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How To Make Solid Wood Pickup Rings

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So, for those that have tried to make all-wood pickup rings for your electric guitars chances are you've discovered that you can either route the outside... or the inside... cause once you've done one, there's no way to do the other without having the thin sides explode. Therefore, most people have come to the decision that at this point it's time to use hand tools, or bandsaw out the rest and sand everything smooth... WELL NOT ANYMORE!

Here's how I do mine:

Firstly, make a template of the inside of the pickup rings- the part the pickup will stick through.


Use this to route a hole in your chosen wood. Be sure to have the end grain at the smaller ends and leave a decent amount of wood on all sides or else the router will destroy the wood in this stage.

Here is a picture of the second part of the jig:


It is a perfectly rectangular piece of wood, squared on all sides and every way, nothing buy 90 degrees. Then draw a line for how wide you want your edges to be on your pickups rings and then use these lines and your previous template to trace the hole's shape onto this jig. Notice how on the opposite sides there is plenty of extra space, this is on purpose! The pickup ring sides must be thicker because of the need for screws, and the front and back being a little over 1/8". Now, superglue on some small blocks with 220 grit sandpaper glued to them so that there is a block just covering each line on each side. These will center the route in your rings and hold everything snugly in place.

Now, imagining that the template is your actual routed wood, this is how it will sit on the jig (but obviously not over-hanging on the end :D ):


Now set your tablesaw fence to the length of the jig and send the end through. Now flip the pickup around in the jig and do the other end (I do the ends first because these are the cuts to expect tearout on). Now set the fence to the width of the jig and repeat the process with the sides. Voila, you now have pickups rings! Sand and attach!


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Well the solution is so easy. Hopefully you have tried it already.

I hit myself on the head and say why didnt I think of that.

Man you are a life saver as I was about to embark on a few ring sets for several new guitars and they are always a hit or miss proposition. The only thing is to add a few pictures of rings you have made so people fully understand the logic behind your design.

Well its off to the shop to start making your jig, Thanks again.

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Yeah, I made some ebony rings from a low grade fretboard last night. I'm still working on my tapering jig to have the correct angle. Also, another great thing is to buy a set of metal pickup rings and use it as a drilling guide for the holes.


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