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1953 Valco El Grande Steel Guitar
Customer's Work Progress Reports

~ Page 9;  Pickup Reassembly Cont'd ~

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Original pickup leads just don't get longer, but all too often get scarcely short of the years of folks cutting the leads for rewiring and wiring repairs.  So on guitars that replicating exact wiring is not important, such as this Steel which is destined for custom work;  To save the original leads I put correct color coded extensions on them ...even paint them the correct color if I don't have and can't acquire the correct color.  That way repairs or rewiring in the future will have plenty of extension lead to clip off as need might arise, .....and hopefully someone down the road will see the extension getting shorter and solder a new extension in rather than clipping further back upon the original leads.

Here's some important tools and materials layout for the job.

Enlarged pictures of the wires and soldering jig to manage the work upon them, from several different angles for a good look, ....are provided below the layout pic here.

Most of the wires have had their extensions spliced in, the splices heat-shrink wrapped, and color coded.

The wires are ready to be soldered into the circuit, which will complete the electronics and electronics plate job;  Leaving assembling the tuners, installing a jack and plate, clear-coating the fretboard, screwing it all back together, stringing her up, and installing the magnets and bunker cover, about all that's left to do.
A trick I happened upon years ago in a pinch:  If you don't have the correct color hook-up wire, then Radio Shack and electronic stores have these jumper harnesses in different numbers of color coded wire, .....and they're allot cheaper than having to buy several rolls of certain colors you might need.  The harnesses progressively have the most common standard color codes the more leads that are in a harness.  So the chances are good you'll find plenty enough wire of the correct color in one of these harnesses.  Typically the harnesses are about 3' to 4' long and close to the same gauge as color coded guitar hook-up wire.  And after you've gotten your wire you'll have nice jaw clips from the wire you used (work from the middle outward so you have more lead on the left-over jaw clips);  And you'll probably have some handy jumpers from he colors you didn't need / use.   :~ )