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i was making some wooden humbucker rings the other day, and wsa having terrible luck with cracking;

the edges are just to thin , and i was asked for lacewood so it was really driving me crazy and using up all my usefull scraps fast;

so i made some 'substitutes' for the time being;

lacewood veneer on mdf; boom; isntant sucsess, i figured i bought my self time and could continue on installing the pickups;

buddy seen them with some finish on them on the guitar and loved em, i told him of the problem and that i would replace them soon, and he would have none of it, and said they were exactly what they wanted, and after i got over my own personal dilemna of using mdf i really like them, they look great! i got to bring my camera back and show them; the other benifet isthe lack of twisting off the body when the screws get tightened;

even though the sides look 'not half bad' i think id want to paint them black, so its not that hardboard color!;

anyways just some words for anyone who might be going thru the same thing

grant

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I am starting on a set of black walnut ones today, with black dye to imitate ebony (will match the fingerboard). Any suggestions? I'm planning on taking a thick block and routing out the middle, then cutting the outsides on the tablesaw or bandsaw. Then cutting out the individual ones out of the thick wood. I have some two inche thick walnut, I should be able to get a few out of that.

I'm all ears if someone has some advice that might save me some grief.

-John

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MDF will come to piece very quickly if it has to bear the weight of a pickup - it has very little cohesive strength, especially in thin sections. Stick with solid wood, or veneer a strong wood like maple, cherry or teak.

I made these rings out of wenge, with a cap of wenge veneer on top, so that I could get quartersawn grain on all the long grain faces (the flatsawn grain was too bust for such small pieces). Wenge is pretty damn splitty stuff, you just need to go slow and careful, plus having access to a milling machine helps!

63_neckpickup_closeup.jpg

Jon - I made some ebony rings lately, and I'd not do it again - if they're made geometrically perfect so that they don't look sloppy, it's damn hard to tell they're not plastic! I might just try knocking back the shine on some plastic rings with fine steel wool, and using those.

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MDF will come to piece very quickly if it has to bear the weight of a pickup - it has very little cohesive strength, especially in thin sections. Stick with solid wood, or veneer a strong wood like maple, cherry or teak.

I made these rings out of wenge, with a cap of wenge veneer on top, so that I could get quartersawn grain on all the long grain faces (the flatsawn grain was too bust for such small pieces). Wenge is pretty damn splitty stuff, you just need to go slow and careful, plus having access to a milling machine helps!

63_neckpickup_closeup.jpg

Jon - I made some ebony rings lately, and I'd not do it again - if they're made geometrically perfect so that they don't look sloppy, it's damn hard to tell they're not plastic! I might just try knocking back the shine on some plastic rings with fine steel wool, and using those.

I made the rings. Used black walnut and black dye to match the fingerboard. I don't have to worry about anyone thinking they are plastic, the grain is pretty pronounced. Also, not perfect, so it doesn't look like factory.. (Planned it that way.. Yeah Sure). I may try another set, to see if I can make them a little neater. Not bad for a first attemp.

I did find that my trick wouldn't work. I routed a deep hole in thick wood to get several rings at once, I found that at the top, where the bearing is, it's real good, but the deeper it went, the bit wandered, and the rings are increasingly wider (innder diameter) The router must have angled, or bounced when I hit the edges. It's a nice cut, just wider at the bottom then the top. Oh well, I used the top.

Anyway, it's all a learning process.

Thanks for the tip.

-John

I

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i found my routes that curved inward slightly on excessive passes was from the template edge having the slightest taper , so when your riding the whole jig, its fine, when you flush the next pass to the previuos (wood not template) it compounds the small error; just make a new template by flushing it to your old one with the bearing riding the top edge;

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