Putting a 3.5mm though a (wooden box) without drilling a dime sized hole
Oct 22, 2015 at 9:06 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4


New Head-Fier
Jul 17, 2015
I've made a dozen or so 'portable audio' devices; basically a small amp, doc, maybe a battery - usually pocket sized. Also, I usually use a thin metal box that's clam-shell style- this way I can drill a small hole right on the seam, and open, put the headphone wire in, and shut. Tiny hole, no need to worry about the jack. 
The challenge I face with this project is the box (wooden this time) opens at the top, and there is just no way to use my regular method. 
Any idea, suggestions? I can't go the wall-plate route as we're dealing with a very small box here and the aesthetics are key!
Thanks so much to any one who reads and/or responds
Oct 25, 2015 at 6:35 PM Post #4 of 4
  I can drill a small hole right on the seam, and open, put the headphone wire in, and shut.

That's pretty much the same principle as a wire stripper. Wiggle it around enough, and you're going to circumcise it.
This does not seem like a good plan. 
Any idea, suggestions? 

Most 1/8" panel-mount jacks I've used require a 1/4" hole in the panel. So, what's the difficulty? Do you not have a drill and a 1/4" bit?
Wood can be tricky to drill without splitting, but in this case, the splits will typically be on the inside, where you may not be able to see them after mounting the jack.
If split avoidance is critical, use an old woodworker's trick: clamp a piece of scrap wood over the drill area, and drill through both the scrap and the piece. The scrap piece will take the splitting damage, and hold the fibers of the work piece in place so they can't split.
Another way to reduce damage to the work piece is to use a step drill bit instead of a normal one. The gradual increase in drill size puts less force on the work piece. It's more like high-speed wood carving than drilling.
If you don't have a step bit and don't want to buy one (they're fairly expensive) you can do it the manual way: start with a small drill (1/16 or so) and work your way up in small increments.

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