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Bobbins, Bobbins, Bobbins . . Wooden Ones At That!

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Ok as promised and requested also here is a 101 guide on making your very own pickup bobbins out of the some lovely bits of wood you have lying around.

The first piece of advice I\'ll give if you undertake this is be patient and don\'t try to rush anything and as with everything preparation is the most important thing - that is make sure the wood you are using is flat and square. On the word of wood you need strong and stable woods to particularly if you are going to take the lips of the bobbins thin. The 3 wood I use here are Laos and Siam Rosewood and Afzelia Xylocarpa - all 3 are dense and very strong woods. I have tested taking them down to very thin lips with these woods and it still took a strong press on it to break it. Oh flat grain is king here - Quarter sawn and you\'ll end up with the grain on the weak point.

Also - this is the \'easy\' one - standard 50mm string spacing - no custom spacing or anything special.

Anyway on with the pictorial!



The bare materials



Make out the bobbine outline and visit your bandsaw or scroll saw if you have one



Oh look it\'s nearly a bobbin! Also word of warning for those using bandsaws make sure you either have a zero clearance fitting around the blade or do as I do and use a sheet of plastic. Otherwise a whole lot of mess of wood and blood could happen!



Cut the bobbin to the depth you want - I was matching this to a previous one - you can make them to the plastic one or whatever you feel like. One cut I then use sandpaper on glass to quick get the surface true again.



Using super duper doublesided sticky tape stick the plastic bobbin onto the freshly cut wooden one and then on the drill press drill out the holes.

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Even closer to a bobbin!



The \'accessory\' you\'ve got to make! Aka a flat piece of wood with 2 piece of thicknessed/jointed piece of wood screw in place. To ensure both a true I then use the trusty chuck of glass with sandpaper to level the whole thing. Then to make sure the base is true with the top run you router over it taking off a mm or 2.



Now using screw down your previously stuck together bobbins (if you pulled them apart after drilling . . . D\'OH! :D )



Router + tracing bit . . line up the centre of the bearing with the upper lip of the bobbin and go for it! Once you\'ve done the top drop the bear down to the lower lip and do it again. If the bobbin you are making is thin you might hit the problem that the bearing won\'t get down to the bottom lip before hitting the base the bobbin is screwed into. In this case the answer is make a thicker routing template from the plastic bobbin first then make your bobbins off that.



Oooooh nearly a bobbin!

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Now to cut the slots - router table time! I use a 5mm bit (what that is in imperial I don\'t know) - anyway a standard humbucker bobbins slot is 5mm. Obviously you can do a 10mm wide slot with a 5mm bit. Here I was recreating a previously made one. So set your fence to the outer edge of the bobbin you are replicating (or just to your own size) - run it over both edges of each side and hey presto you have a perfectly centred slot. Just don\'t try do the slot depth in one go - with these kinds of hard woods either the bobbins with be chewed up or worse you finger as the bobbin is spat out.



The slotted bobbins . . . but what are those long ones I hear you ask! That\'s for me to know and you to guess! :D



Markup the edges with a mm or so to spare of the hole. Then take another trip to the bandsaw/scrollsaw . . .



Using the thickness of the blade I then nibble the slot away . .



Wow .. .. bobbins . . . well nearly the next thing to do it using a either sand paper or a coarse needle file (which is what I use) is to round us the centre of the bobbins and the end up looking like this . . .


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As for custom string spacing and big bobbins (aka 7 and 8 strings) well this is where your imagination comes into it own. Time for CAD based drilling templates and freehand shaping of bobbins templates (bandsaw/sandpaper/scroll saw whatever your poison).

If all goes well for myself I will be getting some precision machined and drilled templates in stainless steel - which will make the whole thing a breeze.

Oh nearly forgot to say if you want bobbins for 'adjustable' screw poles then you'll have to drill smaller holes and countersink for the screw head! :D

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thanks for this it is going to be really helpfull. :D

now i just wish a certain family memeber of mine that desided to clean up the work shop had not knocked over my bandsaw and smashed the motor out of it :D

how ever i think i don't need it as the rounded ends i should be abal to achieve by putting a round over bit in my router bench and to save fingers mill the slots out with the mortise gadget on my combination machine

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  • 4 years later...

Anyone help with this I cannot see the pics?????

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 8 months later...

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