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What File for opening bridge wing for a pickup?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner [DB]' started by Steve Freides, Apr 17, 2018.


  1. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    I have a bridge wing pickup - K&K bass max - that I want to fit to the bridge of a bass I rent to a student. It's a nice bridge - came from Arnold/Keiran a couple of years ago, made for this bass.

    I'm going to the hardware store, and am ignorant about woodworking tools. Please tell me exactly what to ask for so that I can take a shot at this myself. I don't need to remove much wood - I can wiggle the pickup partway in there already.

    Thanks in advance.

    -S-
     
  2. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    An emery board (for fingernails) works great, and comes with coarse and fine grits.
     
  3. turf3

    turf3

    Sep 26, 2011
    Just a small bastard file will do. Don't need a special wood file for removing a small amount of a hard wood like maple. You'll have better control if you buy and fit it with a handle.
     
    Steve Freides likes this.
  4. misterbadger

    misterbadger Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2012
    Northern California
    Find a stick that's a bit thinner than the opening and stick sandpaper to one side. Emery board has too much flexibility, and it's easy to lose the flatness and parallality of the faces you're trying to work, resulting in diminished contact between the pickup element and the slot.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018
    robobass likes this.
  5. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    I had to go to the hardware store for something else, anyway, so for $8 I bought an 8" bastard file.

    Why is it called a bastard file?

    -S-
     
  6. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    It's called that because it's straight-cut on one side and diagonal on the other.
     
  7. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    Why is a file that's straight-cut on one side and diagonal on the other called a "bastard?"

    -S-
     
  8. T_Bone_TL

    T_Bone_TL

    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    It's actually not that at all. It's the coarseness of the file (of that size - longer files will be coarser than shorter ones for the same description.) No further insight on the etymology, I'm afraid. Wikipedia comes up with grades not commonly found in the wild these days.

    File (tool) - Wikipedia

    File Terminology

    So an 8" bastard will be coarser than a 6" bastard, finer than a 10" bastard, and coarser than an 8" smooth
     
    s0707 likes this.
  9. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    Etymologists don't all agree. I'll give you that today's usage describes relative coarseness, but more than one etymologist offers a different theory for how the word came to be used this way.
     
  10. gerry grable

    gerry grable

    Nov 9, 2010
    Bitch was taken
     
    RBrownBass likes this.
  11. T_Bone_TL

    T_Bone_TL

    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    I tend to feel that when etymologists don't agree, they veer off into Making Stuff Up. The Stuff may sound plausible, but it becomes less about actual origin and more about who has the best story that seems to fit.
     
  12. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    It really "bugs" me when Entomologists don't agree.
     
    T_Bone_TL likes this.
  13. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    So in other words, the bigger the bastard the coarser he is. Sort of explodes the myth of the Jolly Green Giant.
     

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