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Repotting pickups...


Slabbefusk
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okay so i thought about repotting the pickups on my bronze warlock (yes i know, sounds like a waste of time) and i have read the tutorial on how to it here on project guitar and what i need to know is

1. Can i use stearin (candle wax) or is it strictly canning and bees wax?

2. double you tee eff is a double boiler? Is it like when you melt say chocolate and put water in the boiler and put the chocolate in a metal bowl, which you put in the boiling water?

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no. two answer is yes.

there are other methods two.

some people have used fiberglass with good results.

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I was under the impression that candlewax would work...but usually it's a mix of parrafin and beeswax

Ansil or someone will probably have to clarify....

you're right about the double boiler...the tut on the main site uses one made from a pop can....

I think the last thing he was saying is there's other methods that work other than wax potting

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I've used candle wax. It works fine. My " double boiler" is a pot of boiling water, then inside that I have a metal can (that peanuts came in), suspended in the center of the boiling water, by clamping two wood dowels to the "peanut can" with some wood clothes pins. It's best if the plastic of the pickup does not touch the metal, even on your "inner boiler" pot. That metal can get hot enough to melt plastic. I think last time I did it, I had it so one of the clothespins was slanted, then I clamed the pickup wires to that clothespin in a way, that suspended the pickup in the can, keeping it from touching the edges or bottom of the pan. After I pull the wax soaked pickup out of the wax, I put a candle wick into the wax, because I sometimes need my peanut can candle for certain tasks in the workshop, or in case the world is suddenly coming to an end, and they turn the electric off, and I still need to finish working on a guitar.

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Well, I know the pickups I started out with potting, were actually pickups I built from junk pickup parts people gave me. One actually hand-wound by me . I mean REALLY by hand. This was back when all the books I had, always said stuff like " you can't wind pickups yourself". So I did it anyway. We're talking some loose windings on this sucker, so I helped that with potting it. Tweaked my potting methods and said, what the hell, I'll pot anything around that's not potted. It's been years since I've played in a band and loud, and I have to assume the pickups I used that I potted myself were working great through a 50 watt Marshall cranked all the way ( the cops had their own theory, and too bad I couldn't dip them in hot wax).

I'm not so interested in potting anymore, since I now play at low volume levels and have heard an unpotted pickup can actually have more " personality" than a potted one. The potting thing is kind of " get it bullet-proof and roadworthy".

Microphonic(sp?) pickups (the ones " in need" of potting) can actually be interesting, because with some of them, you can scream into the pickup and it comes through the amp speakers (probably needs high volume )

Edited by soapbarstrat
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Well, I know the pickups I started out with potting, were actually pickups I built from junk pickup parts people gave me. One actually hand-wound by me . I mean REALLY by hand. This was back when all the books I had, always said stuff like " you can't wind pickups yourself". So I did it anyway. We're talking some loose windings on this sucker, so I helped that with potting it. Tweaked my potting methods and said, what the hell, I'll pot anything around that's not potted. It's been years since I've played in a band and loud, and I have to assume the pickups I used that I potted myself were working great through a 50 watt Marshall cranked all the way ( the cops had their own theory, and too bad I couldn't dip them in hot wax).

I'm not so interested in potting anymore, since I now play at low volume levels and have heard an unpotted pickup can actually have more " personality" than a potted one. The potting thing is kind of " get it bullet-proof and roadworthy".

Microphonic(sp?) pickups (the ones " in need" of potting) can actually be interesting, because with some of them, you can scream into the pickup and it comes through the amp speakers (probably needs high volume )

i like microphonic pickups as they make my ""sustainor"" function a lot better to break into nice feedback. frankly i do have to agree with the whole non potted pickup sounding better to my ears. for studio work my sevenstring coudlnt' be beat had the sweetest sound to solo with and had a really punch tight chord work. for rehearsals and for live stuff though it sucked feedback all over the place. bad feedback

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I really don't recommend using polyester resins to pot a pickups unless you're EXTREMELY proficient at using the stuff...

Because unlike wax, which can be re-melted, you've got one shot to pot the pickup in properly...if there's a void present by the time the resin's halfway cured, it's gonna be next to impossible to fix...and another dip of resin won't do a thing for you.

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If using candles I would first check the properties of the wax they are made of. I can see canning/bees wax being used because it is more flexible than the wax in your average store bought candle which is more brittle. You could end up with cracks forming and pieces breaking off if dropped or jarred.

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Here's a great pickup potting machine:

Igia Therma Spa

You can pick 'em up cheap on Fleabay or at yard sales - add a tight-fitting lid and a hand vacuum pump to coax out the bubbles, and you've got a great little potting machine with no open flame. You can even disguise the purchase as a gift for your significant other. :D

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