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Template Medium

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by bizzaro, Aug 15, 2002.

  1. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    I was wondering if someone has a suggestion for an easy material to work with to make a template for routing a jazz pick up? I had a quick go of it with plexi glass the other day and it is much more brittle than I anticipated. It will be a lot of work for a one time install. Can I use a peice of thin plywood if I am extra carefull when I route or am I just asking for trouble? I know I can order one,(a template), but this is a one shot deal.

    While I've got your attention;
    I am considering the slanted installation of said Jazz pup. Anyone use this? Slant the pup away from the bridge on the "G" string side? what degrees?

    What is your take on "not" finishing the neck joint so it is a wood to wood contact? Will it make any difference? Good idea or bad?

    Thanks a ton. I really appreciate you guys.
  2. HannibalSpector


    Mar 27, 2002
    I use MDF board for templates, easy to cut and results are neat.
  3. dhuffguitars

    dhuffguitars Luthier/Bass Wanker depending on your opinion

    Sep 18, 2001
    for a quick and reliable template I use Blatic Birch plywood. It has more laminates than your standard plywood.

    MDF is okay to use once or twice but I would be afraid to use it long term. You could use MDF but coat the template area with super glue, that will make it a little more solid.
  4. gyancey

    gyancey Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Sometimes its worth it to buy a premade template. The J-bass pickup templates from Stew-Mac are $9.45 each. For materials I use MDF, lexan (polycarbonate), or plexiglass (acryllic). Both of those plastics shape well with a router (polycarbonate a little better than plexi) so you could use a router with a square to make templates with dead orthogonal corners.
  5. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    Any opinions on the wood to wood joint for the neck pocket? Or the slanted pup installation?

    Thanks Again to all.
  6. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Where do you mean "wood to wood"? The bass is a resonant loop, so solid contact between the neck and the neck pocket, especially where the bottom part of the neck is bolted to the bottom of the pocket, is a must.
    I have done slanted J pickups and you can get slight differences from E to G if that is what you're after. My customer wanted a more focused E string and a fuller sounding G string, so we slanted the pickup slightly counter-clockwise.
  7. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    And slanted it sort of follows the intonation of the saddles?
    I am going to refinish the bass and I am considering keeping the pocket and the neck, where it contacts the pocket, bare so it is wood to wood instead of finished neck to finished pocket. I guess it won't make much difference, but I thought it might make a more resonant connection between neck and body if there is no finish between them. Am I making any sense? Do you understand what my question is. Does the finish in the in the joint that joins the body to the neck inhibit vibrations and thus reduce unity and resonance in the bass?
  8. gyancey

    gyancey Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Holding the bass against your body reduces resonance. I think you are splitting hairs with the neck pocket finish thing.
  9. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    Yea, that is what I kinda figured. But ya never know unless you ask.

    Thanks again.
  10. Another way to toughen up your MDF templates is to use Minwax Wood Hardener. It's a clear volatile liquid that soaks in and really make the end surface of MDF tough. I used it on the discs I made for the drum of my surface sander and they are as hard as maple.

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