I'm justifying this side project by saying that as a test bed, it will enable me to create better builds Still some final work to do, but definitely zeroing in on it..
Have done is over the last couple days. Started as 1x4, but now has been stiffened some with a second 1x4, if that's not enough, it'll all sit on a 2x6. Hey, test eds are supposed to be heavy, right?
So it's about 40" long, originally had a raised butt and headstock only with the rest of the body length being 1x4. the between nut and bridge is now pretty normal dimensionally (i.e. to the 2x4 lap steel plan). What's different is that where the plan pup cavity is only 1.5" , the pup area on this is about 8" to work on pup placement...more on that later.
Tailpiece is a piece of unequal leg aluminum with holes, technically a thru hole/ bottom-loader. Bridge is adjustable for both height and fore/aft location (as is the nut). They are 3-inch long hex head/nut of varying diameters, that gives the height adjustment. Fore/aft is just sliding them around. That means scale length is adjustable too. BTW, strung weird because that's all I had handy. That is a cheap Tun-o-matic type saddle, rigged upside-down used as a string keeper.
The control box is not finished yet, but it is modeled on Tom T.'s setup. Gotta study the wiring before the solder comes out. It will have 3 toggle switched caps. That is a ground buss, accessible from both inside and outside the box for alligator clips. The panel is a Tele pre-wire.
So now for the possibly original idea. It was only born about an hour ago. Was trying to figure out how to easily change pickup heights at any location in the pickup cavity. I got a piece of peel/stick floor tile. One piece. Cost 87 cents. Cut it into 1.5x4 pieces, then made stacks. There's a single (paper still on the back), all the way up to 6 stuck together. Each piece is about 1/16th thick, so the increments are consistent, and the entire stack is about 1.5 inches tall. Mix and match to find the perfect height. But how to hold them secure? A P90-type (no tabs) will need a couple small tabs of duct tape, but something with a tab/flange, well, cut two pieces of the same angle aluminum and mount is along the sides of the cavity flush with the cavity 'floor'. Tape the P90 to a single layer , then keep adding the spacers you just made. Since they overlap the aluminum, simply clamp the layer/s to the aluminum with clothspins or those .heavy spring stationary clips. I kept 3 spacers as singles so you could fit more than one pup. Don't have pix of the spacers yet, but here's the rest of the mess...
Keep it fretless so you can make the nut movable to change scale lengths. Use a clamp for securing the nut.
Bridge stays in place and pickup positions will stay the same.
pickups will have better response and volume close to the strings, but have better tone away from the strings. So you have to adjust for a middle spot that offers both. Raising one side higher than the other helps get rid of too much bass or treble. Pickups mounted to a detachable base that slides into your testbed would be a good idea, but all the parts should be made of the same wood to keep any wood variables at bay.
It's all doug fir.
Pretty fast work.......
It looks good and I think going six string is a good idea since that is what you build.
I really like the stacked tile strips idea. It is a good way to change pickup/string clearance in well defined increments. I will likely steal that idea.
If you take a standard off the shelf wiring harness (pickup, volume/tone pots, audio jack and a cap) and just stare at it for a while, you will know how to wire your test rig. In the end, it is only a wiring harness that is held together with alligator clips and some extra bits to give you opitons.
Looking forward to hearing what you learn when you get the rig operational. I find it is a great learning tool.
Tom, if you could help a little with your dwg, remember I'm exceedingly noob to guitar electronics...
I realized that P90-type has screws. My solution for that is to make a shallow recess in the pocket (do all this P90 stuff dimensionally) and Forstner a 1/2 inch wide slot in the single and double plates (because screws will stick out the bottom). Any plate over 2 just needs Forstner relief about 3/16ths. The shallow relief in the cavity should extend fore/aft to the required (by fit) dimension at the extremes of movement of a P90.
1. The pup leads clip to the red/black wires that go th the jack?
2. Wires...red hot, black (I like green) ground?
3. The jack...I think the contact arm is hot, correct?
4. In the pic of the internals of the box, there are 3 wires, 1 red, 1 white, 1 black (secured together with a white twist tie) that all test to ground. Is this correct> Is that about having a split coil and needing different grounds? A 2-wire pup just uses one of them?
5. Are both pots tone, or is it volone? With my Tele plate obviously it/s vol/tone.
6.The blue 'gators to the end of selected cap?
So caps do NOT go to jack ground, correct?
"What do you think those three black lines leading from one leg of each cap down to the negative tab of the audio jack are?"
Broken. Right at 9 o'clock on the 250 pot.