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lets talk about making pickup covers

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tjclem, May 11, 2005.


  1. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I know some of you have done it. What tips/tricks have you found. Any photos or links would be cool. Thanks ...Tom
     
  2. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Please let me in on this as well! I have a couple of lace jazz pickups, and one of them has a bum cover. I want to cover these in some dark wood, like ebony if possible.
     
  3. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I have a lace "P-J" set that I would like to do that with but the reason I asked was because I have a set of 5 string fralins that have no covers..t
     
  4. I have a couple of thoughts on it, I've made them for 2 instruments:

    1. it's not easy.
    2. make sure you measure your string spacing before hand.
    3. try to keep the wood thin, which is hard, otherwise you'll end up with a huge pickup.
    4. it's better not to have pole pieces sticking out
    5. I suck at making pickup covers :D
     
  5. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    What about using premade peghead veneers and cutting it to required size and gluing it together? Also, I think epoxy coating the inside in a thin layer might also create a stronger structure. Any thoughts on this?
     
  6. I think it's a bad idea for the walls, but the top could surely be made this way. which brings me to another thought. I think it's better to make the 'walls' thicker and the top thinner, and I also think they should be made separately, instead of a single piece of wood. Even the separate wall pieces, so that you don't end up with short grain anywhere.
     
  7. *Disclaimer, I'm not a luthier and rarely have any clue what I'm taking about, ever. :)

    Why not buy cheapie plastic covers with exposed poles (or not) and then stick carefully cut pieces of veneer to the top and 4 sides? I'm sure you could get it to look reasonably good.
     
  8. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    What about taking a small blank, routing a hole through the wood (one that you can look through) to fit the pups, and covering that with some sort of veneer (something thick probably)?
     
  9. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    To my knowledge, that is the way most luthies do it.

    It's rather demanding, to make sure you've got about 1,5~3mm of wood left on the top...
     
  10. It is, if you're making a non-exposed polepiece cover. The ones i've made had exposed polepieces, so it was rather easy, because you can see how much is left. That's why I prefer the frame and top method for non-exposed covers.
     
  11. That's pretty cool, except that his routes look like he used a chisel and a baseball bat. That said though, the front of the pickup turns out really nice.
     
  12. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    I was thinking chainsaw. I used a router and guide blocks to hollow out mine. I made them to fit snuggly over some Bartolini soapbars. They weren't that hard to make and ended up being about .08" thick on all sides and top.
     
  13. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    "guide blocks "

    Please explain. Thanks ...t
     
  14. Phil Mastro

    Phil Mastro

    Nov 18, 2004
    Montréal
  15. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    ...used as a template for the router bit bearing to ride around on the inside of. Measure the pickup and draw your lines on your piece then fix some 1x blocks down along your lines with double stick tape and/or screws an commence to hollowing.
     

  16. I saw the pickups on his latest sorta LP style rootbeer finished guitar. That is probably the most beautiful guitar I've ever seen. The pickups on that guitar are just gourgeous.

    I think I'll pop over to his site and check it out.
     
  17. Mr. Myka is unbelievable. Just gorgeous work all around.
     
  18. Phil Mailloux

    Phil Mailloux

    Mar 25, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Builder: Mailloux Basses
    Pretty cool quoting my website :D

    My inside routes look like i've done them with a chisel because they were routed freehand. My end goal was to make them look nice on the outside :p

    I built new ones last week for the bass i'm currently doing, you can see more pics on this page:

    http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.php?showtopic=14859&st=45

    EDIT: I went through that thread pretty fast the first time and just re-read it and noticed that "chainsaw" comment. I'd just like to mention that that bass on that website was my first attempt and the link I just gave now is my second. I'm not a pro and these basses are for my own pleasure. If I ever start selling them one day they'll look more professional in the inside. :rolleyes:
     
  19. Hand router pickup cover:

    [​IMG]