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Hand engraving a pickup cover.

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  • Hand engraving a pickup cover.

    Iím teaching myself how to hand engrave metal, and had to make a pickup cover and tailpiece (aluminum and brass respectively) so I thought to give it a go and make a video. Not something I would recommend for production work, lol! It came out ok, but I still have lots to learn.


  • #2
    It's really nice to watch how that metal curls up off the graver and I really do appreciate the skill this takes having tried this myself. I think it leaves a strong signature - the hand of the maker - that etching or machine engraving just doesn't do. Was this for a customer of for yourself?

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    • #3
      I have much respect for your skills and artwork, but need to mention that solid aluminum used as cover for magnetic PUs will considerably dull sound by eddy currents.
      For PU covers thin nickelsilver is the best choice because of its low electrical conductivity.
      - Own Opinions Only -

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      • #4
        This was for my guitar, but I'll eventually sell it as it's not being used much.

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        • #5
          I was hoping the aluminum cover would dull the sound, lol. I'm using neo magnets with a fairly low wind for this acoustic guitar and it is super bright sounding. I may even try adding a resister/cap set up to warm it up a bit!

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          • #6
            Hi Tony what kind of engraver setup are you using? You make it look so easy.
            Cheers
            Andrew

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            • #7
              Originally posted by the great waldo View Post
              Hi Tony what kind of engraver setup are you using? You make it look so easy.
              Cheers
              Andrew
              Hi Andrew,
              It all started with the stereo microscope oddly. I bought it second hand for a good price thinking it would help with pickup r&d (which it does). Then I noticed engravers use them quite a bit so I thought I would give it a try and sourced what I could afford. The pneumatic hand piece is from ebay. Years ago I found an old airbrush compressor by a dumpster and then rigged it so there is no air intake. Just sucking and pumping the same air. The vise was the most expensive part. I made the sharpening jigs myself. Definitely easier than hand push or hammer and chisel!

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              • #8
                Hi Tony

                Thanks. Any chance of a photo of the handpiece just to get a rough idea what to look for ?

                Cheers
                Andrew

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by the great waldo View Post
                  Hi Tony

                  Thanks. Any chance of a photo of the handpiece just to get a rough idea what to look for ?

                  Cheers
                  Andrew
                  Hereís the link. Note that if you want to use any other type of graver (round or square) youíre going to need to grind the back end to fit or make a custom collet, which is what I did.

                  https://www.ebay.ca/itm/143145910916

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for that Tony. It's a nice design and great price. I'm definitely up for one.
                    Cheers
                    Andrew

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