Does anyone make custom pickup covers?

Floyd Pink

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Does anyone know a supplier that will make a high-quality humbucker cover with custom pole spacing? I have a vintage MIJ Les with very narrow spacing. Impossible to find off the shelf parts. I don't mind paying a few bucks to get the job done right. Must be nickel.
 

cooljuk

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Pickup covers are deep drawn. It's a machining process with a series of stamps and dies that allows for a single flat sheet of metal to take a shape like a pot or pan with 45 degree sides, without tearing.


The cost of design and tooling is in the tens of thousands so you won't find someone who will bang out a handful of covers for you. It would be cheaper to replace the pickups with a perfect set of vintage double cream factory covered 1959 PAFs.


IF you can find a raw nickel cover with no holes that will physically fit your pickup/ring/mount, you might be able to find a machinist with a gang drill or milling machine to locate and create the pole screw holes where you want them. Then, you'd have to have the part electroplated and buffed. Even this won't be cheap but it's probably your only bet.


What is the pole spacing you can't find a cover for, though? If there's existing pickups with that spacing on a MIJ Les Paul, the manufacturer probably also made covers. It would be unusual for a manufacturer to make pickups/covers in a non-standard spacing, anyway. I bet there are existing parts out there.
 

Floyd Pink

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I only need a custom pole spacing. They are regular PAF's measuring 47 mm or so.
 

cooljuk

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I only need a custom pole spacing. They are regular PAF's measuring 47 mm or so.

IF you can find a raw nickel cover with no holes that will physically fit your pickup/ring/mount, you might be able to find a machinist with a gang drill or milling machine to locate and create the pole screw holes where you want them. Then, you'd have to have the part electroplated and buffed. Even this won't be cheap but it's probably your only bet.

There are MIK guitars with 47mm pole spacing. Probably cheapest to find a pickup from one on Reverb / eBay and rob the cover.


....or just replace the pickups, if you don't care about originality.
 

Floyd Pink

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Yes, I am sure there are some available out there. It would be very helpful if someone knew a source. Or if anyone knows a luthier or pickup maker out there who is able to punch or drill the holes I would be willing to pay for the job.
 

cooljuk

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You need a machine shop with a gang drill or milling machine to drill the holes. It's a bit outside the scope for a luthier or pickup maker.
 

HogmanA

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Some possible options here.
Blank covers (you will be able to drill by hand).
Also, slotted covers and filtertron style for humbucker so string spacing won't matter. Fairly inexpensive as well reasonable shipping costs. Got to be worth getting a few and experimenting with if you're at all handy with tools.
 

cooljuk

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Try here or email them to see if they can drill for you.


They are a reseller / distributer. Not a manufacturer or machine shop.



OP - just Google "machine shop" along with your city and start calling and asking if they do one-off projects or can recommend someone who will. Most shops won't take on one-offs, especially something so small, but those same shops will also be able to point you towards someone local who will. Once you find someone local to place the holes, ask them for someone local who does small batch or one-off electroplating.
 

HogmanA

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That Philadelphia luthier link above has a raw nickel cover spaced at 48.6mm.
For $7 you might as well try that.
The outer holes will be less than a millimetre off, the A and b string poles less than that.
I think they'll fit, and if not you can slightly elongate the outer edges of both E screw holes.
No one would notice that ever, and raw nickel won't be damaged by working.
Job done!
 

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