How to Build a Guitar Pickup (Part 1)


what’s up guys it’s chase from chases
workshop and in this video series I’m gonna go through how I build my pickup
so we’re actually going to go through and I’m gonna go step by step of
creating a pickup it’s probably gonna be two or three videos long I’m not sure
how long a series it will be I’m just gonna go through all the different
parties and when we get down we’re gonna put them and this guitar that I’ve been
this guitar I’ve been working on for a little while and hopefully we can get
them in there and see what they sound like and maybe go from there I will say
this I am no expert at building pickups so there is a mountain of information
online about how to get different sounds and stuff like that and in this video
I’m not gonna be going through that I’m just going to be going through now I
build a pickup and how I make one that putting the guitar to make it sound to
make to make noise but like I said there’s a lot of videos out there that
you can you can watch and get different ideas but we’re gonna go through some of
the steps that I take in this video and some of the parts setting you so hope
you enjoy and thanks for watching all right guys the first thing I want to
go over with building to pick up something what I do is is to get
yourself a journal and pad of paper notes on your iPhone anything anything
to work but when you build pickups you know when I build this pickup if I put a
name on here if I put a number on here and I write that number on here and I
coordinate what I did to that pickup you know put how many how many wraps wire it
up put on it which way did I wrap it what polarity is it what type magnet
should I use it’s a countless number of things that
can go into a pickup that can change the sound so once I build that pickup and
I’m documenting what I was in it once I put it in a guitar if it sounds great
and I want to make another one just like it or resemble it I can go back and I
can I can see what I what I used to make that so I really think that’s probably
one of the most important things are guys the next thing I want to go over is
is the flat work that we’re going to be using to build these pickups and on
these pickups the ones I’ve been building the bottom flat work is thicker
than the top flat work so this bottom flat work is
three thirty-seconds in the top is 1/16 inch thick I just bought the parts from
I bought plates of that those Sigma thicknesses from Stu matcom I want to
say these were around five dollars a sheet so not too bad I could probably
get you know eight or nine pickups have one of these for the back plate on this
on the bridge pickup I use I just bought a sheet of copper 1/16 inch copper sheet
from eBay and I think this was twenty twenty and thirty dollars and I will say
that I did I use the CNC machine to cut cut these parts out but don’t let that
discourage you because you can buy all these parts from anywhere online
embalming you bay Amazon just about just about anywhere to get started okay for
this for these pickups we’re going to be building we’re going to be using these
alnico five bar magnets and I got these from – Mac – and I can’t remember the
price on them but once you buy so many you that you get a discount I think I
bought this set I bought enough to build like four pickups and so I’ve got enough
here to build two more pickups but you can buy different different magnets give
different tones and like I said there’s a mountain of information on stuff like
that on line four if you want to get a different this top tone use this type
magnet you know all kinds of stuff about that so if you’re interested in that
just look online for some things around getting different tones out of the pick
up some stuff hi guys the next thing I want to go over is this eyelet setting
tooling bit we’re gonna be using this to to build on these pickups and I bought
this from Stuart MacDonald and all it is is is a it comes with it’s a kit that
comes with a drill bit that’s the right diameter for the eyelets and here’s the
eyelets and then here’s the punch and what I’m talking about here is is right
here where these where these wires go in right here there’s you have to have a
spot to solder to so you put that eyelet and then you smash it down then we wrap
your wire on before you start wrapping the pickup
and when you put your wire in there and you solder it it has a spot for it to
actually hook to I can’t marry how much the kit was I want to say it was over
$20 but it’s well worth it and there’s something once you buy the actual punch
and the drill bit you just buy more eyelets and so I mean it’s a little bit
of an investment but it’s it’s well worth it our guys the next thing I want
to go over is the the wire that we’re gonna be using for these pickups and
this is actually a timko 42 gauge check it where you can
see it timco 42 gauge about this on ebay you know I don’t remember the price on I
think it was $25 or something like that I did both of these pickups right here
off of this this one right here Borja gauge that’s that’s what when I
started out this people said that to start out using 42 gauge so that’s what
I’ve been doing and it seems to be working working fine so alright guys the
next thing is we’re gonna go through some of the tools that I used to put
these things together and I’m gonna say probably the one of the one of the main
