Sunday, February 9, 2014

LP Jr. - Neck Pickup Route

This is a rough mock-up after today's work. I placed the chrome hardware in order to see how this will eventually look.

Now for today's work - routing the neck pickup cavity. This route on the Jr. presented a special problem. Because this is a set neck with a 4° tilt, the standard Stewart McDonald humbucker routing template would not easily fit over the top of the body. There were a couple different possible work arounds. The one that I chose was to build a custom template out of scrap wood. 

First, here are some photos showing the nature of the problem.

As you can see, in order to use the StewMac template, I would have had to cut it to fit around the neck. But that still would not solve the problem with the thickness of the template. The fretboard sits almost 3 mm higher than the template. 

So the solution would be to use a scrap piece of wood and cut a custom template.

The scrap wood sits a safe 4 mm higher than the fretboard. I then use the StewMac template to cut my own template.

I drilled two large holes before routing the template.

I then measured off width of the base of the fretboard.

I then cut into the template, so that I could fit it around the fretboard. I cut a center piece to help with deep routes for the pickup screws, brackets and springs.

One of the other obstacles for the neck pickup route was the overall depth. The neck tendon under the the curly walnut top is about 1 inch thick. I wanted to leave as much of this tendon in tack as possible. The top is about 1/4 inch thick. The screws and brackets need a depth of about 1 inch, but the pickups will only need about a half inch. So the wood block is placed in the center to control the amount of routing I do on the edges. After routing those two areas to slight deeper than 1 inch. I removed the bock and routed the rest of the pickup cavity to about 1/2 inch.

After today's work, I have roughly just under 40 hours in this project.

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