Pickups and power tools: How close is too close?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by poolshark, May 24, 2015.

  1. poolshark

    poolshark Supporting Member

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    I've always heard that power tools can degausse pickup magnets, but other than some vague internet references, I've never seen it happen. However, having now had my first experience with a degaussed pickup - received it that way, ugh - I'm wary about using power tools too close to my pickups. Say you want to rout a cavity for a neck pickup or a string ferrule block - do you strip the body first? What about when you're using a cordless drill or a rotary tool? Just looking for common/safe practices, I guess.
     
  2. poolshark

    poolshark Supporting Member

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    Bump. I know somebody here has inadvertently fubar'd a pickup. ;)
     
  3. cardinal

    cardinal Member

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    I've taken a Dremel to several pickup bobbins and baseplates. I've never measured the gausse before and after, but they seem to work fine. I did break one by hitting the windings with the Dremel. That was dumb.
     
  4. dazco

    dazco Member

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    Just to be safe, when i use a power screwdriver on mine to remove pickguards, bridges, whatever, i use an extension so the distance from the driver to the pickups stays a good 7-8" or more away. But i didn't always do that and i can't say whether or not any of my pickups suffered. I just started to use the extension to be safe after reading about power tools and pickups.
     
  5. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    If power tools generated mag fields capable of serious gaussing/degaussing effects I would think your entire workbench would be alive with magnetized tools, parts and debris.
     
  6. poolshark

    poolshark Supporting Member

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    ^ You know, I was thinking about that. I've got magnets, pickups included, that create more of a field that any of my power tools. The guys at Seymour Duncan didn't seem to think it was much of an issue, so as long as I don't leave my pickups sitting atop a generator, I guess I can chalk this one to internet rumor.
     
  7. SamBooka

    SamBooka Member

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    how big it the motor on a pickup winder? If it was a big issue I would think this would be a place to flag..
     
  8. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    AND consider how often the power drill over the pup trick has been done to create noise and then the pup is still useful for the strings.
     
  9. superstratjunky

    superstratjunky Member

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  10. darkwave

    darkwave Member

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    I've only heard of degaussing being a problem when one used an old-school soldering "gun" (not the more typical soldering iron or pencil) near pickups. I'll admit that the first place my mind ran to was Paul Gilbert, and he would have had serious issues considering he played using that Makita on tour nightly!

    -Douglas C.
     
  11. Paully1

    Paully1 Member

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    I'm so high I don't even know what's going on.
     
  12. old goat

    old goat Member

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    How about the magnetic bit holder in your power screwdriver (or even the occasional magnetic manual screwdriver)?
     

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