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Friday, 8 June 2012

Building a Strat™ pickup set

Thought I’d follow a set of our Strat pickups through the production process just to give everyone the idea exactly how bespoke my products really are!
Firstly the order from the customer … in this case a set of very mildly over-wound vintage style ‘staggers’. I haven’t had much cause to produce staggers with the popularity of my ‘flush magnet’ Triple Blues sets, so a quick order had to be banged out to our magnet suppliers for alnico rod in the right lengths. Note to self to carry more lengths in stock in future!

While the magnets are on route I got on with cutting the flatwork. We use traditional  vulcanised fibre … as real fifties pickups would have used … and, also probably like Leo’s first hand produced ‘steel guitar’ pickups, I hand cut the bobbin blanks using a ‘follow router’ and a set of ‘plugs’ held in specially made jigs. I’ve built Jigs for all the common shapes … from P Bass to Telecaster … and am developing Jaguar and Jazzmaster ones too. One great advantage of this hand cutting process is that I am able to make subtle changes to bobbin specifications very easily to produce 'one offs' for customers. Eight string Strat anyone?
Here you see a pile of Strat flatwork with a couple of ‘stagger ‘magnet sets ready to be assembled.





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