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Making wood pickup covers

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Basschair, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Hey all,

    I've got this 6 string set of Nordstrand Fat Stacks that need covers, and was thinking about how I'd go about making a pair. One concern I had was that the poles for strings 2,3,4 and 5 protrude a bit from the casing, and the covers would have to accomodate this.

    But I'm getting ahead of myself here...

    My main question (for those who've done it or at least thought about it) is this: would you take your measurements of the pups, transfer those to your wood blocks, route out the cavities, confirm the pups fit, and then cut away the excess wood, followed by sanding them down and finishing? Next up, how thick would/did you make the tops of the covers?
  2. I put a P-pickup in a humbucker (square) style wooden cover once. I took a piece of paper and scribed (I don't know how else to say it, I wiggled the pencil at an angle back and forth until the pole pieces were visible) the poles. I then went to the drill press and drilled away. (on the top). I then went to the bottom and outlined the pickups and routed free hand. Pretty easy, really.

    I'm currently making 2 pickup covers for a pair of single coils I just wound. I can post a pic if you want. But these don't have exposed pole pieces.
  3. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    If you get a chance, that'd be cool.

    Is it necessary that I drill out holes for the poles, or can I just keep the top closed (knowing that the cover won't actually sit flush to the pup)?
  4. It's not necessary.

    Here are the covers I'm working on and the pickups. These are still very rough and at a very early stage.

    Attached Files:

  5. If the pickups' output is very sensitive to height, you may find the surface of the wood cover uncomfortably close to the string, especially if its on the thick side.
  6. I found this old thread and realized I never updated it with pics of these pickup covers when finished. Now that I see these old pics, I realized there was some extreme makeover thing done to these!

  7. lookin' good, I like the contrasting veneer
  8. maybass77

    maybass77 swm

    Feb 26, 2006
    southeast michigan
    I have also been toying with notion of wooden covers, but wanted to know if this is a bad idea using pickups that already have covers ( bart, emg, etc...).
  9. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    If they've already got covers why not just glue on a bit of wood veneer? You won't have to worry about any string height issues and if you're careful they can end up looking awesome.

  10. Can you take the covers off of pickups that come with them on?

  11. if its wood then you realy shouldn't have no more than 2-3mm of wood above the pole pieces, i go for around 1.5 mm and it works great.
  12. Linas


    Jan 6, 2005
    I know that with barts, they are encased with epoxy so you cannot take the covers off. I also experienced this with emgs.
  13. dimarzio, some seymour duncan, nordstrand, lindy fralin, schaller and many other pickups are very easy to remove from their cover. Others like barts, EMG, some seymour duncan, alembic, and others, like Linas said are cast in epoxy or some other resin, so that makes it difficult to remove. I know some people create wooden covers for these kinds of pickups ...maybe someone will chip in?
  14. Maybe you could sand the cover off on your belt sander. :hyper:
  15. Scary, that could end up being very expensive.

  16. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    I have heard of people milling the plastic off the top of Barts until they remove the shell.
  17. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Anytown USA
    Yep the belt sander trick works great, just take off only what you need like the thickness of the cover, I did 1/16th". It works great and there is usually plenty of top on most pickups. On Barts you have to go a little deeper to get rid of the name on top, and that should be about the right thickness.
    Good luck,

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