I have had several interesting pickups in the shop for repairs lately. This is a pickup from an Alamo Lap Steel with a damaged coil. I always attemp to repair pickups before I resort to rewinding. If the break occurs inside the coil you are out of luck, but if you can find a loose […]
Here is an interesting repair I just finished. This Dearmond 1000 Rhythm Chief was in pretty bad shape. The coil was broken, the wire had deteriorated, the rod had been straightened and shortened, the back of the control case was missing, and the mounting bracket was broken. This pickup has an interesting coil. The 3rd […]
One of my customers brought in this Gibson L-50 wanting to add a pickup but without modifying the guitar and without external wires. Drilling for and endpin jack was acceptable so the challenge was to make pickup thin enough to fit under the strings and mounting it without drilling into the top or fretboard.
To keep the pickup thin I decided that the pole pieces would need to be magnetic rather than mounting the magnet underneath. I don’t have access to short Alnico magnets so I decided to use 1/8″ diameter by 1/4″ rare earth magnets. I machined brass cylinders to hold the magnets and give a more traditional humbucker look and to stagger the polepicese. The bobbins were made with a clear acrylic core and tortoise celluloid top and bottom to match the pickguard. I wound the bibbins with 5000 turns of 43 gauge wire giving an output of 11.5k.
To mount the pickup I made a copy of the existing pickguard that has an extra extension to surround the pickup and mounted a volume and tone thumbwheel pots underneath. The wires from the pickup run behind the pickguard and into the f-hole and out the endpin jack.
I am very pleased with the outcome. The pickup sounds good and the output i well balanced.
This old Silvertone 1420L came into the shop missing a bridge and with a dead bridge pickup. I made a replacement adjustable bridge and set about rewinding the pickup.
These Silvertone pickups are commonly known as “Hershy Bar Pickups”. They can be quite a challenge to rewind because the windings are supported only on one side. I had to make a temporary support on the outside of the bobbin/magnet to allow for winding and then remove the temporary support without damaging the coiled wire. It took a couple of attempts to perfect the process but I finally managed to get the pickup wound and reassembled. I was unable to save the original rivets so I had to turn a replacement set on my Sherline metal lathe.