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Pickup cavity routing

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Whats the easiest way to route out the pickup cavity? I've tried (on scrap) free hand routing, chiseling, etc. I will soon try my dremel.

I also am having a difficult time creating a cavity the correct size for my music man pickup. I've tried tracing but it never comes out right.

Thanks in advance,


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first, find the positions/sizes of the mounting tab thingies. Using the correct sized bit and placement, drill those holes.

Second, find as accurately as possible the dimensions of the pickup. Add the diameter of your router's base plate to the dimensions. Now, using the new big dimensions, clamp to the face of your guitar guides (straight pieces of wood will do) at those dimensions, centered around your chosen position.

Find a router bit that matches the corner radius of your pickup. You will use that for starters. Place the router bit in your router, and just use the frame as a guide. You will end up with an outline of your cavity, with the mounting tab holes already at full depth! Do this, advancing 1/4" depth each time, until you are at full depth.

Now switch to a larger bit, still keeping the frame in place, and hog out the rest of the wood in the middle 1/4" depth at a time. When you are finished, remove the frame. Voila, a perfectly routed cavity!

Or, you could use a pattern bit with a bearing, if you have access to one.

Just be sure to measure carefully, and make sure your frame is square at the corners.

Good luck! :D

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Ah, thanks alot. At first, I tried one of those plastic template guides (this has all been on scrap btw). Apparently those guides melt easily. Then I tried freehand, chiseling, etc. No success as of yet. I will try your method on my next trip up to my workshop.

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one thing I did is I used some scrap pine, arranged it in a rectangle of the right size, and then braced the corners with nailed in bits of hardwood. That way, it stays square in the corners. Another thing to consider is that the corners don't ACTUALLY have to meet, as long as they are close enough that they still ACT as a guide to your router base.

I could post a pic, but I have to get to school. Maybe this afternoon.

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