How to measure back thickness? Will this work?

Wound_Up

You can call me Duane 😁
Jan 23, 2020
5,812
NW LA
Wondering how I can measure the thickness of the back "wall" of my guitar. It seems that the control routing isn't deep enough for the 4 way switch and it needs maybe 0.75 to 1mm(0.030" to 0.040") taken out for the switch to fit. So I immediately wondered how thick the back was and whether there's enough there to take a little out.

So here's the process I came up with to get a pretty decent estimate. Lay the guitar on its back on a flat surface and measure from the surface to the front face of the guitar. Note that number. Say 1.75"

Now, do the same thing except put the ruler inside the control cavity and measure to the same face of the guitar. That measurement might be 1.5"


The difference in those 2 numbers should be the thickness of the back of the guitar. In this example, it'd be 0.25" or about 6.35mm



Is this correct? Wouldn't this work to get a very close measurement of the thickness? Or am I missing something? Thanks.
 

Wound_Up

You can call me Duane 😁
Jan 23, 2020
5,812
NW LA
Your method and your math stack up. What specifically are you hoping to install, and into what guitar?
The 4 way switch I installed in my T is about 1mm too tall to fit in the control cavity. The Tele control plate almost sits down flush onto the body but not quite. So I wanted to check the back and see if there was enough there to chisel(or Dremel with a router attachment) out a pass or two without going through it.

Its close enough that I've got the screws in it, holding thr plate down so it looks stock from head-on. From the side, you can see the slight gap between the body & control plate. As it is, I'd be perfectly fine leaving it as-is. It operates normally and the 4 way works correctly.

I don't gig and don't gig outdoors so I don't have to worry about sweat or rain getting into the guitar because the control plate isn't flush to the face of the guitar. So I'm tempted to just leave it like it is. I wanted to go ahead and check the back and see if deepening the control cavity is even an option, though. Just in case.
 

simoncroft

Still playing. Still learning!
Silver Member
May 30, 2013
20,308
SE England
The 4 way switch I installed in my T is about 1mm too tall to fit in the control cavity. The Tele control plate almost sits down flush onto the body but not quite. So I wanted to check the back and see if there was enough there to chisel(or Dremel with a router attachment) out a pass or two without going through it.

Its close enough that I've got the screws in it, holding thr plate down so it looks stock from head-on. From the side, you can see the slight gap between the body & control plate. As it is, I'd be perfectly fine leaving it as-is. It operates normally and the 4 way works correctly.

I don't gig and don't gig outdoors so I don't have to worry about sweat or rain getting into the guitar because the control plate isn't flush to the face of the guitar. So I'm tempted to just leave it like it is. I wanted to go ahead and check the back and see if deepening the control cavity is even an option, though. Just in case.

I've been looking around to see what switches I could find with a lower profile body. They're easy to find in three-way and five-way, not east because there's the same problem on the thinner body Squiers. This is a good example: https://www.northwestguitars.co.uk/3-way-pickup-selector-switch-for-squire/ It if doesn't have to be four-way, that would solve your problem. The 5th position could be bridge pick-up with tone control out of circuit, for example.
 


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