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Pup size vs. pup cavity size: how much wiggle room do YOU leave?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Basschair, Apr 16, 2006.


  1. Basschair

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

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    I'm creating the template for my pickup cavities for a pair of Nordstrand dual coils which measure 1.25" x 4", and was thinking about the most convenient and sensible amount of room to leave between the pickup itself and the edge of the cavity. I was thinking about making the cavity dimensions 1.5" x 4.25", meaning about 1/8" extra per side. This seems to be a good balance between a snug pocket and a practical amount of fitting space.

    The smallest pattern-following router bit I could find was a CMT 5/16" (Router Bit World...still on order as they're out of stock :rolleyes: ), which seems like a good choice for tight cavity corners.

    I guess what I'm wondering is how much room do you leave, and can you see any faults in my logic/process?
     
  2. 1/8 either side, wayyyyyyyyyy to big, 1/64 might be more like it, even that large in my book. don't know what it's in inch's but I leave mine about 0.25-0.35mm either side. this is if your goping to see um but if your going with a scratch plate then 1/6 would be well enuff
     
  3. Basschair

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

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Yeah, it seemed somewhat big, but I'm having issues with getting the correct radius on the corners. I could drill out each corner, but I'd much rather use a router.

    Suggestions?
     
  4. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    For wood covers I give the long edges .010 each
    and I give the short sides .02 each to allow for the angle
    of the pickup to be adjusted to the string height.

    On plastic cover you need to add a little to that since
    they generally taper and are less consistent.
     
  5. Basschair

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

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca

    Hey Cliff,

    How do you deal with getting the corners tight to the corner of the pickup? Drill? Rotary tool or router? Fairy dust ;) ?

    Thanks!

    paul
     
  6. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    All router.
    Just use the correct router bit for the radius of the
    pickup corners.

    Most pickups have 3/16 R. so just use a 3/8 cutter.
    EMG's are smaller but why use EMG'S:bag:
     
  7. Basschair

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

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca

    Alright: I'll give it a shot and see how tight I can get it
     
  8. JSPguitars

    JSPguitars

    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    Basschair,

    I'm in the same boat! Thx for posting this,

    and Cliff, good to see you around giving us some advice! My new project here is largely inspired by your basses and looking at your website 8,432 times! I dig your work, even though I've never had the pleasure of seeing one in person.
     
  9. Fasoldt Basses

    Fasoldt Basses

    Mar 22, 2005
    Stevens Point, WI
    Karl Thompson, Builder (Formerly Fat Karl)
    I use a dremel 1/8" router bit for corners. I make the corners the right size on the template, then the actual routing is pretty easy. I route the whole cavity with my "big" :rolleyes: router, then go over the corners with the dremel. (the cavities I've done are for emg's, which as cliff pointed out, have smaller corners.)

    :spit: :spit: :spit: :spit: :spit: :spit: :spit::D
     
  10. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Router and 6 mm bit.
    As close to pup dimensions as possible, which usually gives an initial clearance of about .5-.7 mm. The wood dries (regardless of what I have started with, the wood has continued to dry!) and in a year or two, I have about 1mm clearance.
     
  11. T-34

    T-34

    Aug 11, 2005
    France, Paris region
    1/4 router bit then 1/8 Dremel bit.

    On my first (and only :) ) project I leaved the gap about a 1mm wide around the pickups. Looks good for me!
     

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