Control and Pickup Cavities

Before I attach the neck to the body, I will drill and rout the body cavities for the pickups and controls.  I want circular mahogany covers on the back for the controls, so I had to make a circle cutter.  Here it is mounted in the drill press, made of oak, galvanized wood screws and a sawed-off 1/4" bolt.  I cut two nice 2" circles, one for each control (tone and volume).  Yay!

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I used two Forstner bits to bore the control cavities.  First a 2" bit for the covers, then a 1 and 5/8" bit to bore the cavity.

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I saved the pickup cavities for last, after I drilled the bridge screw holes, to make sure the pickups will line up with the strings.  I took out most of the wood the easiest and fastest way I could, using a 1" Forstner bit, down to a depth of 3/4".  Then using a template, I routed the cavity, thinking this was the best way to straighten the sides.  It turned out to be a good way to smooth the bottom of the cavity, but the drum sander was the best way to finish the sides.  Then I used a wood chisel to clean it up, followed by sandpaper on a small block of wood.   The semicircular channels for the mounting posts were cut with a 1/2" Forstner bit.  You can see a 1/4" hole in the far right corner, drilled with a long 1/4" drill bit into one of the control cavities.

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The pickups, tone and volume controls installed.   Here are the tone and volume controls (250kohms each) nestled in their cavities.  I glued in a semicircular piece in the cavity on the right for the jack nut.  The semicircles on the tops of each cavity are spacers so the covers sit flush with the body.

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I wired the pickup, controls and jack using a standard generic wiring scheme:

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The covered cavities:

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