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Squier mods.

A client sent his Squier in for some mods. It needs a fixed bridge, a humbucker bridge pickup and a tele style neck pickup. Of course for that it will also need a new pickguard. It will also have some chrome bits.

So, first thing, I need to plug the whole from the original bridge. I need some wood to screw the new bridge into. Using a piece of leftover American Ash, I made a piece that fit snuggly into the hole, and sits flush on the top of the guitar.


Clamped the guitar and left the glue to dry.


Before I took the old bridge out, I placed some painter's tape to make sure the new one sits roughly in the same place. Here you see how the insert sits against the top.


And in the back.


Tentatively mark where the bridge will be placed.


Routed the space for the humbucker.


And painted the bare wood with some black water based paint.


Now onto the pickguard. First I scanned the old pickguard, and then traced it in CAD. Had to make a few adjustments as the scanner always slightly distorts things. After I was happy with everything and the client gave the OK on the changes in the shape, to hide the insert at the treble side of the bridge, I moved to the CNC machine to cut the pickguard. First I milled the inner holes with a single fluted 2mm bit and then the outside with a single fluted 3mm bit.


Here's the comparison between the old and the new pickguard. The tear at the edges is from the protective film on top of the pickguard material.



And test fitting it, luckily everything fits great. Really tight around the neck!



Time to wind the pickups. The humbucker was wound to be high output, kinda like a SD JB. Around 16k dc resistance. The neck pickup is 8k and both pickups use Alnico 5 magnets.



All assembled, minus the covers, with the coils protected by paper tape (and fabric tape on the humbucker).



Cover soldered on the humbucker.


Test fitting the pickguard with the controls and marked the center line to make sure that later i put the bridge in the correct location.



Test fitting the pickups, still before they were wax potted and the neck pickup is magnetized. 



Beginning the wiring. Added shielding and installed CTS pots, 3 way Fender switch.


Also shielded the inside of the control cavity on the body, and drilled a small hole for the ground wire. It gets stuck between the bridge and the body and runs to the control cavity.



Wax potted both pickups for 10 minutes at ~145 degrees F. Yeah, Fahrenheit, I just memorised the american value instead of the Celsius value hehehe.


 Finishing up the wiring. I could have cut the pickup wire, but I like to leave it longer in case someone later wants to use it for something else. Note the 3d printed base on the neck pickup, Telecaster neck pickups are usually fixed on the body, but to be able to set the height like a normal pickup I designed an adapter to be able to use the pickguard holes like a Stratocaster pickup.

And the final result!




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