DIY effects pedals and drilling your enclosures
One of the challenges of assembling your own effect pedals is not necessarily on the electronics side of things. Sourcing the parts and assembling them do have their caveats and costs, but drilling the enclosures can present its fair share of troubles. Not everyone will have all the required bits and bobs necessary to drill holes in an aluminium box, and it .
In the last few months, I did a few projects where I was required to drill my own stomp boxes. In this post, I'll discuss the setup I started with, the one I'm currently using, the equipment you'll need and one or two ways to drill the holes in your enclosures.
Equipment you'll need
|Tayde Electronics boxes: 2.75mm thick|
|Hammond Manufacturing boxes: 2.26mm thick|
With that in mind, almost any metal drill bit would do. I suggest you stick with the name-brands like DeWalt, Irwin, Milwaukee, or even Ryobi since the Chinesium drill bits you can get for cheap on Amazon will get dull after a few uses. I'm using a Ryobi titanium-coated drill bit set that I got for 10$ on sale at Home Depot. They work perfectly, and if one breaks or gets dull it doesn't break the bank to get another set.
As for the drill, any drill will work. I suggest a corded drill because they won't run out of battery when you are halfway in the aluminium and they are often slightly more powerful than cordless ones. If you happen to own an expensive professional-grade cordless drill, that's another story and you should be fine. I use a cheap DeWalt corded drill that I bought on sale at Canadian Tire five or six years ago.
Securing the enclosure for drilling
|It's ugly, but it works.|
Work bench and portable work bench
|Much sturdier than the drilling jig, the portable work bench is also easier to adjust.|
Caveat: size does matter
Certainly there's something faster that going through 15 drill bits, right?
|Buy the branded one. Skip the no-name one.|
Caveat: it's chamfered!
- A good drill;
- Metal drill bit set;
- Good quality step drill bit, rated for metal (optional, but makes things much easier);
- A work bench or a sturdy drilling jig (and something to clamp it into).