First off, this isn't mandolin related, but I thought I would post here to see if any of you can help.
I'm working on an instrument design that is vaguely similar to a hammered dulcimer; it's trapezoidal and is played by striking the stings. The problem that has arisen is that there are strings that would need to attach to the base of some zither pins after they have passed through the pin block. This isn't normal at all; zither pins don't even normally go all the way through the pin block, but in this case they need to in order to keep the structural integrity of the pin block intact (the alternative would be twice as many holes and/or added thickness).
I figure that there's enough threading on standard zither pins to be able to have them stick out the back enough to hold a string and still keep a firm grip, but there's no hole for the string on that end of a zither pin, so my question is, how feasible is it to drill a new hole in the steel zither pin?
I have access to a drill press, which I assume would be pretty necessary for drilling into such a small radius steel cylinder, but I don't know if it would be wise, or if it would work at all, so any input would be appreciated. I'm also open to any low cost alternatives any of you might have.
Here's an image to help you visualize it: