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Thread: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    When I have a bunch of ground wires to land to the back of a pot, I take the longest one and solder all the others to it some distance back, then I solder the end of the long wire to the pot.

  2. #22
    Tone Ninja Xeromus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    This is such a great thread.

    Step bits for enlarging holes.
    Last edited by Xeromus; 11-09-2019 at 08:19 PM.

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    Mojo's Minions beaubrummels's Avatar
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ayrton View Post
    What I use

    Maybe I donít get it, but the hemostat idea never worked for me. When I try to turn the screw into the pickup baseplate, the clip twists with it and hits something and flys off, leaving the spring to fly off also and drive the screw back out of the baseplate. My best effort has always been to hold the spring with two fingers while a third guides the screw into the initial turns of the baseplate for one or two twists, using my thumb to cover the coils so my screwdriver doesnít stray into the coils. (The last point is mainly for SD pickups where they only supply flat head screws. (Why oh why? Some traditions should die.))
    Quote Originally Posted by Demanic
    Incompetence is widespread in a world that rewards mediocrity while punishing excellence.
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarFanatic
    I am currently using Skullcandy headphones I found in the garbage.
    I did find the DS-1 in the garbage.
    I once found a guitar amp in the garbage, a Peavey Studio 110. It caught fire at the first gig I played it at.. But it was at the end of it, thank god.

  4. #24
    Mojo's Minions Ayrton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    Hemostats or alligator clips? The alli clips allow the screw to spin, were the hemostats do not.
    -Chris


    Quote Originally Posted by John Suhr View Post
    Practice cures most tone issues

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Jacew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    Quote Originally Posted by beaubrummels View Post
    I donít put it all in the cavity. I just wire it up outside and connect the pickup leads to it outside the body. Basically the pickups are the only thing in the body during testing, and I have the entire wiring on a sheet of plastic, cardboard or wood drilled to the same hole pattern as the guitar (that helps me cut the wires to the right length when it come time to solder) - kind of treating the volume/tone stack and switches like an outboard pedal. When it does what I want without problems, Iíll correct whatever drawing I was basing it on and proceed to soldering. Packing the soldered version in the cavity is one of the last steps.
    Being a strat guy I didn't thought of that... Usually just put it all together on table and slap the pickguard on guitar... Then open it half dozen times tweaking the wiring...
    "So understand/Don't waste your time always searching for those wasted years/Face up, make your stand/And realize you're living in the golden years"
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  6. #26
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ayrton View Post
    Hemostats or alligator clips? The alli clips allow the screw to spin, were the hemostats do not.
    When used for the purpose for which you are implying, the clips work better that hemostats. When you just want to grip and hold wires in place the hemostats work way better. Every job has its most appropriate tool.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  7. #27
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    Smile Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    Quote Originally Posted by 80's_Metal View Post
    Add tips and tricks that you use to make guitar/pickup work easier.


    I use needle-nose pliers when to pull and guide the wires when I'm soldering pickups, so I don't burn my fingers.

    Also this:
    Attachment 101919

    When I solder pots I use this cheap clamp.
    Attachment 101924
    I like to start from scratch and when I do that I always mount everything on cardboard, use sandpaper to scuff up connection areas, and sure - use a really long thin needle nose.
    I like to then hook this up to my test harness and find out what I did wrong. I hate getting it in the guitar to realize that phase isn't right. I freq combine differing brands so if you don't do that - probably not a problem.
    If I'm doing something complicated I always draw it out and get it organized before I start.
    it's one thing to wire up a simple strat w/o messy wires... it's another thing when it's a super switch plus several push pulls and a preamp.
    always heat the part and push the solder into it... never put solder on the iron and then touch the part.
    now you know what I know.

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    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diego View Post
    The folding sanding paper trick for quick nut slot tune-ups is priceless. Search it on The Vault if you don't know what I'm talking about.
    Also, some pencil graphite in every contact point for the string doesn't hurt.

    Also, always troubleshoot, test and identify before you start ripping cables away. We had a customer deliver us a guitar with a broken jack input, and we were about to open the guitar up when I tested it and it turned out that the jack was OK.
    The guitar had a faulty ground solder and that's what made it noisy. We'd trusted the customer's analysis and forgot to do our own. It happens.
    I get that. When my patients self-diagnose, they are almost always wrong.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  9. #29
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    Quote Originally Posted by 80's_Metal View Post
    When I solder pots I use this cheap clamp.
    Attachment 101924
    That is a great idea. It also works great for holding a pickup cover in place and tight to the pup while soldering it on.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  10. #30
    Ultimate Tone Slacker ICTGoober's Avatar
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    Now if we could figure out a good way to start screws into the pickups.... Like a tiny spring compressor or something.
    Have you never heard of StewMac? They call them "Humbucker Helpers"....
    https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tool...r_Helpers.html

