Deepening Tele bridge pickup cavity...

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by DavidP, May 21, 2019.

  1. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    Just finished converting my old US Std to Brent Mason configuration with a SD Vintage Stack in the bridge. However... found out the Vintage Stack is a little taller than a regular one, and I can't get it low enough to dial in. So, either change out the pickup or deepen the cavity by about 3/16 - 1/4".

    However, I don't have a router to do this. Short of taking this to a local shop and waiting weeks get it done (and this is my main gigging tele), is there a simple DIY way to do this...like, with a drill/rotary tool, a router/cutter/forstner bit, and some sort of guide to keep depth uniform?
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
  2. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    use a forstner bit and a drill press... then clean it up with a chisel, or whatever... it doesn't;t have to be neat... you cannot hear how a rout looks... all you need its functionality...

    rk
     
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  3. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Tele-Afflicted

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    I've done this several times, I use a dremel with a sanding drum attachment. Just take it slow and have a vacuum cleaner handy as the dust builds up.

    Grind a little, check fit, grind a little, etc.
     
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  4. philosofriend

    philosofriend Tele-Holic

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    If you don't have a drill press you can still do it but it will take some ingenuity and care. With a handheld drill You are going to be trusting yourself to not drill a hole clear through the guitar! You can put a piece of tape on the bit so that when it is level with the top you are at the right depth but it takes concentration and steady hands to not go too far. The more solidly the body is clamped to a sturdy table the easier it is to control things, don't just put the body in your lap and start drilling. Making a whole lot of holes with a 1/4 drill bit can be safer than a big drill bit or worse yet a forstner bit which can grab the wood. With a hand held drill when the bit grabs your wrist gets hurt, the workpiece flies every which way if not clamped and you can make horrible gouges in parts of the wood that will be visible. Forstner bits don't like to be rocked, they like drill presses.

    The drill will only rough it out, then smooth it with a chisel.
     
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  5. bumnote

    bumnote Tele-Meister

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    "I've done this several times, I use a dremel with a sanding drum attachment. Just take it slow and have a vacuum cleaner handy as the dust builds up.

    Grind a little, check fit, grind a little, etc."

    ^^^^ this is what I did ^^^^
     
  6. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    I had a very similar problem with my MIM and N4 pickups. A Dremel did the job for the S1 switch in control route. I tapped on a screw driver set into the leveling screws of both pickups to mark their locations in the pickup routes and carefully used a hand drill with a 1/4” bit to drill relief for the screws. I ran the wires around the bridge pickup, not under it. Check carefully for what’s really keeping the bridge from sitting flat. The solution may be simpler than you think. I hope so. Good luck!
     
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  7. IronSchef

    IronSchef Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

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    if you are careful, you can do it with a Dremmel and the sanding drum (as stated above).

    I had to open the bridge route on this mustang so I could "Kurt" it ...


    It was pretty dang ugly (I even burned some of the wood while doing it, lol) - but its all hidden under the PG :)

    pics were jacked up - see next post :(
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
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  8. IronSchef

    IronSchef Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

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    2qgg00f5mz1t4ke83z7cnqbmdm.jpg 2017-10-11 16.16.59.jpg 2017-10-11 19.37.09.jpg 2017-10-20 21.46.23.jpg
     
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  9. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Just, go slow there at the end when you'd like to go faster.

    Blowing through the the backside of the guitar is not recommended.
     
  10. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for all the suggestions on options. Think I'll pay a visit this weekend to the local HD and check out Forstener bits as well as hand routers!
     
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