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Untidy routing?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Techmonkey, Oct 28, 2006.

  1. Techmonkey


    Sep 4, 2004
    Wales, UK
    my pickup routings are a bit messy... the router attachment that follows the template broke off, so my DT (is it called "shop" over there?) teacher said he'd better'd do the routings, and he'd try it by eye. the bridge pickup routing isn't too bad, its barely noticable to be off when the pickup is in... but the neck pickup is a little big in parts, and rough and even...

    what do you suggest I do? My first thought was to have a scratchplate, but we're not talking big distances overshot, and its not worth getting a scratchplate in to cover it. There is however something i want to do about it. Half of me wants to just finish filing the cavities straight, to the point of the widest cuts in the cavity, which would mean widening the cavity even more, but having straight edges. Half of me however is wondering if there is a better way at all?

    any suggestions welcome. thanks for your time! at the end of the day, its cosmetic, so it doesn't annoy me too much, but i don't want to do anything before finding out if there's anything else I can do.
  2. pickup rings
  3. Greenman


    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    Any pics. I've heard of people routing a larger hole and pluging it with a contrasting wood then reroute to origanal spec leaving a accent detail.
  4. fish man

    fish man

    Nov 14, 2005
    Ontario, Canada

    Take out an extra couple mm and put in some rings of contrasting veneer
  5. Dean N

    Dean N

    Jul 4, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I'd suggest posting pics before any of the highly knowledgeable guys on this forum will recommend much of anything. But I think your 2 options are 1) route bigger and more even/consistent cavities, 2) scratchplate. Sorry, no new advice. :meh:

    I did see a thread a while ago that showed pics of some veneering that lined the interior of the cavities, and it was just sick. So it also depends on how much effort you want to give. But that would not just fix the problem, it would be an upgrade!
  6. Dean N

    Dean N

    Jul 4, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    ..looks like we all had the same initial idea :D
  7. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    It's interesting that a teacher wouldn't know better than to try to route by hand. :)
  8. depending on the wood used, you could fill it with a putty and use some sort of paint to match the grain lines, but the venner would probably be easier
  9. Greenman


    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    Any pics? I would stay away from veneer and fill the hole with a solid block of wood. Level with the rest of the body and start the pickup route all over again. Maybe leave 2-3 mm.(7/64-1/8in.) showing. If this is a painted bass then this does not apply.
  10. vintager


    Jan 29, 2005
    i had the same problem some time ago. proper bit with bearing was not accessible so i freehanded the pickup cavities. while bridge side came up pretty nicely, on the neck side i lost my focus for a second and the straight line was bowed. i solved it with thicker plywood and wood putty. plywood was placed as sort of a dam and the arc was filled with putty. piece of plywood was then routed out. im talking about less than 2mm and ofcourse a solid colour finish..

    all the best,

  11. Techmonkey


    Sep 4, 2004
    Wales, UK
    hey, thanks for all the support so far guys. Pickup Rings sounds like a good idea - but might be a bit difficult to manage for my pickups, kent armstrong soapbars... i think i could get the CAM machine at the workshop to cut something out of black acryllic or something maybe...

    The veneer idea is great! but bear in mind that between me and my shop teacher we couldn't even get these cavities near straight, so i don't know if we'd be able to get it the second time - but i guess I could always just chisel or file the cavities straight if we veneered the hole a bit smaller than necessary.

    here are some pics that might help... don't worry, it doesn't look that bad in person, i wasn't photographing for beauty, i tried to show the damage as best I could...

  12. Giel


    Sep 9, 2005
    The Netherlands
    You can also rout the cavities to big and make a pickguard for your bass.. And if you don't like the look of a plastic pickguard, then you can also make one out of wood..

    Good luck dude!
  13. pickup rings
  14. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Could your shop teacher not clamp a straightedge to the body and use that as a guide for the router base to go against? That would not have been perfect, but at least the lines would be semi-straight.

    My vote is for pickup rings but at some point you're going to have to machine straight lines. Maybe that will be easier if you were to make pickup rings out of wood because you could cut the hole with a jigsaw and clean it up with rasps/files.

    Basically the same goes for a pickguard, which you could make out of 1/8" thick wood.
  15. +1 - a voice of reason!
  16. Techmonkey, the route is bad. It's better to test on scrap wood. Your teacher suggested and did that? Man, what was his expression after he stuffed it up? It's better not to "try" anything unless you know and even then things can go wrong, but what happens when your teacher loses his mind and insists... Hope you're not paying for the class. I use aluminium guide rails for straight edges if I don't have a template where I need straight routes following rough cuts. These are just aluminium bars that I've cut to size for various applications.

    +1 on the pickguard or pup rings. But, I would clean up first (using a straight edge or a newly made template) because if the route was tight to begin with, then the cavities would still look ok and it may turn out you don't need them. Not all builders make really tight pup cavity routes.
  17. gfried84

    gfried84 Commercial User

    May 7, 2005
    Owner Fried Guitars Inc.
    I would say to go with a pick guard. Filling the routes would be a daunting task. If you cover it with a pg no one will know except you. I know that sucks but just live with it because it sometimes happens and either you throw the piece of wood out or make it work however you can.
  18. Greenman


    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    +1 but practise on something before attempting the final piece.
  19. reddogbass


    Aug 17, 2006
    I'm with Wilser- PICKUP RINGS!

    Unbelievable to me that a "shop teacher" couldn't devise some sort of guide to make a clean rout. Too late now however. Just don't let him help you with your next project. LOL
  20. Cerb


    Sep 27, 2004
    Definately go with the rings. If you do it right, you could even make it look better than it would have in the first place.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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