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Shielding: What do you use/recommend?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by DanGouge, Oct 8, 2002.


  1. DanGouge

    DanGouge

    May 25, 2000
    Canada!
    Hi all, I've got a Jazz bass that I'm sort of treating as a project bass. I was wondering what everyone uses or recommends as far as shielding. I understand that options include tape and paint. Also where is it important to shield, just the control cavity or also the holes running wires to the PU's. What about the PU routes, could they benefit from it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated...
     
  2. Carey

    Carey

    Jan 18, 2002
    Redlands, CA
    Hi Dan,
    You should shield everything you can. That includes the pickup routs, the control cavity, and the underside of the pickguard around the pickup. I even drip paint down the holes to get them to shield as much as possible. Also, make sure that all the shielded parts are connected together and run to ground.
    Paint is much easier to apply than tape, and if you apply multiple coats it works nearly as well. It is expensive however, especially if you get it from Stew Mac, but they are one of the only sources that I know of. Just be careful not to slop it around too much. It can get real messy real quick. Any drips or slop can be cleaned up with naptha.
    And beware of the fumes. I got sick once when my co-worker didn't fasten the lid on the paint jar completely and I dropped it on the floor. It made a huge mess and took a while to clean up. We had doors open and fans running for the rest of the day. There's still random paint here and there in that room.
    Anyway, good luck.
     
  3. DanGouge

    DanGouge

    May 25, 2000
    Canada!
    What sources are there for shielding paint? Just companies like StewMAc and Luthiers Mercantile, or is it available elsewhere?
     
  4. Carey

    Carey

    Jan 18, 2002
    Redlands, CA
    These are the only places that I know of to buy a small quantity of it. If you were to go to the manufacturer you'd have to place a minimum order, and I think that would cost around $300. And you'd have 2 or more gallons.
    You could probably find a repair shop that would shield the instrument for not much money, as long as you bring it to them disassembled.
    Good Luck.
     
  5. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    Some of the (better) electronics stores will have "nickel print" paint. It is highly toxic, and usually dries up in the jar after you open it. Wear a mask AND apply it outdoors if you can, it will offgas for about 3 days as well. I bought mine at a local electronics supplier for about $12 CDN. Copper foil can be gotten at stained-glass supply stores, and it works great if you apply it right. Stew Mac has 2 new videos on shielding and wiring you might check out as well.
    LM