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How does everyone drill a hole to accept the reel seat spacer and hardware?  I can't do it "clean enough".  (Taylor Hogan)

    The very best way I've found involves using the lathe.  Fix a very nice cork ring in the three jaw chuck.  In a Jacobs chuck in the tail stock, mount an old-fashioned spade bit for cutting wood.  I use a 3/4" spade bit and it fits REC uplocking stuff almost perfectly.  Slowly bore the hole, and it'll come out clean as a whistle.

    If you have a pocketed ring, I'd suggest drilling the hole round, then forcing the ring over the pocket.  (Harry Boyd)

    I drill a small 1/8" pilot hole first.  I then chuck up a rattail file and feed a ring, or the whole grip, by hand over the  turning file. It cuts very smooth and if you start feeding the file in from the back of the grip you can take advantage of the taper at the tip of the file as it protrudes from the front of the grip.  This will form a tight smooth fit at the winding check.  Go slow with an in and out motion and think about baseball.  (Jim Harris)

      I misread your post.  I use the  sharpened end of a pipe to cut the hole for the seat hardware. I think!  (Jim Harris)

    When I drill a recess in the cork for reel seat hoods and such on my graphite rods, I start by drawing the size I need (using the hood as a template) on the surface of the cork ring.  I then use a gouge bit (I think that is what it is called, but it resembles a small, bead shaped, drill bit) and a Dremel tool to rough out the hole.  Then I use a sanding drum bit on the Dremel to smooth it out.  If the hood is contoured, I will then use the conical grinding stone with the Dremel to shape the contour.  I always leave the hole a little on the small side.

    The nice thing about using the Dremel is that it works just as well with a preformed grip and it only takes about 5 minutes.   (Jason Swan)

    I use a piece of tubing that's been sharpened to bore  the holes. Perfect circle every time, to tearout. (Bob Nunley)

    Like Harry I use my lathe and mount the ring in the three jaw chuck but rather that use a bit I use a 3/4" grinding wheel in the tail stock.  I go at it slow and everyone I've ever done comes out perfect.  It also fits the large REC uplocking seat perfectly. The grinding wheel I use is the same one I use in the lathe to grind the feet of guides (it has a small 2" post to mount in a lathe or drill).

    For years I did it by hand, I carefully centered the hood over the cork ring and using a second ring I applied pressure on the hood until it left an impression in the cork.  I then used a rat tail file and Clemens cork reamers until I had the proper size hole reamed out.  My success rate was very high but not perfect.  (Bob Williams)

    I chuck up a holder in the headstock and drill the hole with a piece of tubing held in the tailstock. Using a piece of tubing results in a near perfect hole. I finish the pocket with a small, fine cutter and a pencil grinder. I leave the pocket a tiny bit undersize and force the hood in, it usually results in a nice clean fit.  (Larry Blan)

    If you have a drill press, try this:

    Take a block of wood about 1 1/2 inches thick and drill a 1 1/4 inch hole in it that is 1/2 inch deep. Use a wood boring bit, and you will end up with a hole that is the exact size and shape of a standard cork ring. the point of your bit will make a smaller hole in the exact center that extends into the wood block.

    When you want to drill, put in a smaller wood boring bit that gives you the correct size hole for your reel seat. With everything off, use the point on your bit and the small hole to line up the bit and block, then clamp the block in place. Raise your bit, drop in the cork ring, and drill it out slowly.

    I came up with this in desperation after trashing the ring that came with a "store-bought" reel seat. But it worked. You may have to hold the ring in place with a stick to keep it from spinning.  (Jeff Schaeffer)

    If you are lucky enough to acquire one of the old-fashioned (I guess) multi-segmented car antennas you have a whole bunch of tubes of various diameters to cut holes in cork rings. Just sharpen one end and drill away, but slowly.  (Bill Fink)

    On small diameter tubes used to bore sleeves for ferrule plugs it works better to sharpen the outside of the brass tubes. This puts the cutting edge on the inside wall of the tube making it easier to extract the cork centers.  Also less likely to crack the cork sleeve when cutting the outside surface with the larger brass tube.  (Chris McDowell)

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