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Pickups, routing, and pickguards. (Oh my!)

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Tryxx, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. Tryxx

    Tryxx Sputnik Forums: Bass Mod

    Jun 1, 2005
    Hurst, Texas.
    Hey guys,

    Been awhile since I posted here. Awhile back I was asking all the basic questions about building basses, tools and the like. All that jazz. Anyway, time, money, and lack of experience were against me, and I decided to go a smarter route this time.

    I'm moving off some of my gear to fund this little project, but here's what I'd like to do: I want to get a Dinky J body from Warmoth, and order a Status J neck, and assemble a bass. Normally, this wouldn't be too big an issue if I was using conventional parts and pickups, but I've got some Nordstrand Dual Coils, Hipshot Bridge, and Gotoh tuners lying around. I figured I'll make some good use out of them. Warmoth does not route for the Hipshot bridge, nor the Nordstrand DC's, so I may yet get some actual experience.

    I've got a pretty nice Bosch router that has been collecting dust, and I think it's time I get some use out of it. I would like to know if creating a template for the pickups, and routing them out is something that I should try and do personally. I don't really have the budget to screw this up, and am just a bit worried. I've read the books and know a lot of the theory around the processes, but just simply do not have the hands on experience. Should I attempt to outsource the job for a bit more cash, and just get some experience watching if possible? If you believe that there's a chance I could do it correctly, have any tips in the process? I've got the books on router technique and the like, just not really sure. The routing itself doesn't scare me that much, more making the template accurately, and placing it square on the body.

    Following that, and if it goes well, I'd like to make a custom pickguard for the instrument as well. It's not going to have the top routed controls and layout, so I really just want something functional and not in the usual position. Once again, I've got a bandsaw collecting dust that could get some use as well. Regarding this, I'm wondering if there are any PDF sheets or the like on making a template for a J Bass pickguard, and if so, how much do they differ from the dinky J body? (Also, need an Abalone pickguard blank, Warmoth doesn't seem to have it anymore.)

    All in all, I think this will help me get some of the more basic ideas down. Pickup routing, bridge drilling, and mounting a neck correctly. Any takes or ideas on the project are welcome.

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