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Covering a vacent pot "hole"

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by brock29609, May 16, 2003.

  1. brock29609

    brock29609 4 strings, 2 wheels

    May 11, 2003
    Greenville, SC
    My rear routed bass has a hole for a knob/pot that I'm nolonger using. Know any creative tricks to cover up the hole? I'd rather not use a dummy knob because the positon of the knob gets in my way.
  2. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    I've seen and used several options for this type of thing.

    The most expensive is to plug the hole with a dowel of the same type of wood, cut it off flush at the surface and blend the finish in to the original.

    I have seen other people glue coins, marbles, fake gems, and other items into blank pot holes.

  3. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Put a switch in. There is always somethin interesting to do with a switch.
  4. brock29609

    brock29609 4 strings, 2 wheels

    May 11, 2003
    Greenville, SC
    Brilliant! A switch it is! One tone knob (or maybe master volume), and a switch to bypass it! My two holes are now filled. (Man I hate knobs. Pickups to jack and nothing in-between.)
  5. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    I'll 2nd the switch. I just had some work done on my Schecter Elite 4. I went passive (although now I've changed my mind and am going back to active/passive) anyway.. There were 4 knobs, and we were left with a vacant pot hole, so my luthier put in a coil splitter switch. I'm still keeping it, I'm just using a stacked bass/treble pot to take up one hole.
  6. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Maybe a kill switch?
  7. ThunderPig

    ThunderPig Guest

    Dec 15, 2002
    Oakland California
    I've done this many times on both wood bodies and plastic pickguards. Inside the cavity, cover the hole with a good stout masking tape or duct tape. Then mix a small amount of 5 minute epoxy with a bit of alcohol and lampblack powder in it to get it to flow right and make it black. Then, with the guitar laying flat, drop a few drops of the epoxy in the hole. Use a toothpick or small wire after every few drops to make sure there aren't any bubbles. Once it's filled flush, I put in an extra drop or two with a toothpick to give it a slight crown so it looks a little better. After it cures, take the tape off of the inside. True, it ain't as nice as making a plug and repairing the finish (which will always be seen as a patch job anyways), but most guys won't like the $200.00 bill that comes with that. For a decent fix on a workingman's bass, this will usually do fine.
  8. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    A year or so ago, I filled two unused holes in my fretless, but I had matching timber and it was right before a refin.


    I've done ThundePig's idea also, but I put the tape on the outside of the bass/pickguard. This way it doesn't need as much flatening etc. Experiment with pigments and materials etc and results can be pretty good.

    If your jack is in the side of your axe, I would think about relocating it to the front (a personal preference).

    But I think the switch is the best idea! Leave it disconnected and when a sound engineer complains about the bottom end, let him watch you switch it, and ask him if it helps... nine times out of ten he'll say "yep that's much better"...


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