things that’s really important on especially finally like polarities and
stuff like that other pickups this is just a simple comp compass I like
there’s there’s a guy on a youtube name wills easy guitar and he goes through a
lot better than I thought and I’ll ever be able to and he’s the one I learned
from you know like degauss and pickups and checking polarity and changing the
polarity of pickups and stuff and he’s got a lot of great videos on there and a
lot of what I’ve learned about building pickups I’ve learned from him so I would
highly recommend you check out some of his videos on that on that subject the
next thing that we’re going to use is I’m gonna go over it
this is magnets and they’re they’re rare earth magnets you can I bought these
from Stu Mac I think they’re actually made for like acoustic guitar repair or
something but they’re extremely strong and this is what we’ll be using to
actually charge the pickups and you know if I won’t want to be north polarity and
one be south polarity then change it with this and like I said and
previously was as wills easy guitar he goes over all this stuff and probably a
lot more debt in depth to not be able to but I so check to check some his stuff
out on that the next thing is just some simple pickup wire tape I mean you can
buy this stuff anywhere I bought this much to make because well about a lot of
my these parts to build these from Steve Mac but it’s very helpful helpful
especially on you know when I put it on up on this pickup I put it inside here
when I put the top on on this one I just used just some cotton yarn and wrapped
around it before I potted it so you can get some this if you want to this I
think it’s really really good to have especially if you’re you know if you
have a mistake or something you can you can lot of times you can use this tape
to fix it the next thing I want to go over is some lacquer and this is extra
gloss guitar lacquer I suppose this is what I’ve been using for these pickups
you can probably use any kind of lacquer varnish anything like that but what it’s
for is is once we once we build the pickup once we get the bottom flat
working the top flat work on the pickup with the magnets in it but we don’t have
any wires or nothing on it’s just flat working magnets we’re gonna take it
we’re going to dip it into our lacquer then we’re going to let it sit for a
minute they’re gonna pull it out and let hang the drive and all that’s going to
do is this put a protective coating over everything so I’ll put it over the
magnets over the flat work and all that kind of stuff but the last thing that I
want to go over the top that I use is once we once we have to pick up done we
have we have a pickup that looks like this right here we’re actually gonna
take it in pot it and there’s a lot of videos on YouTube of how to pot pot of
pickups and stuff but all I use is is a 80% paraffin wax and 20% beeswax and I
bought I bought both of those on eBay you had to search paraffin wax but you
know I think four or five pounds of it and then I bought a is like a bag of
beeswax there were like these little pebbles and
I just weighed them out and put them in there and there’s play a lot more
chemistry involved in that than I do but I just kind of just I weighed it and put
it in there but like I said I was close to an 80/20 mix between 80% paraffin wax
20% beeswax and once we get that we’ll take it and I actually have a old fry
daddy that I put water in and I put a little it’s like a little canister that
sits inside of it with the wax in it and it’s kind of creaks like a double boiler
and with that and the thermometer stuck in though in the wax to make sure we’re
not getting it too hot so like that and then you just take it and dip it in
there let it sit for however long I think it’s I’ll let it sit there too the
bubbles quit I kind of moved around if the bubbles stopped coming out of it I
know it’s pretty close um well as he’s a guitar he uses actually a vacuum system
and I’d like to eventually maybe get to that to that point I feel like that
would probably be a lot more efficient than just letting us sit in there but
this is all I have now so hopefully maybe in the future all right guys
that’s about it for this video in the next video we’re actually going to go
through I’m gonna I’m gonna show you how to cut out all the flat work install the
magnets dip it in the lacquer we’re going to go through the process and
hopefully maybe by the the third video we’re actually be winding the pickup on
the picket wire that that I showed you guys how to build in my first ever
youtube video if you have any questions about any of this stuff just let me know
if you have any ideas of how to make any of this stuff that I’m doing better
please let me know if you if you’re going to get into the different top
tones and stuff in the pickups I would obviously just suggest getting on
youtube and getting online and searching there’s a mountains of information about
different techniques and stuff that you can do to your pickups to get different
tones and stuff like that in this video I’m not gonna get into all that I’m just
gonna basically we’re just gonna build a pickup and I’m gonna just try to show
you my foundation to where maybe you can change some things to get your sound if
we you want well I hope you enjoy guys and if you like it please subscribe
thanks for watching

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