Soop's new pickup picstory

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Thread: Soop's new pickup picstory

  1. #1

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Brisbane, Australia
    ME: Oni 8

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    Soop's new pickup picstory

    After the single coil making effort a while back Soopahmahn took a fancy toward a humbucker size variation of a Strat style pickup, which I agreed to make happen. Initially I'd intended to make a silly thread of the making process, potentially involving cat litter and a vegetable garden. Instead, I decided to document a little of the fannying about that happens when you do a one-off project

    So to start with, I'd already made the basic coil last time I needed to cut some of the material (I'm using FR4 PCB material instead of Forbon, it's much stiffer and stronger). Big thanks to Cameron for sending the stuff to me The assembly was similar to the singles I made earlier, so I used some of the alignment tooling I'd already constructed. The eyelets that the coil wire connects to are meant for thicker material so I had to shorten those to fit. In all, a little fannying about but no big deal because I'd already worked out the process earlier. Here's the result -

    That's the basic coil form, 2 flat plates with alnico slug magnets separating them. Making them involves designing in 2d CAD, working out a way to hold the material, toolpathing and cutting. Assembly involves pressing the magnets into one flat plate, then pressing the second piece on. Things have to align, so I've made a pair of spacer/magnet guides that slide out sideways once it's all together. The hole size has to be just right - too small and the magnets won't go in, too loose and they won't hold on tight enough. The FR4 material is a little less forgiving than Forbon in that regard, but more stable and less prone to deforming.

    By deforming I mean flaring at the ends due to the tension on the coil. If you hold a straight edge on top of a lot of pickup coils you'll find the ends bend up a little. The bigger the coil, the worse the problem will be. I realised that this design would have a problem with flaring unless I could make the assembly more solid during the winding process. I also realised I'd neglected holes for screwing the assembly to my winder. Even if I had have used the same mounting method as I used for the S style singles it wouldn't allow for clamping the assembly as solidly as I want. The next step becomes one of drilling four holes, very accurately, between the polepieces of the assembled pickup. Doing this on the drill press is asking for trouble because I can't centre punch this material in it's assembled form, and I don't like the chances of it holding still on a press anyway. Back to the CAD and CNC...

    The simplest solution is pretty much a disposable MDF jig, one of the many Here is the MDF held in place.

    Selecting the program...


    And done...

    And here's how the pickup slots in

    I rather stupidly neglected to take a pic of the hole drilling, but the result is 2 holes on each side of the pickup, in between the outer pairs of polepieces (B/E string and b/e string). You can see them later in the final photos.

  2. #2

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Brisbane, Australia
    ME: Oni 8

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    Next up is the clamping plate which, like I said above, will serve to reinforce the top of the bobbin during winding. Again, it's CAD and CNC, this time from 1/4" FR4. There's two pilot holes drilled for screws, plus a shallow channel for the slightly protruding poles.


    Done, just needs the pilot holes deepened on the drill press...

    And here's the assembly mounted on the winder...

    At this point I had a couple of vodkas, and a lengthy Sunday chat in the metalguitarist chatroom Unfortunately I then forgot to take photos of the actual winding You can find tons of winding pictures and videos with google. I taped off the poles to ensure the wire doesn't short to them, then wound 8600 turns of 42 AWG wire. No big secrets there, and it was the quickest part of the process so far. In fact, I spent more time finding the right combination of screws and washers to mount the thing on the winder.

    End result -

    Lead wires attached -

    Soaking the pickup in urine... I mean potting in paraffin and beeswax.

    After that I wrapped black paper tape around the thing and gave it another quick dip in the potting wax. Here's the final product -

    As mentioned in the first post, I wanted to show what can be involved in doing a one-off product. Through the production of an entire custom instrument similar circumstances can arise many times over. Huge chunks of time are spent designing things, then designing and making jigs and templates to be able to accurately produce the things in the initial design. As soon as you do something repeatedly the time spent in preparation starts to pay for itself. Make quantities in the thousands or tens of thousands and the preparation time almost becomes irrelevant. This is the difference between production and custom work - time!

  3. #3

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Soviet Canuckistan
    ME: Decibel Javelin
    MA: Ibanez AJ307CE
    MB: Fretless Precision mutt
    Rig: Mesa F-30

    iTrader: 3 (100%)

    Wirelessly posted (Only Chris cares about this ->: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)


  4. #4

    Join Date: May 2010
    Location: Portland, OR
    ME: Les Paul
    MA: Les Paul
    MB: Les Paul
    Rig: Mini Rec

    iTrader: 10 (100%)

    Hell yes.

    But didn't I mention I wanted green galvanized Torx slugs? Is it too late to change? I'm not paying extra for them either, I know you can get those at Australian hardware stores easily; my friend Jose did last summer.
    Making metal every night and day.

  5. #5

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Somerville, Ma
    ME: Suhr Modern 7
    MA: Martin MC16-GTE
    MB: Dingwall Afterburner 5
    Rig: Mesa Roadster, Recto 4x12

    iTrader: 5 (100%)

    That's both a cool idea, and a cool execution
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a bit dicier." - David Foster Wallace

  6. #6

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Ohio
    ME: Schecter Loomis 7
    Rig: Boss GT-8

    iTrader: 0

    That is awesome, sir.

    Is that one of those home deep frying units you're using to wax pot the pickups?
    The only proof he needed for the existance of God was music.
    Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

    Without music, life would be a mistake.
    Friedrich Nietzsche

  7. #7

    Join Date: Dec 2009
    Location: Albuquerque, NM
    ME: Sherman Poips
    MA: Martin DXK2
    MB: StringlessRusted Leonbass
    Rig: Mark-V 25 1x12

    iTrader: 10 (100%)

    Is that urine of the finest quality, extracted from hookers by spooking them with drop bears?

  8. #8

    Join Date: May 2010
    Location: Portland, OR
    ME: Les Paul
    MA: Les Paul
    MB: Les Paul
    Rig: Mini Rec

    iTrader: 10 (100%)

    If it's not, I'm returning it.

    Still waiting, this tracking number doesn't work.

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