Semi Hollow Wiring

Discussion in 'Tech Tips' started by tomringg, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. tomringg

    tomringg Well-Known Member

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    This was linked on the Firefly FB page. I have heard of wires, string, etc. But the tubing looks interesting!

     
  2. tomringg

    tomringg Well-Known Member

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    Exposure bump...
     
  3. msc_

    msc_ Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I've seen the tubing method before and I think TV Jones may even sell a kit for it ( https://tvjones.com/products/tube-kit-for-tone-pot-harness ). Over the past few years, I've been using mini connectors instead of soldering at the pots for hollow and semi-hollow body guitars. Many manufacturers use the connectors as part of a stock harness. If I were to solder onto the pots, I would like to try the tubing method. I've used string and wire and have been through a lot of de-tangling and part slippage.
     
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  4. idiotsdelight

    idiotsdelight Well-Known Member

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    I use to use dental floss. It required being careful because it was so light made it easy to accidentally pull out.

    I use the tubing now. It's super cheap too. I found a bunch on ebay.

    I have that big hollowbody husk on it's way & the plan is to make it serviceable. I'm gonna do the quick-connect thing for the pickups. I'm imagining that the pickup routes are large enough to get a hand in & the body deep enough that I'll have the ability to work on it. We'll see Thurs.
     
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  5. uglyvw

    uglyvw Well-Known Member

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    I used the tubing on my 335 and it worked pretty well, still a pita, but manageable. I didn't do quick connects, but did a pigtail from my pots long enough to reach the f hole and connected my pickups there so it wouldn't be as big of a hassle if I wanted to change pickups in the future.
     
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  6. idiotsdelight

    idiotsdelight Well-Known Member

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    What do you guys use/recommend for the quick-connects? Thought I had some saved on the Bay.
     
  7. Mr. Leyvatone

    Mr. Leyvatone Well-Known Member

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    Word. I used floss to rewire my Epi Dot. In hindsight I think a soft cotton twine would be ideal.
     
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  8. Manodano

    Manodano Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    There's a lot of aggravation in this job. I have to do it when I'm relaxed, not rushed, and not distracted, or I'm going to break the Third Commandment at least a few dozen times, and I worry that my quota is already about used up. You drinking men need to not have too much beer, nor too little beer, and if you smoke, satisfy your craving before taking this on. I could go further and suggest that an intimate moment with your life partner might be just the thing to put you in the relaxed but focused mood needed for this task, but really, I'll leave that up to you and yours as long as you leave me out of it.

    Anyway, after you do this job a couple of times you might get the hang of working through the f-hole. Here's how I did it last time:

    1) make a cardboard template with all the holes spaced exactly the same as the guitar, and mount the pots, jack, and switch on the cardboard and wire the assembly with a very little slack in the wire;
    2) remove the assembly from the cardboard template, lay it on a rag on the guitar body then solder the pickup wires to the assembly;
    3) carefully start feeding the assembly through the f-hole, the input jack, switch, and furthest pot first. If you can get the whole assembly to remain oriented and spaced properly, you're getting ahead of the game;
    4) I install the jack first, then the furthest pot, the switch, etc.
    5) Here's where my technique is a little different: I make a little flexible "spatula"type tool using mechanics wire, fish it through the f-hole, get it under the jack, switch or pot, and use it to guide/lift the jack/switch/pot up to its hole. When the shaft peeks out of its hole, I have a telescoping magnet in my other hand that I use to grab the shaft and pull the part up until I can get ahold of it with my "spatula" hand. I then get the washer and nut on it just tight enough to keep it suspended until all the other parts are captured.
    6) Once you get a couple of parts in place, the other parts will be in the vicinity of their holes, and should be less trouble to get captured than the first couple of parts.
    7) If you have a Harbor Freight near by, the tools you need will set you back $0.99
    a4441bea8e6e233fe31c417743314f2a.jpg
    and $3.99

    10f491a3d6271562347ecd9bf2afaebf.jpg
     
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  9. peskypesky

    peskypesky Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    There's no way in hell I could ever have the patience to re-wire a semi-hollow. I'd smash the guitar to pieces for sure.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
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  10. uglyvw

    uglyvw Well-Known Member

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    I tell folks that rewiring a 335 will let you know exactly why it's called a F hole.
     
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  11. peskypesky

    peskypesky Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    :tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy:
     
  12. SamIV

    SamIV Well-Known Member

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    I use dental floss and only mint flavor, as the aroma puts me in a special place. Well anyway, I do use dental floss. After a couple tries it is quite easy.

    For the jack I use a long enough piece of rigid wire that I slide through the jack hole to reach past the F hole. I slide the wire through through jack, slide a large washer onto the rigid wire behind the jack, then affix something to not allow the washer to come off. Then just pull the jack through the hole, put the nut on, tighten it up and pull the rigid wire back through the f-hole. Easy peasy. The dental floss I use for the switch and pots. It’s not that difficult, just takes patience.
     
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  13. Mr. Leyvatone

    Mr. Leyvatone Well-Known Member

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    Here's a tip, in case anyone is overlooking this obvious step...

    If you use the string/floss method, start by tying the string to the old component before you pull it out.

    Use something on the loose end of the string/floss to keep it from pulling through the hole (I use spare washers).

    Definitely use a pre-soldered harness...ain't nobody got time/patience to rewire a S/H with the complication of soldering as well. I recommend GFS pups and harnesses.

    Then when you're ready to pull the new components through, tie them to the correct string, and just pull them into place.

    A guitar with a plated control cavity is certainly much easier, but rewiring a semi-hollow is not as wickedly difficult as I believe many are making it out to be. That being said, I do love the jokes about the difficulty of the task. :)
     
  14. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    FYI, HD/Lowes has the tubing you need on big rolls that you can purchase by the foot...
     
  15. peskypesky

    peskypesky Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    you use your feet to buy things?
     
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  16. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Usually my charm is sufficient and so no need to rely on my good looks...
     
  17. idiotsdelight

    idiotsdelight Well-Known Member

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    Good to know.

    Delivered to my door from China was probably comparable. :)
     
  18. andrewsrea

    andrewsrea Well-Known Member

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    Semi-hollows are about the most difficult, but have done okay with fishing line, knowing the sequence of how the stuff needs to go in / on and, patience.
     
  19. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

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    Screw it! I'm just going to cut a gibson LP backplate into it an be done :)
     
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  20. SamIV

    SamIV Well-Known Member

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    Someone here had a custom semi-hollowed built with a back plate. Can’t remember who though.
     

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