Filling a pickup cavity

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by REV, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. REV

    REV Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    A friend has asked me for help with filling a pickup cavity in a guitar body. I figure we can cut and shape some wood to fill the hole but that we will need to use some kind of filler on the joint. Does anyone here have any experience doing this? My friend says that he eventually wants to paint the body black and doesn't want to see the seam from the filled hole.
  2. Painting an opaque color makes this a lot easier. As long as you have your filler piece cut fairly close to proper size, gluing the piece in with epoxy should allow the glue to act as sufficient filler.

    Don't use the 5 minute stuff. Find some slow-set epoxy.
  3. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    SW VT
    Bondo works, if you can stand the stink. Best to let that cure for a while (weeks, if you can manage to wait) and follow with "glazing putty" to make sure there's no trace of the seam.

    You can also use a router and templates to make a nearly perfect wood plug with minimal gap (possibly making the cavity a bit larger to make it easy to plug if it's irregular) - let it be a little too tall, and plane or sand it flush after it's glued in.
  4. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    I recommend West System epoxy for this job. Make the filler block from the same species of wood as the body wood. Cut and fit it to fit neatly. Epoxy it in place, then after it's cured, add additional to fill the gaps up to above the surface. Block sand it down to level, then paint. The West Systems won't shrink under the paint over time. I've been using it for repairs and restorations for over 25 years.
    5tring and REV like this.