In the last installment I showed you a bass guitar whose screws were so rusty there was no way to extract them.
Since it was a very cheap instrument, I decided not to keep trying to remove the remains of the screws but to drill new holes beside the old ones. So, I would need to move the pickguard 4mm and adjust the cavity where the pickup sits.
Once again, the pickup mounting screws were so rusted they broke. At least this time they had a little bit of useable metal, so I extracted them with the good old Vice-grip.
In the picture can be seen the marks I made to guide the router. It can also be seen how the body is not made out of wood, but plywood instead. As I said before: a cheap instrument.
I used my Dremel 400 series with the 335 routing attachment, coupled to a #115 tool. The best move would have been to go to the hardware store and get the #654, but I was in a hurry and started to work.
Since the #115 tool was somewhat slow, I applied myself a bit more to make a quicker cut. BIG MISTAKE. I just managed to burn the plywood, as it can be seen in the picture. That’s what I got for not having the right tool for the job. Grrrrr!!
Once the routing was done I placed the pickguard to make the pilot holes for the new screws. The blue masking tape is a low-tack type, so it doesn’t leave sticky residues on the finish.
Oh, the joy of using proper tools! In less than a minute I had all the holes ready and started to screw in the new ones. And then I discovered their heads were biger than the original ones, so they didn’t look flush:
To make them flush I used the grinding tool Dremel 952 at half speed. The pickguard is so soft that I only needed a little touck to get a nice shape. The result is very pleasing to the eye:
After that, I went to the bridge and did the same trick: drilling new holes beside the rusty old screws. You can see the cord I used to set the bridge alignment. Since the biggest string is much thicker than the rest, the bridge has to be mounted slightly off-centered; otherwise the 4th string could be too close to the edge of the fretboard. There’s a sectret in everything!
In the next installment I’ll show you How I tackled an even bigger problem: to do a comfortable setup on this bass.