Post by BlackAngusYoung on Mar 31, 2009 23:17:34 GMT -5
Is it possible to install an identical toggle switch right beside the original on a Les Paul guitar? Is it possible to drill out the wood on an angle just enough to get the second toggle switch in beside the first and still be able to screw the black round plate back on the back of the guitar? I want the two toggles--without the "rhythm/lead" ring, of course--right beside each other so their nuts are almost touching.
I want to do this for switching between a couple of the most popular modified wiring possibilities. I could use push-pull pots or install the switch by the knobs but I think the two toggle switches beside each other would look interesting and exotic on the LP, in a sort of Jaguar or Airline way.
Well...how good are you freehand with a Dremel tool?
The way the cavity is routed on a LP you've got one big hole centered in a larger cavity hole so the switch drops in the center.
I assume you don't want to re-work to back coverplate. Correct me if I'm wrong on that.
The best way I can see to get two identical LP 3 way toggles in there would be to carve out on both sides and place them to either side of the original center hole. This would mean either making a custom coverplate to cover the original hole, or finding some real nice veneer, layering and flanging it, blending the finish back...no, stick to the coverplate idea...
The trickiest part I can see, first off, is making a flat mounting surface for your switch, without blasting through the top. A steady hand would be a necessity.
You could find other switches, depending on what you're doing with them, that may not require as much surgery, provided they don't have to be identical. A little masking or electrical tape on the paddle would allow you to use the same LP paddle cover on a smaller paddled switch.
Feel free to straighten me out if I've completely missed your point here...
"Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power." - Benito Mussolini
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." - Sinclair Lewis (1935)
"History, in general, only informs us of what bad government is." - Thomas Jefferson
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” - Oscar Wilde
Post by BlackAngusYoung on Apr 1, 2009 15:09:32 GMT -5
Thanks for the answers. Seems you both understood what I mean. (No straightening out required.) I guess it seems like a pretty tricky project, especially for my first. Just thought I'd ask in case it was a common mod there's a proven procedure for. Never know. I want the second knob to install my pickups so they can be switched between series and parallel wiring, as well as the Peter Green out-of-phase mod. Not sure if that can all be done by adding another 3-way, but I think I'd like that for looks and because all the pickup configurations would be easy to switch between by grabbing both toggles.
I think Cyn's right, in order to get 2 toggles in there you'd have to do considerable hogging out and fashion a cover plate . You may well end up having to enlarge the whole hole, and fashion a bigger backplate as well. The problem isn't so much getting the switches in there, they can go one after the other. The problem is having enough space to get your tooling down in there, angled, to cut away at the sides of the hole. The width and depth of the hole limit your angle of attack.
I'd look at ChrisK's suggestion of a rotary. Maybe not as intuitive as 2 toggles, but you can get used to all kinds of switches if you play the guitar enough. The advantage is, no destruction of your guitar, and you can start wiring it up right away. With a correct knob, it can even look Varitone-ish, and thus properly Gibby-ish.
if the guitar was in bad shape and you wanted to do this, yet keep the back looking stock...
I would open the hole up large and make a wood donut to shove back in the holes and refinish to look like nothing happened.
I have done some hand chisseling, dremel, and drill stuff to do something like this... but man, working in that little cylinderical routing area would be a serious bh.
It, almost like you need a tool that attaches to a drill press. something like a weedwacker type head, centrifigual force would make blades expand and eat the wood, and you could pull the drill press up and open that area up from within.
Working upwards would keep you from killing the front, and going through the back. hmmm, I wonder what other uses a tool like this could be used for.
I think the two toggle switches beside each other would look interesting and exotic on the LP, in a sort of Jaguar or Airline way.
It seems that you want the look of two toggle switches right next to each other, but does it have to be those gigantic Les Paul 3 position switches? Let's face it, for a switch that only has to choose "neck / bridge or both", it takes up a lot of room. It is an SPDT center-on switch and they are usually manufactured much smaller than that. Those won't have the feel of the full-sized switch but you would not be tearing into your guitar as much.
I think Wolf makes a good point. Apart from the size, the traditional Lp style toogles are good for pickup selection, but not much use for just about anything else you might want the second one for. Mini toggles are smaller, and can come with two or more poles, and 2 or 3 positions. They have quite a positive click. You could epoxy onto them, a standard switch tip to get the look.
Rotaries are also very versatile. Ive used them for a complicated scheme on an LP copy. The Aussie maker Maton. uses them for pickup slection, using a horizontal bar as part of the knob as a control lever.
An issue with any type of rear mounted switch is to check the depth of wood through which the shaft must pass and get a nut on the outside. Most rotaries and minitoggles would not have enough shaft length without milling out the back of the wood. This is not a problem if mounted direct to a cover plate though.
I have a rotary in my LP, and I'm very happy with it. Keeps me from accidentally changing my pickup selection while flailing around wildly. Instead it just hurts - thanks partly to the Tele-style knurled knob.