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Homemade blade pickup

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Bett, Mar 8, 2008.


  1. Bett

    Bett

    Jan 27, 2008
    CT
    I was thinking about making some pickups at some point, possibly for a bass I may build someday. I was thinking of the different designs and my first plan was to make some pickups with pole pieces. Then I thought of making a blade pickup since if I finish the pickup before the bass, I won't need exact measurements to have the strings line up with the poles. So I was wondering if it would be possible to make a pickup with the actual magnet being the blade. I looked at some sites on winding pickups. It doesn't seem like something really difficult for what I want to do, but I'd have to get all the pieces. If I could make the blade and the magnet the same thing, it'd be less stuff to have to buy. I could make a bobbin out of wood, get the right wire, then buy a pickup bar magnet. Would this plan work? The only thing I can think of as a problem would be that if the magnet was too thick, it might affect the strings.
     
  2. Tenma4

    Tenma4

    Jan 26, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    I'm also venturing into winding pickups. Ebay has some sellers of various magnets. I got a good deal on about 14 miles of 42 gauge magnet wire too. My brother's neighbor gave me an old broken sewing machine. The motor still works though. Perhaps I can make a winder with it. I still have to figure out how I'm going to make the things... My DIY bass has been a long time in the making. Hopefully it and it's pickups turn out right.

    :hyper:
     
  3. Bett

    Bett

    Jan 27, 2008
    CT
    Yeah, I looked on ebay for 42 gauge wire and it was cheaper there than some other sites I looked at. I was thinking of using an old hand powered drill for winding. The magnet I was thinking of using was this one http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Electronics,_pickups/Pickups:_Parts/5/Humbucker_Pickup_Parts.html
    but I don't think the size is right. Maybe I could look for something similar that's a bit longer and wider, unless I could stack 2 magnets on top of each other. Or could I use a metal blade with the magnet under it? I'm just not sure if I could get it to work if I used a bar magnet as the blade. It seems like it'd be the simplest design though since there's less parts to go into it.
     
  4. Tenma4

    Tenma4

    Jan 26, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    I hadn't noticed that magnet before. I'm not sure I looked on their site actually for the magnet(s). Dunno why. Anyway, I clicked on the humbucker kit below that and it appears that same magnet is placed at the bottom of the pickup in that kit. I've seen a few guitar pickups made that way. Also I have a set of P-bass pickups sitting on my window ledge that are constructed in that fashion. Seems reasonable to me that you could use a metal blade, or metal pole pieces and glue the magnet on the under side of the pickup after the pole pieces/blade is inserted and the coil is wound. This is the route I'm going to try sometime soon, only with the magnets I've already got.

    If anyone reads this thread that knows what they're doing, how does pole orientation on the magnet affect the pickup? I think I bought the wrong orientation. I already understand how it is used (I think) for humbucking capability with a reverse wound coil.

    :D
     
  5. Bett

    Bett

    Jan 27, 2008
    CT
    I was thinking about having the magnet at the bottom, but then I thought about pole pieces. Some pickups had the pole pieces magnetized instead of having a magnet under them, so I thought maybe a blade pickup would work the same. I don't even know if I'll ever get this project done. I like planning though, and I can learn at the same time.
     
  6. Tenma4

    Tenma4

    Jan 26, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    Even if you consistently just do a little here and there, you'll get it done eventually. That's how my project is going.

    Ya, there are pickups of both types. I think I am more interested in blade type pickups for my own use...and there's the lack of concern for string spacing. For that matter, if I can get used to designing and building a pickup methodically that the pole pieces can be added after the fact, then I can set the pole spacing to match whatever instrument I'm building it for. As I said though, my preference is for blade type pickups.

    :bassist:
     

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