Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Finshing the Lollar El Rayo and Cavalier Pickup Install on the Tele

I have a new pickguard for the blue Tele. Needed to put shielding on this one, so I just used spray adhesive (3M "45") and aluminum foil.

I do have some copper shielding, but I was too cheap this time to use it. The aluminum works just about the same way, and especially on a pickguard it's not as critical as a control or pickup cavity.

Used a wooden roller to smooth it out, still wrinkly but who will see it?

Stuck the new Lollar El Rayo onto the pickguard.

Wait until you see the pickup cover.

Like most of the universe, I use audio ("A," or logarithmic) taper pots for volume controls. And linear ("B") taper for tone.

But the only log taper 250K pot with a switch on hand has a splined shaft, such as you would use on a Strat or any knob with splines. Our wonderful Rutters knurled knobs have set screws and they'd be wobbly on a splined shaft.

Not to panic.

A few strokes with a file in the spot where I want the set screw to be and we're all set.

I like the set screws to face straight up when the volume and tone are all the way up. That way I have a visual reference.

That's where I filed that 'flat' on the volume control shaft.

And - it fits perfectly and doesn't wobble!

One other slight repair to do.

The screw hole for one of the screws on the control plate is stripped, so the plate isn't held down tightly. You may have experienced this on screws that go straight into the wood.

I'm using a trick from Dan Erlewine's repair book for this fix.

Put some medium CA into the hole. I only had black on hand - color doesn't matter.

I suggest masking off anything you don't want to get glue on :-)

Wipe off the excess glue, then break some toothpicks into pieces.

Stick them down into the superglue-filled hole.

Let the repair dry.

When the glue is dry, cut the toothpicks off level with the guitar.

I'm using a flexible flush-cut saw. It's really sharp; you have to handle it with care or it will become a flesh-cutting saw.

I ran a bit of 150 grit sandpaper over the toothpicks to ensure the fill was level.

Here it is. A nice filled screw hole.

I didn't bother drilling a pilot hole - the screw cut into the soft toothpick wood easily.

It's a nice tight fit now.

Since I had adjusted the neck flat in order to do the fret level, I need to adjust the truss rod after I string it up to pitch.

Now you see why I cut that new access slot into the body. I can just put an adjustment tool right into the end of the rod without removing the neck.

All done.

I got the El Rayo pickup with a pearl cover to match the new pearl pickguard! Pretty cool. Lollar sells a bunch of different varieties for the cover...including tortoise. Hmmmmm.

Another shot of the guitar.

How are the pickups?

The El Rayo is simply amazing! Plenty of power and the best clarity I've heard from a humbucker - nice clean round top end. Very balanced. With the tone rolled off, it does a good jazz guitar imitation. With the stud coil cut, the tone is the same - just quieter, which tells you something about the basic tone of the pickup. I'm loving it!

The Cavalier is equally great. Really clean and twangy on the 'Bakersfield' tap, just like the name implies. And the 'Fat Lion' is fantastic. Lots of power, more midrange, but the treble is still smooth.


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