Clearance for P90?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Moldy Oldy, Oct 10, 2021.

  1. Moldy Oldy

    Moldy Oldy Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I’m installing a couple P90 soap bars on my next build. They measure pretty much exactly 1-3/8” x 3-3/8”. When routing for them, how much clearance do you shoot for on each side so they look neat but aren’t too tight?
     
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  2. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    I made my routing template for my Melody Maker building the oak strips around the covers. They are snug but adjust well :)
     
  3. DrBGood

    DrBGood Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd say 1/16th total, (1/32th all around) is plenty.
     
  4. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've built two guitars with soap bar P90's. The first had a Budz pickup, the second had StewMac's golden age pups. I bought the StewMac routing template thinking that it would be sized perfectly for their pickups.

    The template hole measures 3.364 on the long dimension and 1.410 on the short. The corners are 1/2 inch diameter, hole spacing is 3.745 inches. The Budz pickup fit nicely. The StewMac pickups were way too tight, mostly on the long dimension. I stuck the template back on the top shifted about 1/16 of an inch to the side and routed that end of the cavity, then did the same on the other end - effectively making the cavity maybe 0.125 longer (sorry, didn't measure). The pickups now fit but they are snug. I mounted them using foam rather than the little springs - it is hard to move them up and down in the cavity. The next time I change strings I may pull the pups back out and relieve the cavity just a bit and put the springs in.

    IMG_6909.JPG

    Didn't measure the actual gap but its not enough. And yes, thats a little router bobble on the side towards the neck.

    I guess what I would suggest is to do a test route on a piece of scrap and adjust accordingly. You'll also want to decide how deep to make them to get good compression from your springs or foam and proper height. My bridge pup is still a hair low and its a hassle to bring it up.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021
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  5. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

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    I made a template from the pickup cover but wrapped the cover in tape a few times before tracing the outline to make sure I had enough clearance. And I had the same issue as Freeman in the same spot. Only mine was a touch bigger. I just call it patina..:(
     
  6. Bob J

    Bob J Tele-Holic

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    I used a Bootstrap P90 in the neck if my last build, and made a template using the cover of that one for that build. I seem to remember shifting it around a little when routing the cavity in the body to give it a little room for making adjustments, but not in the pick guard. It fit perfectly there with no visible gap/play, but still able to adjust.

    I’ve got 2 more of the same pickups arriving tomorrow for my current build, I used the same template to route the cavities in the body, but I’m waiting to see how the actual pickups fit before making any modifications or routing the pick guard.
     
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  7. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Make a template by putting 4 pieces of wood together so you have straight sides. I've made lap joints on mine when I needed a perfect rectangle.

    Practice on scrap first before you mount it to the body for routing. Make the pieces wide enough to support half the router ( 3"). The p-90 covers have a slight taper, so depending on how high they are, will reveal more or less.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021
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  8. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  9. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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  10. Bob J

    Bob J Tele-Holic

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    Note:different P90s have different radius of the corners…
     
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  11. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Fenderchamp's template is almost exactly 1/8 of an inch wider than the StewMac template that I used. The additional 1/8 inch would probably make it work perfectly . I would say if you were making a template or setting up a CNC to route the cavity this would work for my pickups..
     
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  12. Moldy Oldy

    Moldy Oldy Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Thanks guys. This was helpful. It took a couple tries to get it right, but I printed this up on the 3D printer. This weekend I’ll inlay it into a piece of MDF to use as a guide for my homemade pin router.

    7B8EB969-61B4-4D3F-A391-BA553103FD91.jpeg
     
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