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

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    Underglazed Hair Metalologist 80's_Metal's Avatar
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    Default 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 at 06:51 AM.

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    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
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    Default 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.

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    A Ficus ehdwuld's Avatar
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    Default 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
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    Mojo's Minions beaubrummels's Avatar
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    Default 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 donít solder them in until I found the set that works best. If im doing a wiring scheme Iíve never tried before, Iíll 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.
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    Tone Member BeKindRewind's Avatar
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    Default 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.



    Quote 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.

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    Last edited by BeKindRewind; 11-08-2019 at 03:20 AM.

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    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default 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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    Underglazed Hair Metalologist 80's_Metal's Avatar
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    Default 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 at 09:02 AM.

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    Tone Member BeKindRewind's Avatar
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    Quote 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.

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    Underglazed Hair Metalologist 80's_Metal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    Quote 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

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    Tone Member The_Junior's Avatar
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    Default 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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    Mojo's Minions
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    Default 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 at 09:46 AM.
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    Tone Member BeKindRewind's Avatar
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    Default 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.

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    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default 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.
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    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default 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.
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    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    Quote 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 at 11:22 AM.
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    NOOOOOOOOO. Too easy for a power tool to run amuck. Use a tapered hand reamer---takes a little longer but it always works. What's the hurry?

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Jacew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    Quote Originally Posted by beaubrummels View Post
    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.
    How? What kind of alligator wires you're using to make them fit inside cavity?

    Sounds great idea.
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    Mojo's Minions beaubrummels's Avatar
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    Default Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacew View Post
    How? What kind of alligator wires you're using to make them fit inside cavity?

    Sounds great idea.
    I donít put it all in the cavity. I just wire it up outside and connect the pickup leads to it outside the body. Basically the pickups are the only thing in the body during testing, and I have the entire wiring on a sheet of plastic, cardboard or wood drilled to the same hole pattern as the guitar (that helps me cut the wires to the right length when it come time to solder) - kind of treating the volume/tone stack and switches like an outboard pedal. When it does what I want without problems, Iíll correct whatever drawing I was basing it on and proceed to soldering. Packing the soldered version in the cavity is one of the last steps.
    Quote Originally Posted by Demanic
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    Quote 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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    Mojo's Minions Diego's Avatar
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    The folding sanding paper trick for quick nut slot tune-ups is priceless. Search it on The Vault if you don't know what I'm talking about.
    Also, some pencil graphite in every contact point for the string doesn't hurt.

    Also, always troubleshoot, test and identify before you start ripping cables away. We had a customer deliver us a guitar with a broken jack input, and we were about to open the guitar up when I tested it and it turned out that the jack was OK.
    The guitar had a faulty ground solder and that's what made it noisy. We'd trusted the customer's analysis and forgot to do our own. It happens.
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    Default Re: Working on guitar (Hacks) What do you do to make life easier?

    Quote 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 GuitarDocs hemostat idea!
    What I use

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