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How to: Drilling/tapping posts for screws

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Grimsetter 7/7/21

This is a really useful guide, the photos were very helpful!

Has anyone had experience of using a pin vise/vice instead of a regular power drill?  I'm considering buying one as they are fairly cheap.  I had to use my dremel on my first customisation which was nerve wracking!

  • That would be ok for plastic bodies, but tedious on metal castings. A cheap variable speed drill and some decent bits will be your most often used tool if customizing/building. They are $20 or less at Harbor Freight. (Variable speed means it turns faster the more you pull the trigger) — Redline_Salvage_Inc
  • I have lately taken to hand drilling all my holes. They come out much straighter, and tighter. As long as your bit is sharp it's not too bad. — dr_dodge
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SpyDude 4/24/23

As odd as this may sound, if you are looking for screws that will fit almost perfectly in the posts, the tiny screws from computers will work just fine. Hard drives, fans, motherboards, power sources ..... all have these tiny little screws holding everything in. If you have a junked computer, the screws in there will last you a good long while.

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dr_dodge 4/24/23

some amazing drill bits

I use #50 or 51 depending upon how centered I am, and how skinny the post is

will take a 2-56 (of which I have a ton of,)

all mine are at least 1/2" long, and the "good head" (wide flat) ones are an inch long

so I have to cut them all

screw 1-3 nuts and washers depending upon length,

dremel it off long, file flat

Unscrewing with the nuts cleans the threads

For taps, chuck them in my 1/2 inch drill (in low gear/ set to reverse only,)

holds it straighter than I can by hand w/ t handle

spin the car

back and forth as said above, no more than 1/4 turn

Clean often with drill bit by hand

Back and forth between each post, don't over heat the cast

bottom the hole with a long screw

If you break a drill, screw, or tap,

cut the post off past the problem, but long as possible

brass tube pushed over the stub, lots of jb quick and luck


  • That's what I use, Finding a 2/56 bottom tap was painful but worth it. I'll post a pick when Grainger is done looting my bank account. And that seems like a lot of work to save a few bucks on screws, but that's just me. — Redline_Salvage_Inc
  • those taps are not cheap, thats for sure, I need a new one as I snapped one off last weekend (lucky, not in the car) — dr_dodge

2-56 is very close to 2mm which are much easier to find these days...

M2x5mm Stainless-Phillips-Countersunk

Metric/SAE thread chart


  • I use 2mm got an assortment of lengths of Amazon in a multi pack for laptop repair. Ground the tip off a normal tap to make a bottom tap. — Milestone_Racing
  • yep, yep! — Stoopid_Fish_Racing
  • From Aussie, I grew up knowing both systems well. However from here, 2mm now is the easiest, cheapest, to get for what we do. If one needs smaller ..rare..1.5mm. — CutRock_R_Marc_D
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dsc164 1/31/24

1-72 , 2-56 and 4-40 are the different size screws I use.  It all depends on the car. 




Usually for Johnny Lightning and old Redlines

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