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Guitar 911: How to Install Pickups Using a Clicky Pen

(Image credit: Joe Becker)

This time, I'm going to show you how to install pickups using a clicky pen. Yes, I watched a lot of MacGyver as a kid. Sue me. It was a good show.

This happens to almost everyone: You stumble upon a neck and body somewhere. You have some tuners and a bridge lying around. You even have pickups and mounting screws. Now it's time to sit down at the kitchen table and build yourself a new guitar. But, of course, you can't find one of the parts you need.

For this example, it's the pickup-mounting springs.

Here's the solution: Go find a clicky pen in your junk drawer. Take it apart. What you'll find inside is a spring that's almost exactly the same as your standard pickup-mounting spring. Some will be longer than others, of course. For instance, the one in the photo above is a bit short; but you can always stretch it if you feel it's necessary.

Voila! There's your zero-dollar fix.

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