Stepped Bit / Progressive Bit

Finished my Face Melter build (first build ever) and on first boot up, it worked! Great feeling. This pedal sounds K I L L E R, by the way!

What is the appropriate size "stepped" drill bit needed for enclosure holes? I have a 3mm I will use just for LED openings but I had to keep going up in bits to make the holes for my pots, my power input, my switch button, the output jacks, etc. I ended up doing 1/2" for the switch button which is the largest opening on this specific box. Would a stepped bit that does 1/8" up to 1/2" be sufficient for basically all pedal needs? Does anything ever require a 3/4" or 7/8" sized opening?

THANKS!

OOPS - I should have put this in THE TOOLBOX section! Can this get moved?
 

temol

Well-known member
3mm for LEDs
5mm for LEDs and small toogle switches
6mm for regular toggle switch
7mm for potentiometers
9mm, 10mm, 11mm for jacks
8mm, 12mm for dc jacks
12mm for 3pdt switch
I rarely use LED bezels so do not remember hole size.
 

Feral Feline

Well-known member
Stepped-bits have their place in my drilling arsenal, but so do regular bits. I've got a blend of metric and imperial sizes, which has come in handy for odd-sized switches, bezels etc...

For instance, if you're drilling 1590A jack-holes, you do NOT want a stepped bit. Before I had my bit collection, I had the one stepped bit and it chewed up the opposite wall of the 1590A — luckily it didn't go all the way through, which leads me to...

One of the best purchases I've made is a quality reamer:

c12672d2a93818dcfb3336f90faea200.jpg



Great for cleaning up holes or hogging something out beyond or between bit sizes you have...

Mine sees less duty now that my bit collection has expanded.
 

Bricksnbeatles

Well-known member
Stepped-bits have their place in my drilling arsenal, but so do regular bits. I've got a blend of metric and imperial sizes, which has come in handy for odd-sized switches, bezels etc...

For instance, if you're drilling 1590A jack-holes, you do NOT want a stepped bit. Before I had my bit collection, I had the one stepped bit and it chewed up the opposite wall of the 1590A — luckily it didn't go all the way through, which leads me to...

One of the best purchases I've made is a quality reamer:

c12672d2a93818dcfb3336f90faea200.jpg



Great for cleaning up holes or hogging something out beyond or between bit sizes you have...

Mine sees less duty now that my bit collection has expanded.
I find that for 1590A enclosures, all that’s necessary is a stepped bit that has larger step increments. I use the set pictured below, and just use the wider step bit for 1590a enclosures since the 3/8” step is closer to the tip than on the more gradual bit.
 

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Paradox916

Well-known member
Off the top of my head I think you can get away with the 1/8-1/2“step bit. But if you ever do an illuminated foot switch I believe that hole is 5/8” my advise is get a nice bit, don’t cheap out... a good one will stay sharp forever if you are kind to it... sharp bits= cleaner holes and less effort. A dull bit can also cause you to drift more and your holes might not end up Exactly where you would like them.
 
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Feral Feline

Well-known member
Anybody here using a cutting-oil with their drilling?

That'll help prolong the life of your bits, but the downside is getting ALL the oil off the enclosure for painting/finishing (I'd rather do that than risk mucking up the paint and artwork [what artwork?] by drilling last...).

I've got some low viscosity bike-chain lube for home, gave my friend a proper bottle of cutting oil for his atelier's drill press.
 

Paradox916

Well-known member
Cutting oil isn’t necessary for what we are doing...( unless you are doing some crazy machining.) but it doesn’t hurt. For clean up though I always do a pass with Iso, then soap and water and do a proper water break test. I started doing that after I had been having a few adhesion issues with decals... now they stick all the time!
 

spi

Well-known member
Here's my notes on drilling sizes. My step drill bit goes from 1/4 in to 3/4 so it covers all the required sizes. Per your question, nothing requires over 1/2, but I think the 1/4-3/4 is a commonly found stepper size.

Drilling hole sizes:​

footswitch: 1/2 (12.7mm)
pots: 5/16 (7.9mm)
5mm led bezel: led bezel: 5/16
5mm plastic bezel: 1/4
3mm led bezel: 1/4
mini switches: 1/4 (6.35 mm)
jacks: 3/8 (9.5mm). The Lumberg and asian ones measure 8.7 and switchcraft measure 9.2 with calipers
switched dc jack: 7/16 - 1/2 (note it's slightly above 7/16 so need to drill then enlarge until it fits) (11.1-12.7 must be 12)
low profile dc jack: 5/16
 
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