamer is also a good option. I will explore that more. Holding it steady should not be much of an issue I think, but I have read they can take quite awhile (not that important). Taking it to a Pro just for the hole drilling is also a good option, one I had not considered.

    More contemplation will ensue. Thanks again for the input!
     
    section2 likes this.
  10. Sean McILwaine

    Sean McILwaine Synchromatic

    604
    Dec 26, 2012
    London UK
    Hand reamer and some masking or other tape over the hole that the reamer can cut with ease which will help with any damage to the surface, just take it slow. This is the method I used on my 5420 to install new pots etc and it worked out fine. Slow is mantra on this type of work.
     
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  11. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    Thanks again for all the replies. Found a hand reamer very reasonably priced on Amazon (one day delivery). It arrived yesterday. Will probably do the install either Friday or Saturday.
    Screenshot_20191126-193330_Amazon Shopping.jpg
     
    section2 likes this.
  12. Sean McILwaine

    Sean McILwaine Synchromatic

    604
    Dec 26, 2012
    London UK
    Looks like the one I used on my 5420. Remember to put a bit of masking tape over the hole and go slow and you should have a nice finish.
     
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  13. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    @T Bone , don't get me wrong as I'm sure you're skilled / handy with the tools as I am too ( I was an electrician years ago ) . But when it comes to my Martin's , I always have a ( qualified Martin ) luthier do the work . One false move and I would void the lifetime warranty as original owner , but I'm sure you'll be fine . Just food for thought here my friend
     
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  14. RussB

    RussB Electromatic

    94
    Sep 20, 2019
    CT
    STEP DRILLS!

    I have this set from Irwin, perfect, clean holes with a nice lead in chamfer


    [​IMG]
     
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  15. RussB

    RussB Electromatic

    94
    Sep 20, 2019
    CT


    A reamer is the wrong tool for a clean job
     
    T Bone likes this.
  16. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    Thanks. Yes, I could screw up. Endeavoring to see I don't. As to the warranty, I have looked into that (spoke to Martin). While anything I screw up would of course not be covered, I've been assured that anything not affected by my work will still be covered for life. Also, if I do screw up? An old high school friend happens to be a Luthier (for the last 20 years) at Elderly, the place Martin sent me for my J40 repair, and the place I bought both of my Martin's. While I don't want to damage my guitars, there is nothing I can do to them that he can't fix.

    Interesting. What would you say is the correct tool (and why). Edit: I see the step drills you show above this post, these were my other option. I may still pick up a set. Thank you for you input.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
    thunder58 likes this.
  17. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    I don't mind spending $ for a (probably) one use tool. I just don't want to spend $100 for one. ;)

    Have the hand reamer now. Still considering the step drill though.
     
  18. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    The first time I used standard bits and increased in size incrementally. Mistake the needed last size grabbed the tortoise on my Martin and started to snag it. I caught it quickly and saved it but the snag is there I know it. Hand reamer slow and steady light pressure don't dig in and tape it all down before you start. I have used sandpaper on a tapered dowel before as well and it took some time but obviously I didn't need to worry about digging in but it took a lot longer.
     
    T Bone likes this.
  19. giffenf

    giffenf Synchromatic

    740
    Oct 26, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I've done it myself, but it was mildly nerve-wracking, and thankfully it all worked out. But on a nice guitar like yours, I'd take it to my local professional and have them drill the hole. I'm on good terms with my guys (because I give them lots of business and give them lots of candy) so they did it on the spot, with the StewMac reamer, for just a couple of bucks. And it's fun to watch a pro at work on something like this.
     
    T Bone likes this.
  20. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Age:
    70
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Use the reamer. A step drill isn't tapered like a reamer and will likely do more damage than good.
     
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