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  #1  
Old 01-23-2021, 11:17 AM
29er 29er is offline
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Default Tool Advise

I have a Guild Aristocrat that needs a simple modification and I need advise on the correct tool for the job. In this pic you can see that the recess for the bridge pickup is not as deep as the neck pickup recess. Consequently the pickup is way too close to the strings and can not be lowered. The only fix is to remove @ 2mm of wood to allow the pup to sit lower. To the point: Will any sharp, high quality chisel accomplish this task, or do I need something more specialized from Stewmac? I'm not a skilled guitar repair person but I feel that I can handle this if I have the correct tool and go slowly. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2021, 12:53 PM
tadol tadol is offline
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I’d score around the perimeter with a fresh utility knife (blade), then use a sharp chisel in the same manner as setting in a hinge - tap straight down with an even tap from a mallet or hammer to establish depth, then clean up - if you want to go so far, see it]f you can find a Stanley #271 mini router plane to make sure your depth is even, but thats probably overkill -

https://youtu.be/diy-cX_sDZo

http://www.hansbrunnertools.com/Stan...nley%20271.htm
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Old 01-23-2021, 01:30 PM
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Thanks, tadol! I am a little hesitant to use a hammer on a thin piece of laminated spruce even though there are braces running the length of the body where the pickups are screwed in. Hoping I can just use the sharp chisel. I'm not going to tackle this job for a while so I am happy to sit back and receive any and all input.
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Old 01-23-2021, 05:27 PM
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I would mask off that flawless gold top with some kind of protective material. Be very careful with that finish, touching up Gold Tops is impossible to do if you want an invisible repair. I would use a very sharp, narrow chisel and gently tap with hammer to score down along the perimeter of the area and then go around and gently tap sections going down as consistently as you can to your 2 mm to make relief cuts, then carefully paring the material away. Finishing up with small sanding block should make it as smooth as needed. Good luck, I admire your determination. Projects like yours is what started me working with guitars all those years ago.
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Old 01-24-2021, 01:14 PM
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Your takeaway shouldn’t be “hammer “ - it should be “tap” -

Using a mallet (block, hammer, etc) is a useful way to regulate the energy you put into the chisel - and it’s critical that the chisel be very sharp. But with the very narrow ledge you’re taking down, and the small amount you want to remove, you could even score the grain with the utility knife probably.

I wasn’t aware it was a hollow body - it looked solid to me. That would make one be a good bit more careful. And yes, taking steps to protect the finish would be highly advisable -

It’s not a major project, and I’m sure if you take your time and are careful it should come out fine. If you want big fun, try resawing the back off a LesPaul -

;-)
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Old 01-25-2021, 09:10 AM
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In fact laying picups on that gold top will most likely scratch the finish

My fear here is the chisel slipping and doing damage. Being a hollow body guitar too you risk cracking the wood with a hammer blow. As mentioned 'tap' is the operative word here.

When doing work like this you always want to remove wood to the edge with a cut line. Using a razor blade as mentioned is a good idea but they can easily slip too so be careful. If it was a solid body I would recommend outlining it with the chisel itself either by tapping or just pushing. But that could cause the wood to crack since it's a hollow body.

In any case you want to outline the whole thing first then cut to the outline. Do NOT try to outline the full 2mm depth. Do it in very easy stages. With the razor knife the first thing you so is make a very simple scratch outline. Very light pressure. Then outline it again with a bit more pressure and repeat that till you have some depth.
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Old 01-25-2021, 09:14 AM
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instead of lowering the pickup, why not raise the bridge? far less invasive, and most likely reversable.
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Old 01-25-2021, 09:47 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hat View Post
instead of lowering the pickup, why not raise the bridge? far less invasive, and most likely reversable.
To do so and retain a desirable string height, one would probably also have to change the neck angle. It isn't clear from the photos what is the neck attachment.
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Old 01-25-2021, 10:24 AM
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Oops! Wrong thread.
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Old 01-25-2021, 10:37 AM
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That was the first thing I did was look up the model. It's a set neck.
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Old 01-25-2021, 01:34 PM
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I have the guitar set up to my preference so raising the bridge is not the answer. Thanks for all the input. When I do the work I will certainly score the outline before taking the chisel to it.

The good news is that the recessed area is completely filled by the pickup cover so it will be an easy task to score the wood properly. I'll take a few before & after pics when I dive in. Believe me, I will work slowly and carefully. I just bought this gorgeous Guild and do not want to do it any harm! The fact that it is a full hollow body with no internal baffling or support braces means I do not want to use a mallet at all, I am hoping that a sharp chisel will do the trick. If I find that I need a mallet then light taps will be my approach.
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Old 01-25-2021, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 29er View Post
I have the guitar set up to my preference so raising the bridge is not the answer. Thanks for all the input. When I do the work I will certainly score the outline before taking the chisel to it.

The good news is that the recessed area is completely filled by the pickup cover so it will be an easy task to score the wood properly. I'll take a few before & after pics when I dive in. Believe me, I will work slowly and carefully. I just bought this gorgeous Guild and do not want to do it any harm! The fact that it is a full hollow body with no internal baffling or support braces means I do not want to use a mallet at all, I am hoping that a sharp chisel will do the trick. If I find that I need a mallet then light taps will be my approach.
Good luck and be patient, you will love the results of a job well done. I used to work at Guild in Westerly RI in the late 1980's, what year is that one?
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Old 01-25-2021, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victory Pete View Post
Good luck and be patient, you will love the results of a job well done. I used to work at Guild in Westerly RI in the late 1980's, what year is that one?
This is a 2013 Korean made guitar. Not as nice as the US made guitars but they did a very good job with these.
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Old 01-25-2021, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 29er View Post
This is a 2013 Korean made guitar. Not as nice as the US made guitars but they did a very good job with these.
Cordoba is doing a great job now, I have an F-512 made in California that is as good if not better than the Westerly made version which I had at one time. The decision to produce overseas was made prior to the Cordoba acquisition. I think Fender started that venture.

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Old 01-27-2021, 12:50 PM
tadol tadol is offline
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I helped a friend with a similar issue, but he was changing pickups and the old cutout was a little large, and the trim he had didn’t cover it, so it was a great excuse to try a spool of gold in my 3d printer, and designed it to fit the pickup closely, but wider to cover the old cutouts. Also had to make them 2 different thicknesses - he thought it was perfect - I’m liking the gold filament -

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