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Routing new pickup cavity - help please!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Transverz, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hello all! I would appreciate any help possible.

    First off, I have in no way EVER done or even THOUGHT about doing anything or attempting anything close to routing a new pickup cavity. My farthest experience into work with wood was assembling my computer desk :oops:

    So with that "extensive" :rolleyes: background, what are the steps to doing this?

    Specifically for this project, I'm working with a completely stock Fender Jazz bass. I'm trying to a) rout a MM pickup cavity to replace the bridge pickup and b) relocate the original bridge pickup above the neck pickup.

    I have had experience with a dremel, but at the current time have no tools. What do I need to do the routing? Through searching and reading, I'm going to guess I need:

    1) a 1-2 HP router (entry level quality, of course)
    2) proper router bit(s)
    3) routing templates for Jazz bass pickup (http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Routing_templates/4/Pickup_Cavity_Routing_Templates.html) and MM humbucker (http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Routing_templates/2/Pickup_Cavity_Routing_Templates.html)
    *I'm not sure if that humbucker template is the one for bass?

    I'm sure I'm missing other vital tools or accessories. Please let me know just what I have forgotten. I will worry about the electronics aspect of this after this monumental task (monumental for me, at least :D )

    I would appreciate any and all help. Perhaps this can turn into a definitive tutorial thread for all beginners to refer to when wanting to start out customizing their basses!

    Thanks for reading!

  2. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
  3. Rick Turner

    Rick Turner Commercial User

    Jul 14, 2004
    I design and build electric basses and pickups under the Turner, Renaissance, and Electroline brand names.
    That's what you need. Now do it two or three times in some scrap wood, make your mistakes there, and get it perfect before you get near your bass with a router. It's really easy to lose control of a router during the first plunge into the wood (especially if you don't use a plunge router), and you really don't want that first mistake to happen on your instrument.