Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Neck and pickup routing advice needed.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Hookus, Oct 17, 2005.


  1. Hookus

    Hookus

    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    How exactly do most of you guys rout the neck pockets and pickup slots?

    I made a template out of 3/4 plywood then used a template bit to do the neck pocket, which came out okay, but I am stuck on figuring out how to do the pickup cavities. They will use standard size J pickups.

    Any advice?
     
  2. Basschair

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

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Everything I did and do is based upon a reference point. For me, I use a "bisecting" line, or center line. Basically, the glue line where the two bookmatched pieces for the top work as this line, though I usually draw the line with pencil. From there, everything is cut, routed etc. accordingly. My original design is based around a center line as well (part of which is the scale length line). So, whenever I create a template, I take the material, draw a straight line, then draw the measurements and "picture" (say, for pickups). Then I cut out the inner material and am left with a template with a line that bisects it. This can then be alligned with the center line of the body, the template can be fixed, and I route away. It works very well for me, but I'm not the only one here.

    BTW: I'm never saying the word "line" again... :D
     
  3. Cerb

    Cerb

    Sep 27, 2004
    Indiana
    Because of my lack of tools, I've just decided to buy StewMac's J p-up templates. They're clear acrylic, and certainly better than anything I could make. So, that's always an option.
     
  4. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    ...that this approach works very well for! :D

    Actually, this is the pro way. At least as long as they dont have a CNC.
     
  5. Basschair

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

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca

    Really? Wow, that's pretty cool to hear: I actually figured something out on my own! So, the score is 99% ideas borrowed from folks here, 1% me ;)
     
  6. Hookus

    Hookus

    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Actually the question is more directed which tools you use. The only template router bit I have is 1/2" diameter, too large for getting the screw pockets on the pickup routs.

    My plan is to cut them in first with a drill press, then do the corners, and rout the middle.

    Do any of you have a source for flush cutting template bits smaller than 1/2"?
     
  7. Basschair

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

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
  8. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Well, drilling out the screw pockets first and then rout out the rest is rather a normal way to make templates... :D I tend to do that on the bass as well... :meh:

    Anyway, you need a smaller bit, otherwise you won't manage the radii. You'll need a diameter less than 1/4" (6mm).
     
  9. gyancey

    gyancey

    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I've used the same Stew-Mac bits for 7 or 8 years now. They work great.
     
  10. Hookus

    Hookus

    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Thanks guys, I found them right after I posted that! Got the pups today, hope it goes well this weekend.
     
  11. using a drill first for the ears on the pickup template is a great Idea...
    when routing you can also rout the template with what you've got first, and then switch to a dremel on a guide to do the detailed corners and such...

    I have some ideas on how I'm going to make a guide for my dremel using some plywood, a few blocks of wood...some wood screws and some hose clamps :D

    for more power...I think i'm going to make one for my electric drill, too :D

    necessity IS the mother of invention, you know :)