I'm fairly handy with a router, and considered doing this job freehand, but in a rare moment of good sense, I decided to use the StewMac template for cutting the jazz bridge pickup cavity on my precision bass. Occasionally we all make good decisions, and this was definitely one of them. I should add that this job is not for beginners, but if you have some power tool skills, the template is like a helping hand. I read with some bemusement that a previous reviewer burnt out the router bearings and melted the template... as I said, this job is not for beginners, and you CAN NOT force the router or everything heats up and burns. Anyway, I went with the 60's Jazz position, as opposed to the 70's (CBS era) position, which is about a half inch closer to the bridge, apparently producing a thinner sound good for slapping, but I'm just an old guy into jazz... slapping is far too stressful.
I tried both of my trusty Stew Mac template router bits (1/2" and 3/8" bearings) with this jazz bass pickup template and both of their bearings quickly melted right in letting the cutter chew far into the edges. This of course ruined the template and, luckily, only a piece of mdf - not my bass I've been working on for months! This template was brand new just out of the mail.
I've used a few other Stew Mac router templates in the past and this never happened.. did they use a lower grade plastic by accident?
Anyway, I put this review here to warn you to try the template on scrap first because you may well destroy your guitar if you trust the template.
Cavity is accurate,,but guys ,,,how about a slightly larger piece ???
templates are perfect, a must to have , thank you stewmac
The Templates are dead on for the geometry. The pickups fit well in the cavity. But. the templates are only 1/4" thick; really should be about 3/8" The problem I have is that the bearing on the bit is about 1/4" wide, and there is always about 1/16" to 3/64" gap between the bottom of the bearing to the top of the cutter. If you set the depth to have good engagement between the bearing and the template, you end up with an uncut ridge at the top of the cavity. If you set up to cut the wood full depth you lose about 1/3 of the bearing engagement on the plastic. Not a good thing with a hard bearing against soft plastic.
Thanks for your feedback. We've passed your suggestions along to our technical staff.
As long as you use the right bits these are the best way to rout out pickup cavities.
couldn't ask for more to a template
no more words to add...simply fantastic!!!! really recommended
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