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Thread: Enlarging pickup cavity slightly

  1. #1
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Miami, FL, USA

    Enlarging pickup cavity slightly

    I need to remove about .5mm of material from the "south" side of a humbucker pickup rout. This is on an archtop. It's a small amount and a curved top, so I don't want to use a router. I have heard of people doing this with a rotary tool. I have one, but am not very skilled in its use. What is the best way of doing this. Should I use one of the sanding cylinders...or is there a better way?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Sunshine coast
    Hi Fender3x,

    I think a rotary tool with the sanding drum is great for that.
    What would even be better (and perhaps it exists/ I've not used it) a sanding drum with a guide bearing above it, so you can guide the sanding process.

    I have done 2 cavities using the sanding drum by hand, and I personally like to anchor my hands to control the movement as much as possible, making long passes (swiping motion) against the turning direction of the tool, without applying a lot of pressure. I let the tool do the work, so the drum doesn't jump around or bogs. The long passes are to make your sanded surface as smooth as possible.

    You could for confidence-building use a piece of practice wood, alternatively you could use a router and make a guide that is supported on the workbench as opposed to the guitar?

  3. Liked by: fender3x

  4. #3
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Reading, UK
    Dremel and sanding drum for sure.

    Set on a medium speed (it tends to stall on the lowest settings through lack of torque) and you'll find it's pretty gentle and responds well to pressure.

    Mark off the area to remove, maybe use masking tape so the edge is obvious. You could always hold or tape a wooden block against the line so you'll feel when you've got to the edge.

  5. Liked by: fender3x

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