Guitar setup: how to use a cordless power drill on a guitar
Know the drill
If you've ever watched Paul Gilbert or Eddie Van Halen wield a cordless power drill on their guitars, you've probably wondered how they put such a contraption together – well, we're here to help.
Attaching picks to a power drill is easy. In addition to your drill (a cordless job) and four picks, visit Homebase or B&Q and buy a six-inch length of wooden doweling rod, a screw, a washer, screwdriver, tube of superglue and a small drill bit. The pick gauge is up to you. We prefer a medium gauge – thinner picks probably won’t last long at high speeds.
Wear safety goggles when drilling and gluing stuff and don’t do it on expensive furniture! You’ve been warned!
1. Drill your picks
Begin by drilling a small hole in your picks. Line up all four picks on an old phone book or a stack of newspapers and drill through them at the same time to get the holes in the same place on each pick.
2. Drill the dowel
Drill a small pilot hole in the end of your wooden dowel with the same drill bit you used to put holes in your picks. Take your time and try not to let the drill bit slip – that could be nasty.
3. Screw the picks
Screw the picks onto the end of the dowel. Arrange them into a pretty flower shape before tightening the screw and washer. The washer is important – it provides the grip!
4. Glue it all together
With the picks secured, whip out the superglue. Coat the whole bloomin’ lot with glue. This will help keep the picks in place when they’re whacking the strings at high speed.
5. Slide and tighten
Slide the dowel into the drill’s chuck and tighten it until the dowel is held good and tight. Make sure you keep your long hair away from the drill. Remember what happened to Paul!