Internal pickups - where do you put the jack?

Tele295Tele295 San Buenaventura (Latcho Drom), CA✭✭✭ Gitane DG300, D500
On flattops, convential jack placement would be in the strap button hole, halfway between the soundboard and back. However, this placement on a Selmac-type would require drilling through the tailpiece. What does everybody do for this? Any pictures would be helpful.
Jill Martini Soiree - Gypsy Swing & Cocktail Jazz


  • TomThumbsTomThumbs NebraskaNew
    Posts: 68
    That's what I did with my K&K pickup's jack. I would recommend drilling the hole in the tail piece first, off the guitar, and using a piece of scrap wood as a backer. The half inch bit I had to use wanted to catch the metal of the tail piece and distort it. Go slowly.
    I also had a heck of a time getting the jack into position and secured.....had to enlist the services of my 15 yr. old.......I have such massive arms, you see. :-)

    Have fun,
    Why do they call it a rest stroke......I get tired every time I try playing like that.
  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    Posts: 1,252
    Yes, unless you want to mess up the brass of the tailpiece - definitely back it. In fact, if you really want it to be clean, sandwich it between two pieces of wood (clamp them and clamp the whole thing down - like in a vise etc.) and drill through all three pieces. Drill bits love to kick and rip when they hit different material densities; particularly when you're using larger bits. In brass, if you don't create good shear-planes by clamping dual backers, it'll even heat-up and begin to extrude the brass. Oh, and don't drill-off the third tailpiece mounting screw unless you're replacing it with the jack... (i.e., if the brass of the tailpiece goes all the way around the jack) because that third screw is the most important of the three (structurally)

    Oh, and drill slow. Metal milling speeds are way way slower than optimum wood drilling speeds. 300-500rpm is about right for brass sheeting of that thickness so slow down when you get near the brass - or if you have an adjustable drill - set the RPM slower.

    Be careful drilling that end block... crack it and you're hosed.
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
  • Dr. HallDr. Hall Green Bay, WisconsinNew
    Posts: 65
    If you've drilled end block holes on flat tops before, you probably already know this, but it bears repeating for anyone else reading this thread and considering their own drilling jobs.

    Be careful not to crack the surrounding lacquer or splinter the wood when drilling the end-block hole! You're going to need the sharpest drill bit (is a brad point bit the best?) and a very steady and strong hand. Secure the guitar somehow other than just wedging it between your thighs and diving in. I'd put tape over the spot as well when drilling to reduce splintering.

    Anyway . . . .
  • Tele295Tele295 San Buenaventura (Latcho Drom), CA✭✭✭ Gitane DG300, D500
    Posts: 629
    Anybody have some pictures?
    Jill Martini Soiree - Gypsy Swing & Cocktail Jazz
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