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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    I bought a couple aluminium guitars from Electrical Guitar Company which basically require no maintenance besides occasionally changing the strings.
    green globe burned black by sunn

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    Mojo's Minions beaubrummels's Avatar
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    Quote Originally Posted by ICTGoober View Post
    Have you never heard of StewMac? They call them "Humbucker Helpers"....
    https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tool...r_Helpers.html
    Wait a minute, the screw goes through the clip? How do you get the helper clip off once itís threaded? Only one end is open to slide it off.
    Quote Originally Posted by Demanic
    Incompetence is widespread in a world that rewards mediocrity while punishing excellence.
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarFanatic
    I am currently using Skullcandy headphones I found in the garbage.
    I did find the DS-1 in the garbage.
    I once found a guitar amp in the garbage, a Peavey Studio 110. It caught fire at the first gig I played it at.. But it was at the end of it, thank god.

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty Pockets View Post
    I bought a couple aluminium guitars from Electrical Guitar Company which basically require no maintenance besides occasionally changing the strings.
    Which ones did you get? I love his work, I'm going to go by his new relocated machine shop in Birmingham this year.
    ďFor me, when everything goes wrong Ė thatís when adventure starts.Ē Yvonne Chouinard

  14. #34
    Mojo's Minions Ayrton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    Quote Originally Posted by beaubrummels View Post
    Wait a minute, the screw goes through the clip? How do you get the helper clip off once it’s threaded? Only one end is open to slide it off.
    The hole at the top fits over the screw head. Slips right off. Alligator clips work just as well and cost pennies.
    -Chris


    Quote Originally Posted by John Suhr View Post
    Practice cures most tone issues

  15. #35
    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty Pockets View Post
    I bought a couple aluminium guitars from Electrical Guitar Company which basically require no maintenance besides occasionally changing the strings.
    Are the necks aluminum? And if so, how does fretting work?
    Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Adams
    This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

  16. #36
    A Ficus ehdwuld's Avatar
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    I saw one of those aluminum guitars at Blues Angels Music a few years ago
    That's about it

    Me:.WTF
    man at counter: yep all aluminum , wanna try it?
    Me : nope
    EHD
    Just here surfing Guitar Pron
    RG2EX1 w/ SD hot-rodded pickups / RG4EXFM1 w/ Carvin S22j/b + FVN middle
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    Ehdwuld branded Blue semi hollow custom with JB/Jazz
    Reptile Green Gibson Custom Studio / Aqua Dean Shire semi hollow with piezo
    Carvin Belair / Laney GC80A Acoustic Amp (a gift from Guitar Player Mag)
    GNX3000 (yea I'm a modeler)

  17. #37
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    ^. And ME: definitely nope.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  18. #38
    Super Toneologist IMENATOR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    If you have a guitar with a Floyd Rose then you don't need to remove the strings, just take the bridge out and all the strings, do your stuff on the guitar and place the bridge back with all strings. I save time and money doing this. Also for soldering, look at this guy using a simple piece of wood and a couple of rubber bands, it really makes my life easier.

    Who took my guitar?

  19. #39
    Mojo's Minions Ayrton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    Quote Originally Posted by IMENATOR View Post
    If you have a guitar with a Floyd Rose then you don't need to remove the strings, just take the bridge out and all the strings, do your stuff on the guitar and place the bridge back with all strings.
    This is how I always work on OFR guitars (unless the strings need changing). Like running the strings in backward so you don't have to cut off the ball ends (have sharp pokes). My very first guitar was a Kramer with an OFR, so I learned very early how to work on them.
    -Chris


    Quote Originally Posted by John Suhr View Post
    Practice cures most tone issues

  20. #40
    A Ficus ehdwuld's Avatar
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    Stringing with the ball ends at the tuners
    Causes burrs on my tuners
    EHD
    Just here surfing Guitar Pron
    RG2EX1 w/ SD hot-rodded pickups / RG4EXFM1 w/ Carvin S22j/b + FVN middle
    SR500 / Martin 000CE-1/Epiphone Hummingbird
    Epiphone Florentine with OEM Probuckers
    Ehdwuld branded Blue semi hollow custom with JB/Jazz
    Reptile Green Gibson Custom Studio / Aqua Dean Shire semi hollow with piezo
    Carvin Belair / Laney GC80A Acoustic Amp (a gift from Guitar Player Mag)
    GNX3000 (yea I'm a modeler)

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