Technical Advice on my Casino......

Discussion in 'Epiphone Guitars' started by soulman969, May 21, 2020.

  1. soulman969

    soulman969 Active Member

    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    185
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    I recently purchased a pair of nickel silver covers to replace those on my Casino and I was a little surprised to find the pickups are actually soldered to the stock covers not attached with an epoxy.

    I've attacked those solder joints with my 40w pencil iron and a small butane torch and I'm not getting that solder even close to it's melting point so I can remove the stock covers and replace them. I'm being cautious not to apply too much heat for too long so as not to destroy the pickup itself.

    Have any of you ever done a similar swap and run into this issue? If so what did you use to melt those solder attachment points so you could remove the cover? I know some solder has a much higher melting point but damn even the pencil thin flame from the torch isn't melting it easily.
     
  2. Paruwi

    Paruwi Kraut-Rocker

    Messages:
    6,179
    Likes Received:
    6,409
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2015
    If the covers are metal, you need to solder them for grounding reasons
    when I've swapped covers I tried to unsolder them without luck,
    so I've used a dremel like tool to cut the solder
     
    soulman969 likes this.
  3. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,217
    Likes Received:
    2,192
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    If you don't have a dremel, a razor blade will do the trick. But it has to be one of those tough blades that goes in a scraper. You have to push down, hard.

    Soldering the new covers on takes a high powered iron. The pickup is a heat sink and the average hobby iron won't get the surface hot enough.

    [​IMG]
     
    soulman969 likes this.
  4. Norton

    Norton Active Member

    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    89
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2018
    Stewmac has plenty of vids on exactly how to make this happen with no hassles. I’m sure YouTube does as well.
     
    soulman969 likes this.
  5. soulman969

    soulman969 Active Member

    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    185
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    Oh hell, just one more quickie project that not gonna go easily huh?

    So no amount of heat is gonna melt that solder huh? I have a Dremel Rig so what type of tool or bit did you use to cut through the solder.
     
  6. soulman969

    soulman969 Active Member

    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    185
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    I have a Dremel. What I may not have is a blade strong enough to work.

    WTF kind of solder does Epi use anyway? That butane torch can reach 700-800F and it wasn't even melting under that but the cover sure as hell was heating up nicely. I'm afraid of using too much heat for too long and damaging the pickup.
     
  7. soulman969

    soulman969 Active Member

    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    185
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ah, good idea. Glad YOU thought of it. LOL :applause:
     
  8. Paruwi

    Paruwi Kraut-Rocker

    Messages:
    6,179
    Likes Received:
    6,409
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2015
    3.1 DCS355NT-2.jpg
    I've used one of the Bi-metal blades ^^
     
  9. soulman969

    soulman969 Active Member

    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    185
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    Well that settles that. I have nothing eve close to a rig like that and you're a little too distant for me to run over and borrow yours. ;)

    What I don't get is how that solder can stand up to the flame from a butane torch. Maybe I can find a high powered soldering iron or something in my Dremel stuff that will work.

    I know they need a contact point but man that kind of an attachment is ridiculous.
     
  10. soulman969

    soulman969 Active Member

    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    185
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    Believe it or not they don't and neither does YouTube. There's one on Stew Mac were he's using a soldering iron to remove a cover but it's not attached as firmly as this one. Gonna keep on searching but like I posted what kind of solder needs over 800F to melt it? That's crazy.
     
  11. Norton

    Norton Active Member

    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    89
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2018
    Not a p90 but definitely for hb covers. And it’s the same process.




    The information is out there. Personally I like the heat and the vice squeeze method.

    I’ve never had much trouble getting solder to flow. Maybe you need a better solder station???
     
  12. soulman969

    soulman969 Active Member

    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    185
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    Completely different arrangement on the P90. You can't just take a box cutter or a knife file and free the base plate from the cover the way you can on a humbucker like they're demonstrating here. If that's all it took I'd have had the new covers on days ago. This is what I'm dealing with and it's not the same as replacing the cover on a humbucker.

    [​IMG]

    Each of those four tabs is soldered to the cover with a healthy glop of solder that spreads out onto the cover in such a way I can't even get a blade under one to lift while I apply heat nor can I grip a tab with needle nose pliers. The solder covers the entire tab. If I could get the solder to flow there's a spot or two I might get a blade into to lift it away from the cover but so far that hasn't been possible even with an open butane flame applied directly to it.

    I can search among some friends for a more powerful soldering iron or even buy one but at what temp will that solder flow? A 60w iron can hit close to 900F. I'm also hitting with a butane flame that at full temp can hit closer to 2000F and it's not flowing. So maybe the cover and base plate are acting as a heat sink and drawing too much heat away. I'll see if someone has a 100w iron I can try but unless I know that will be enough to do the trick no sense in buying another.
     
  13. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,217
    Likes Received:
    2,192
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    You might have to take it to a professional guitar tech. I did, to replace Filter'tron covers, because my cheap soldering iron was useless.
     
    soulman969 likes this.
  14. soulman969

    soulman969 Active Member

    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    185
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    That may end up being a final solution. Maybe one with a rig like Paruwi. German ingenuity wins again. :thumb: LOL

    I did borrow a 100w soldering rig and also have an idea that may prevent the base plate and cover from acting as so much of a heat sink but based on others experience I'm less than completely convinced that will work either.

    They used a whole lot of solder to tack that thing down to the cover so it's nothing like removing the cover from a humbucker and even then they're breaking those connections by cutting through them. I love doing my own work but I'm not an idiot. Some things have an end point where you may need to have others take over to do what you cannot.
     
  15. J Andranian

    J Andranian New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    May 14, 2020
    You’re going to hate me for weighing in now (I just came across your post) but I just did exactly this last week on my ‘03 Peerless-made Casino. It was a bit of a pain to get the solder off, but I used a 40W Weller iron and a solder sucker. It took a good 20 minutes per pickup of softening the solder and sucking it off, but it worked.
     
    soulman969 likes this.
  16. soulman969

    soulman969 Active Member

    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    185
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    Thanks for the encouragement. I have a hotter iron to try and no shortage of solder suckers so tomorrow I'll have at it one more time. It might be a bit easier had the factory not used as much solder as they did.

    It's not just tacked in place it's like a solder weld. So far I haven't even been able to get the solder to flow to the point where a solder sucker would even work. It's tough to even cut into it with a blade.

    I'll give it one more shot and if it's still not gonna come loose I have a very accomplished luthier near me who can take a look at it now that CO is beginning to loosen business restrictions.

    One way or another it'll get done but maybe not quite as painlessly as I imagined. It's a superb guitar gotten very inexpensively so I don't mind treating it to some tonally beneficial upgrades.

    :cheers:
     
  17. soulman969

    soulman969 Active Member

    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    185
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    One final post mortem on my dilemma with the covers.

    They are not coming off by any means I have at my beck and call so off to Victor Guitars it goes.

    The proprietor Edward Dick is a master luthier who has worked on my Taylors before and also operates his own school of lutherie. I'd love to take his internship course and become an apprentice but it's $15k plus materials cost for the guitars I'll build. Still, it might be fun to reinvent myself just one more time. :hmm:
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.