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Drilling the box

Choose your box

First, choose your box: cast aluminum (Hammond or Tawainese 125C), or electrical (steel) junction boxes seem to be the most popular. If you use a junction box, either braze (with a torch) or epoxy (with JB weld) the knockout plugs ...or just don’t mount anything on a knockout plug!

Draw a sample layout to make sure all the hardware will fit on your box, or use a pre-made template.

Drill the holes

Use the center tap and a hammer to mark each hole. (St. Louis pod: put the drilling template over the box, and use center tap right through the paper).

  • 1/4” for toggle switches
  • 5/16” for pots
  • 3/8” for metal jacks (input and output)
  • 1/2” for power jacks and stomp switches, and plastic jacks
  • 5/16” for chrome LED clips.

Drill the anti-rotation holes

These are tiny holes that a tab on the pot fits into, keeping the pot from rotating and coming loose over time.

Take a pot and put the shaft in the box from the INSIDE. (make sure the anti-rotation tab is sticking up).

Choose how you want to orient it, and then rotate it slightly to scrape the anti-rotation tab against the inside of the box. The scraping should leave a faint mark.

Repeat for each pot

Use a small bit (3/64”? depends on your pot type) to drill a hole along each scratch mark.

Note: Anti-rotation holes are completely a matter of preference. For normal use, lock washers are usually sufficient. You can pop off the anti-rotation tabs with pliers.

Smooth out the holes Lightly go over the holes with a 1/2” bit to round the edges down (countersink). If the hole isnĀ“t smooth around the edges, the washer and nut wont fit straight, and it will crossthread and ruin the pot/jack. So maybe have some pots and jacks with you when drilling to test your holes out...

Tip: Use cutting oil if youre drilling steel boxes. Also, if you plan to do a lot of this, a good-enough drill press can be bought for under $100: much, much easier on the hands.

Next: Painting

commonsound/drilling.txt · Last modified: 2005/10/01 11:21
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