Direct body mounted tele bridge pup...how?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by flydav, Jun 10, 2021 at 10:42 PM.

  1. flydav

    flydav TDPRI Member

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    I'm assembling my Andy Summers tribute tele and want to install the bridge pickup directly on the body underneath the bridge plate. I've look around for tutorials or other information but found nothing.
    Problem is I don't know how to proceed and don't want to do nonsense drilling until I get it right so if somebody knows how to proceed would be a great help for me.
    I need to know how to position the pickup and mark the spots were the screws go and also am I going to be able to adjust the height without removing the plate?
    Finally...I bought the appropriate fender wood screws and tubing do I need anything else to do the job?

    Thanks a lot for your help on this!
     
  2. peterg

    peterg Tele-Meister

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    Find a drill bit that matches the bridge pickup mounting holes. Put the bridge in place. Put the bit in each hole, square it up and give it a tap. That’s your body hole locations.

    You could probably adjust the body mounted pickup by using a screw driver that would fit into the bridge holes. But it might not be big enough to grab the screw slots.
     
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  3. wabashslim

    wabashslim Friend of Leo's

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    If you haven't done enough woodworking to know what to do I sure wouldn't begin on a guitar you intend to get right. My suggestion is to build it the normal way for now while you practice up on scrap wood - more than once. It's never as easy as you think and there will always be snags you haven't thought of.

    BUT - when you decide to go for it you should use a drill press...mount the empty bridge plate where it goes and lower your pilot bit through the pickup screw holes, after having the depth stop set of course. That's how you know the holes are in the right place.

    Then, if using wood screws you'll have to ream out the threads in the pickup itself so the pickup slides smoothly over the screws, since the screws will now be going up & down instead of staying in one place. But that might prevent the pickup from ever being plate-mounted again since the holes are now enlarged bigger than the original screws. You'll have to consider these things ahead of time and what your solutions might be.

    With wood-mounted screws you stick your screwdriver through the now-empty mounting holes in the plate to reach the screws.

    I've done it myself & decided it was all a big waste of time. If anything I like the steel-mounted sound better if there actually is a non-imaginary difference. But that's just me...
    Good luck!
     
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  4. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    A body mounted pickup would need pilot holes drilled for the wood screws you are using. Pilot hole sizes are the diameter of the minor diameter of the screw. There are usually charts available to tell you the pilot hole size for the screw size. You would set the pickup in place. Mark the hole locations, make a center punch dent, and drill down deep enough, but not through the back of the body. You can use a piece of tape on the drill as a depth flag to help in that regard.


    Drill bit sizes for drilling screw pilot holes (quikdrawers.com)


    You'll want springs or tubing between the pickup and the body if you want adjustment.
     
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  5. flydav

    flydav TDPRI Member

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    Initially I thought to mount the pickup on the bridge plate like normal but instead I would use extra long screws just to the purpose of making a mark on the wood from top of the plate. Once the mark is done I replace the screws with the regular wood screws and install the plate on top. My doubt is if the screws are not really perpendicular then the marking is not going to be perpendicular so maybe like you guys say the best option is the drill press and for this I will have to ask my technician to do it. I just wanted to avoid giving him non essential work because he's unreasonably expensive but he's the only option in the area where I live. Thanks!
     
  6. wabashslim

    wabashslim Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, you need to make sure you're exactly perpendicular. You could scrape the windings against the plate if you're not. Eyeballing it isn't recommended, take it from me.
     
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  7. Bob J

    Bob J Tele-Meister

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    Is there any reason to mount the pickup this way (other than that’s the way it was done on Andy’s tele)?
     
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  8. Drak

    Drak Tele-Afflicted

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    What kind of pre-amp did you choose for it just out of sheer curiosity?
     
  9. flydav

    flydav TDPRI Member

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    I'm intrigued by the idea of having less high frequencies and more bottom end. Also I like the aesthetic of not having those three big screws on sight.

    No preamp...mine is not really a summers tribute but just a summers inspired...don't care about having overdrive and all that gimmick installed. I really love the aesthetic of a sunburst custom telecaster with maple neck...is [email protected]@ amazing! I also love the way the brass plate looks on it and the sound should be what I'm looking for...resonant, thick, like only brass can do ;)
     
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  10. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    same as doing it on a neck pu..

    put a big wad of bluetak/plasticine in the pu rout base, mount your bridge with pu on it, lower the pu with the screws until it pushes into the putty, when the screws come out press the pu down a bit then take the bridge off carefully and leave the pu stuck in the putty... mark the new holes through the pu holes... remove it all and there's your hole positions for the new attachment..

    good luck.. don't drill your pilot holes through the back ;)
     
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  11. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    also be careful the screws, usually a #4, selected to actually mount the pickup doesn't get run through the back side... It kinda makes ya say things like Fooie, dadgummit, Oh Heck.. ya know. ...

    and since the bridge is typically grounded through the pickup baseplate's mechanical coupling with the bridge through the 3 Mounting screws.. do not forget to run a ground wire from the bridge...

    it's a real bummer to get it all together then wonder what in heck is that gawddawfull humm....
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021 at 8:06 AM
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