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how reasonable is it to widen a pickup route with a dremel


twotimingpete

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I plan to use a dremmel to swimming pool an MIM Standard body. I don't anticipate any real problems other than taking some extra time.

 

 

Yikes. Router base or free hand? Honestly that I'd tackle with a router or chisel.

 

The ingenuity of a guitarist with a plan is always something to be admired.

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Chisels do take a bit of finesse to use well. They are also real easy, if you are not safety conscience, to have one slip and gouge the {censored} out of your hand.


Dremel tools, sanders, mill bits, etc. because of the rotation, tend to be a little wiggly and (for me) take a little practice to use precisely.

 

 

If you slip and gouge the {censored} out of your hand while you are chiseling out a pickup route, you are seriously using the wrong tools and lack the finesse required for performing these types of tasks.

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When I installed the GFS Mean 90 set in my walnut Michael Kelly Patriot I decided to do away with the direct mounting and install a set of cream pickup rings so I could adjust the height of the Mean 90s as needed. I used my Dremel fitted with a 1/8" cylindrical cutting head to deepen the routs under the adjustment screws so they would have the clearance to rotate freely. It worked out perfectly. I have a lot of experience with the Dremel though so I also recommend practicing with a block of wood before going to work on your guitar. The trick is to have a firm grip with your hand braced solidly against the guitar body. And don't try to take too much out with each pass. If you smell burning wood lighten your touch and make smaller passes.

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If you slip and gouge the {censored} out of your hand while you are chiseling out a pickup route, you are seriously using the wrong tools and lack the finesse required for performing these types of tasks.

 

 

Are you questioning my ability to gouge the {censored} out of my hand?

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No, no. Not at all. Hand gouging is an art. There are many surprising and creative ways in which one can gouge their hands.

 

 

As I like to say: "No automotive repair or maintenance project is complete without a blood sacrifice." With guitars I seem to make more burnt offerings in the form of soldering iron burns.

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Either a chisel or dremel will work OK, but I'd suggest there's less likelihood of doing major damage with a dremel: the worst that can happen is to slightly overdo things or scuff the finish. With a chisel you really could split the body if hammered carelessly.

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what about marking off the areas that need to be removed, then drilling the {censored} out of them with a drill, then using a chisel to knock out the honeycomb?

 

 

You gonna use a template, like these?

 

Here

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what about marking off the areas that need to be removed, then drilling the {censored} out of them with a drill, then using a chisel to knock out the honeycomb?

 

 

That's what I did. Drill first, then hit it with the big flat screwdriver... um, "chisel".

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Either a chisel or dremel will work OK, but I'd suggest there's less likelihood of doing major damage with a dremel: the worst that can happen is to slightly overdo things or scuff the finish. With a chisel you really could split the body if hammered carelessly.

 

 

Any tool can cause damage if used carelessly. The Dremel can be quite destructive as well when used carelessly.

 

If you're using a four pound mallet and a big ass chisel and you just hammer away then you are running with the possibility of splitting the guitar. In any case it's not the fault of the tools being used. With an appropriate sized hammer and a sharp, suitably sized chisel you'd have to work pretty damn hard to do any real damage or any damage at all.

 

I think it strange that people assume chiseling is inherently more dangerous than a high RPM tool. Tools only do what the operator makes them do.

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Any tool can cause damage if used carelessly. The Dremel can be quite destructive as well when used carelessly.


If you're using a four pound mallet and a big ass chisel and you just hammer away then you are running with the possibility of splitting the guitar. In any case it's not the fault of the tools being used. With an appropriate sized hammer and a sharp, suitably sized chisel you'd have to work pretty damn hard to do any real damage or any damage at all.


I think it strange that people assume chiseling is inherently more dangerous than a high RPM tool. Tools only do what the operator makes them do.

 

 

To me, a dremel type tool is less likely to cause damage because it is used progressively. With a chisel there's a temptation to just lump away at it, and it's much less progressive. Also if the tool is blunt then it will tear wood out instead of cutting - I own a guitar where the previous owner took it to a shop and THEY hacked lumps out to fit a humbucker.

 

IMO a dremel is less likely to result in failure in unskilled hands than a chisel & hammer.

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To me, a dremel type tool is less likely to cause damage because it is used progressively. With a chisel there's a temptation to just lump away at it, and it's much less progressive. Also if the tool is blunt then it will tear wood out instead of cutting - I own a guitar where the previous owner took it to a shop and THEY hacked lumps out to fit a humbucker.


IMO a dremel is less likely to result in failure in unskilled hands than a chisel & hammer.

 

 

Impatience is still not the chisel's fault. If the chisel is blunt you sharpen it. Blunt tools do tear and that is why I specified that sharp chisels be used. Whoever worked on the guitar previously was obviously a noob or a hack which is still not the fault of the chisel.

 

Most problems are caused by people who lack patience. not the tools they are using. I am not trying to argue which is better, I am just saying that chisels are not anywhere near as dangerous as some make them out to be. I use either or depending on what I am doing.

 

Any tool will require that you practice and build up your technique before you actually go to town on a project. If you use the wrong tools for a job, or the right tools the wrong way, it's not the fault of the tools.

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what about marking off the areas that need to be removed, then drilling the {censored} out of them with a drill, then using a chisel to knock out the honeycomb?

I can confirm this works perfectly, but I probably spent longer sharpening the chisel than I did doing the actual 'routing'...play it safe.

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