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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Telebass build - Need pickup/routing advice

Contributing Member


Aug 8th, 2017 07:15 PM   Edit   Profile  


About to embark on my 4th build using kits from these guys, The others have been successful so decided to try something a little different.

Haven't decided on pickup yet, Have a Seymour Duncan P-Bass pickup sitting around or may go for a single humbucker/Musicman style. Still figuring the look/sound I want to go for.

Main concern is my lack of routing skills. Wondering if there is a good source for templates etc out there. Hoping to make it as clean as possible - Entertaining the thought of no Pickguard.

Any suggestions??

Cheers & Beers,


Pitbull kits

Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Aug 8th, 2017 11:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

A good source is linked below.

Really, if you're familiar with basic router techniques, it's not that difficult.

External link

Contributing Member

The rain sounds like

a round of applause
Aug 9th, 2017 02:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

You can even make your own template from 1/4" acrylic sheet (or even Masonite or MDF), once you have the pickup of choice and know the footprint of it.

It is a piece of cake to run a router. The three most common mistakes are, in order:

1. Taking too big a bite or cutting too deep in a single pass. It's better to take thinner or shallower cuts than wider/deeper cuts. The routed edge will be a lot smoother because cutter speed stays high.

2. Feed speed too slow (excessive cutter speed burns the wood).

3. Feed speed too fast (causes tear-out: the cutter rips pieces from the work, rather than thin shavings).

Also, cut against the rotation of the router motor for best results. For instance, if the router motor spins clockwise (looking down at the tool), you need to move the router

- In a counterclockwise direction around the outside of a workpiece (such as the radiused edge of a guitar body) and

- In a clockwise direction around inside cuts, such as a pickup rout

This gives you the best control of the tool and the best results (smoother finished edges).

Contributing Member


Aug 9th, 2017 04:31 PM   Edit   Profile  

Why didn't I think of Stew-Mac????

Thanks a million!!

This is going to be fun :-)

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
Aug 9th, 2017 07:15 PM   Edit   Profile  

Hey Teledan.

Not to side track your thread, but how are those Pit Bull kits?

There's a thinline tele there that caught my eye...

I recently bought some Tru Oil from those guys for my last build. (pics in my profile)

btw, I used to live in the Nation's Capital too!

Contributing Member


Aug 9th, 2017 10:42 PM   Edit   Profile  

Hi Mick,

So far I've built a 6 string Gr*e*ch hollowbody & a 4 string bass in the same style. Also the R*ck type hollowbody kits.

I'm impressed with the fit and hardware supplied, Used TV Jones wiring harnesses on the hollowbodies and they worked out awesome.

I have a great setup guy who helps me fine tune them once they're built so as long as I get the basics right I'm fine - Setting the necks is a bit nerve wracking :-)

I love doing the sanding and finishing, Very therapeutic.

Another one I've built

Contributing Member


Aug 9th, 2017 10:52 PM   Edit   Profile  

Finished kit

Kit build

Contributing Member

New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Aug 11th, 2017 03:42 PM   Edit   Profile  

Sounds like you're really getting in to this. Practice on a piece of scrap once you get your template. It is well worth the time you spend putting pickup routes into a scrap piece of wood. If you buy templates, you want to use those templates to make additional working templates and keep the original as a master template. Mistakes happen and templates get damaged. There's a sequence involving a number of bits to step your way down to the desired depth 1/8th inch or less at a time. Using a router becomes such an integral part of guitar building. Its kits now but sooner or later you'll take the next step and start building your own bodies and necks. It inevitable.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
Aug 12th, 2017 06:56 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks Teledan.
Good to hear the kits are decent quality.
May have to consider one of the Tele kits one day.

So far my "building" has basically consisted of parts assembly but with my own contouring of the body and retro-fitting necks and so on.

I now do my own fret levelling & set up work too though. I guess *I'm* the real "work in progress" :^)

Contributing Member


Aug 13th, 2017 08:22 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks guys,

It's good fun and therapeutic I find :-) Also a good way of trying out different things.

Good idea re the templates wrnchbndr

I see watching a bunch of youtube vids re routing in my future.

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Telebass build - Need pickup/routing advice

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