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Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

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  • Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    Add tips and tricks that you use to make guitar/pickup work easier.


    I use needle-nose pliers when to pull and guide the wires when I'm soldering pickups, so I don't burn my fingers.

    Also this:
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    When I solder pots I use this cheap clamp.
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    Last edited by 80's_Metal; 11-08-2019, 06:51 AM.
    Go buy my book. https://www.amazon.com/dp/198405564X

  • #2
    Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    A hockey glove?
    I use my fingers and take my glasses off so as to be able to put the surface of my cornea as close to the area being soldered to be able to see what I am doing.
    That little puff of smoke from the flux is always a thrill.

    Sent from my Alcatel_5044C using Tapatalk

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    • #3
      Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

      Pliers
      Pre tin parts to be soldered ( light coat of solder on wire and or pot )
      I pull the parts out of the guitar and set the on the back of the guitar
      With a clothespin gripping the knobless pot to hold it still
      A small piece of cardboard under all the parts so tha the guitar finish doesn't get burned

      Cheezits of course

      I turn the TOM bridge backwards so that the adjustment screws face the tailpiece
      Makes it easier to access than over the pickup
      EHD
      Just here surfing Guitar Pron
      RG2EX1 w/ SD hot-rodded pickups / RG4EXFM1 w/ Carvin S22j/b + FVN middle
      SR500 / Martin 000CE-1/Epiphone Hummingbird
      Epiphone Florentine with OEM Probuckers
      Ehdwuld branded Blue semi hollow custom with JB/Jazz
      Reptile Green Gibson Custom Studio / Aqua Dean Shire semi hollow with piezo
      Carvin Belair / Laney GC80A Acoustic Amp (a gift from Guitar Player Mag)
      GNX3000 (yea I'm a modeler)

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      • #4
        Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

        I loosen the strings and use a guitar slide or small glass wedged between the strings and the neck at the top fret so I can pull the pickups out without removing the strings. I use a terminal strip to connect the pickups to the pots and switches while testing pickups and don’t solder them in until I found the set that works best. If im doing a wiring scheme I’ve never tried before, I’ll wire the whole thing with alligator wires to make sure it works and does what I think it will do. I spend the time tinning all the contact points and wires before soldering. Makes it go faster and more reliable when I actually solder.
        Originally posted by Demanic
        Incompetence is widespread in a world that rewards mediocrity while punishing excellence.
        Originally posted by GuitarFanatic
        I am currently using Skullcandy headphones I found in the garbage.
        I did find the DS-1 in the garbage.
        I once found a guitar amp in the garbage, a Peavey Studio 110. It caught fire at the first gig I played it at.. But it was at the end of it, thank god.

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        • #5
          Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

          When I'm soldering stuff to a pot or a switch , I always undo it from the guitar and pull it out of the cavity, and then I'll set a pair of needle nose pliers sitting lengthwise on top.of the cavity and open them just enough so the shaft of the pot can fit thru, but the back of the pot can't, so the needle nose are holding them in a nice position for me. Just need to be careful you don't scratch the finish.

          I'll also take the roll of solder and unroll it quite a ways and twist it about until the end of it is sitting right next to the thing I'm soldering.

          Those "extra hand" things (bendable arms with alligator clips on them) are super handy(haw-haw) too, unfortunately I don't have one anymore but it's awesome for holding stuff in place while you work.



          Originally posted by ehdwuld View Post

          I turn the TOM bridge backwards so that the adjustment screws face the tailpiece
          Makes it easier to access than over the pickup
          They still intonate properly when you do that ? I'll have to try it, would make life much easier.

          Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
          Last edited by BeKindRewind; 11-08-2019, 03:20 AM.

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          • #6
            Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

            Better than needle nose pliers are hemoststs. You can lock them on the wire you're trying to hold. It frees up a hand for other tasks.
            Originally Posted by IanBallard
            Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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            • #7
              Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

              These are all great ideas boys!

              Now if we could figure out a good way to start screws into the pickups.... Like a tiny spring compressor or something.

              Gosh maybe GuitarDocs hemostat idea!
              Last edited by 80's_Metal; 11-08-2019, 09:02 AM.
              Go buy my book. https://www.amazon.com/dp/198405564X

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              • #8
                Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

                Originally posted by 80's_Metal View Post
                These are all great ideas boys!

                Now if we could figure out a good way to start screws into the pickups.... Like a tiny spring compressor or something.

                Gosh maybe Guitar docs hemostat idea!
                Yeah, there's no "good way" for it but you get your own technique for it. you always have to have spare springs because there's always a good chance one will go flying into the same black hole where picks go when you drop them.

                Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk

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                • #9
                  Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

                  Originally posted by BeKindRewind View Post
                  Yeah, there's no "good way" for it but you get your own technique for it. you always have to have spare springs because there's always a good chance one will go flying into the same black hole where picks go when you drop them.


                  I shot the same spring onto the floor 8 times last night swapping one into the plastic faceplate on my Gibson V!
                  Ha ha ha
                  Go buy my book. https://www.amazon.com/dp/198405564X

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                  • #10
                    Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

                    use reamers on a drill when enlarging tuning peg mounting holes. if no reamers are available, I chock on a round file of aproximate size and run it in reverse to keep from binding/ripping the peghead apart.

                    using feeler gages to match the height of the 1st fret, add another .010 or so. use feeler gage as a depth marker of sorts when filing nut slots.

                    about all I can think of right now..

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                    • #11
                      Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

                      I use EVA craft foam laid out to organize my electrical components and parts once I'm in build mode. I poke the components legs into the foam and sometimes label with a sharpie on the foam by group or value etc.

                      It makes building out guitar and pedal electronic WAY faster once you have a hot iron in your hand -instead of drawing from a bin or trying to read a label etc....

                      hard to see unless you look close at the blue resistors and chips poked into the foam

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                      Last edited by NegativeEase; 11-08-2019, 09:46 AM.
                      “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

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                      • #12
                        Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

                        I thought of another one, this one is pretty easy and everyone probly already knows it but having several paper disposable cups to put screws and springs and things like that in helps. Or a magnet. Also having a long telescoping magnet stick can help you find stuff you drop , or save you from bending over and picking it up. And definitely helps if you drop something inside a hollow body or whatever.

                        Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk

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                        • #13
                          Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

                          I bought a Kinder-mat from Wal-Mart to lay a guitar on top of while working on it. It is a padded sleep mat they sell for kindergarten students that folds up. I store it under the table I work on.
                          Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                          • #14
                            Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

                            I block my floyd when changing strings. This way you can pull them all off, clean the fretboard, and the whole process is very simple. Apparently some people don't do this. They are insane people.
                            Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

                            Originally posted by Douglas Adams
                            This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

                              Originally posted by Mincer View Post
                              I bought a Kinder-mat from Wal-Mart to lay a guitar on top of while working on it. It is a padded sleep mat they sell for kindergarten students that folds up. I store it under the table I work on.
                              That reminds me, my local hardware store and sporting goods stores sell padded felt mats for doing gun maintenance -so it's in the gun cleaning section but it's likely very similar to a kindergarten matt you describe.

                              These can't be any more perfect for GUITAR maintenance -they are sold in 6' rolls 18" wide and are 5/8" thick . - 80sMetal might have some of these lying around the garage already judging from his hunter pics

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                              Last edited by NegativeEase; 11-08-2019, 11:22 AM.
                              “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

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