How to drill custom MOTM panels

General instructions:

After marking the hole with a center punch (see below), you should first drill a small pilot hole about 1/8" in diameter. You simply can't accurately control a big 3/8" bit with just a punch indentation. I'd also recommend being patient, and drilling a second intermediate size (say 1/4") on the way toward a large hole. What's the stinking rush? Here are the final hole diameters:   

  • Jack - 3/8"
  • Pot - 3/8" (the Omeg pots in the Oakley pot kits require a hole slightly larger than 3/8")
  • LED (MOTM style LUMEX) - 5/16"
  • Toggle switch - 1/4"
  • Pushbutton switch - there is no MOTM standard, so match whatever you use. The E-SWITCH pushbutton that I recommend takes a whopping 1/2" hole!
  • Wiard MiniWave small LED bar - 1/8"

Use a drill press if you have one. Otherwise, be careful that you are holding your hand drill such that the bit is vertical when drilling. Secure the plate so that it won't twirl around if the bit jams while drilling. You can remove the burrs around the holes with a sharp pocketknife blade.

Marking the holes for drilling:

Get a center punch. You can use a simple one that you tap with a hammer to set the punch, or a spring loaded one that you simply push the handle to set. You MUST use a center punch or your drill bit will creep and your hole will not be where you want it. For the newest panel designs, center crosses for all holes are screened onto the panel itself. For the older designs (DarkStar, Expressionist breakout, 1U Oakley mixer), the center of the pots are marked with a dot, but the jacks and switches are unmarked. A paper drill template is included whenever you buy one of these panels. Cut it out, align and tape it to the panel to obtain the center points you need.

Miscellaneous notes:

  • The LED holes on the Expressionist breakout panel are optional. Don't drill them unless you are building a circuit to drive the LEDs.
  • The small row of mini LEDs on the Wiard MiniWave is best handled by NOT CENTER PUNCHING THE HOLES, since even small hole placement errors will cause a problem. I would remove all items from the original Wiard panel, clamp it to the custom MOTM panel, and use the existing holes as a drill template. Then you are guaranteed that the LED bar will fit.

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