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Pickup cover replacement question

Meals

Member
Messages
626
I have potted and placed covers on previously uncovered pickups before, but never replaced existing covers. Do I need to repot the pickup before attaching the new cover, or would softening the existing wax with a little heat before putting the new cover on suffice?
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,566
i found a slightly modified version of the RS method to work beautifully, rendering covers that are totally solid with no ring at all;


it's all about pre-bending in the sides of the cover, so that when it's pushed onto the pickup and they're forced out, they cause the top to flatten out or even go slightly concave, forcing it flat against the top of the pickup.

i just skip the caulk goop and scrape a little candlewax in there and melt it with a heat gun right before slapping the cover on; total potting is unnecessary, a little heat gun softening of the existing wax right before installing is all you need.
 

rhaas

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
52
+1 to everything Walter said. I'll add that I found the Mojotone video to be helpful (even if I think the masking tape over the slugs is unnecessary).


Also, be careful when bending the sides in, especially if you use a mallet. The first time I did it, I ruined a cover by either banging too hard or hitting it in the wrong spot and the cover would no longer lay flat. Since then, I've just used a clamp to gently squeeze in the sides.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,566
Also, be careful when bending the sides in, especially if you use a mallet. The first time I did it, I ruined a cover by either banging too hard or hitting it in the wrong spot and the cover would no longer lay flat.
how do you mean? the top ended up being too concave?

i just use cauls and such to clamp the cover down by pushing on the edges, so that the center necessarily gets flattened against the top of the pickup. to me that's a good thing because the cover will really be tight against the face of the pickup when i'm done, no room for anything to vibrate and cause squeal.
 

rhaas

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
52
how do you mean? the top ended up being too concave?
The first sign that I might have screwed something up was that the cover looked slightly out of square and it wouldn't sit flat on the bench (open side down). I compared it to a couple brand new covers just to confirm that this wasn't normal. It was my own guitar and I figured I'd have nothing to lose by attempting an installation so I proceeded. The cover (a hot container of molten wax drippings at this point) was unusually difficult to push past the baseplate but I got it on, clamped it (using a 1/2" thick wooden block to distribute the force evenly), and soldered. When all was said and done, the cover had a visual concave distortion that kinda bugged me but the bigger issue was that the cover didn't properly clear the pickup ring when I tried to mount it. I briefly considered enlarging the opening in the ring but that seemed like a hack so I sucked it up, called it a learning experience, and tried it again with a new cover, this time using a clamp to squeeze in the sides. It turned out well so that's what I've been doing ever since.
 




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