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Routing neck pickup on neck through build

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Routing neck pickup on neck through build

Postby Scott Freeman » Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:30 am

So, I kind of cheated a bit on my first build by using a Carvin NT6 neck. I attached the wings; I'm ready to rout the pickup cavities when I wonder "how in the world am I going to rout for the neck pickup (humbucker) with the fretboard in the way?" It's 24 frets, so I *wanted* to put the neck pickup very close to the fretboard. Anyone have any ideas how to accomplish this?
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Re: Routing neck pickup on neck through build

Postby Scott Freeman » Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:43 am

Would it be feasible to just make a routing template taller than the neck?
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Re: Routing neck pickup on neck through build

Postby Dan Smith » Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:37 am

Scott Freeman wrote:Would it be feasible to just make a routing template taller than the neck?

Yes, I've made spacers to elevate the template.
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Re: Routing neck pickup on neck through build

Postby Freeman Keller » Sat Oct 08, 2016 12:07 pm

Since you are using a humbucker you will have some sort of pickup mounting ring. They are usually about 1/8 thick next to the end of the neck and most people space them a tiny bit (lets say 1/16) from the actual end of the neck. That would allow you to cut your template so it has a 3/16 section next to the neck. Make the template at least as tall as the f/b and route away.

I like to drill most of the waste out with a Forstner bit. Also, with most router bits you will start with the follower bearing on your template but as you go deeper you will be transitioning to the wall of your cavity.

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Re: Routing neck pickup on neck through build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:22 pm

Yes, a spacer that lifts your template above the fret board is required.
OR, cut the fret board pattern out of your template, leaving the small distance from the end of the fret board to the front of the rout.
Be certain it is clamped tightly.

The other challenge ahead of you is drilling a wiring channel from the neck pickup rout, to either the bridge pickup rout or to the control cavity.
I have now built 3 neck-through guitars, and with each one I routed a channel into the lower body wing prior to gluing it together.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
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Re: Routing neck pickup on neck through build

Postby Freeman Keller » Sun Oct 09, 2016 7:17 pm

Gordon Bellerose wrote:
The other challenge ahead of you is drilling a wiring channel from the neck pickup rout, to either the bridge pickup rout or to the control cavity.


A very long 1/4 or 3/8 bit at a shallow angle (watch the chuck of your drill). Don't forget to drill one into the bridge post for a string ground too.
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Re: Routing neck pickup on neck through build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Mon Oct 10, 2016 1:36 pm

I should explain my last comment a bit further.
A long bit (I believe they are called Aircraft Bits) is required for certain. They're about a foot long.

The problem is getting an angle that works.
My experience with this issue tells me that you may not get an angle to drill from the neck pickup pocket, to the bridge pickup pocket easily. To span the distance needed you have to start right at the top of the routed pocket.

1. If you drill from the neck pickup rout to the control cavity, you will most likely have to start your hole up high in the routed pocket also, to maintain an angle that will hit the control cavity. This is not the end of the world, but it does make pickup installation more difficult, as the wire is in the way. Lower in the pickup pocket is better.

2. Hopefully your control cavity is long enough to get a decent angle so that you can drill from that direction, to the pickup pocket.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
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