P…p…p… picking some pickups…

Every now and then, despite the best efforts to keep him locked out of the workshop, I’m paid an unwelcome visit by the cockup monster. He’s a tenacious little bugger, and if he’s really determined to visit there’s not much you can do to prevent it.

What you can do, is learn to clean up his footprints so nobody but you knows he was ever there*. With a little bit of creativity it can even work to your advantage.

So, exhibit A:

rosewood_p901.jpg rosewood_p902.jpg

One pair of Rosewood P90 pickup covers, made entirely to satisfy my whim, and not at all inspired by a template shifting slightly and making my routes a tad too big for a regular P90 cover…. honest!

These’ll be going in my LP jnr style, which (fingers crossed) will be getting some finish very soon. I’m still trying to decide which P90s to use - I’ve heard great things about Lollar and Fralin, but I’m also tempted by Vintage Vibe.

Any thoughts?

*Unless, of course, you post it on your blog. That might give the game away.

44 Responses to “P…p…p… picking some pickups…”

  1. Ben Says:

    So, how did you do them then? Rout cavity to size then cut the outsides with bandsaw and then sand to final shape?

    I think I’m turning into a bit of a wood freak - wood pickup covers, knobs, tuner heads, I think they’re all great. Specially the stuff I’ve seen by people like Ron Thorn, with the top-matching bobbin toppers.

  2. Ant Says:

    It was a bit fiddlier than that, because the blanks weren’t quite big enough to make the covers from a solid piece.

    Starting with a 8″ x 1.5″ x 5/8th” blank, I sawed it half lengthwise, then chopped about 3/8″ off the ends of each half, creating some little endgrain sections. Then, I resawed each of the large pieces into 3 bits, 1 piece about 1/4″ thick, and 2 bits a little over 1/8″. I glued the short engrain sections onto the 1/4″ slices, to make a kind of square ‘C’ shape - the 1/4″ thickpiece as the top of the cover, and the littel bits as the ends. The grain matched up perfectly because they were from adjacent sections of the blank. Once they’d dried, I popped them in my mini-milling machine, and milled all the faces flat. I glued the 1./8″ slices on to the ‘C’ shapes to make the sides of the cover. Then, I remilled everything flat and square, rounded the corners with a roundover cutter, and bevelled the top edges with a bevel bit. Finally, I used the milling machine to smooth the inside of the cover and bring it to the correct dimensions for the pickup.

    Next time I’ll take photos!

  3. Dave Terry Says:

    Have you thought about trying Bare Knuckle soap bars? I have just finished a similar LP Jnr except with Limba body and neck and used BKP 92 in bridge position and BKP91 at neck and it sounds awesome. A real mean dirty rockin’ guitar, great for classic rock and blues sounds.
    Yours is a great looking guitar, very tidy. Are you going to finish it with gloss or satin?
    Great tutorials on your site by the way.

  4. Matt Says:


    Nice P90 pickup covers. I have a vintage P90 that I want to install in a humbucker slot, looking for a pickup trim ring that will fit in a humbucker slot but cleanly fits the P90 soap bar style pickup. Any ideas?


  5. Brian Says:

    I might be able to make one Matt. If you can deal w/ brass.

  6. David Owen Says:

    These actually do sound real good:



    I had a pickup going thin on me on a ‘61 Junior, and these pickups were so cheap I decided to have a go.
    Result was that the guitar sounded just wonderful - absolutely like vintage recordings of original Juniors.
    I would not hesitate to recommend them at all.
    In appearance and build quality they are also virtually identical to original P-90’s.


    You gotta love humbuckers. You get both benefits, from being in the exact middle of the single coils and humbuckers. And they sounds so soft. Great Blog, I will be forwarding this. Also, is there any forum you´d recommend me to join on this topic?

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