Shaftesbury Les Paul: Shielding

The guitar’s control cavity had previously been unshielded. This is not always an issue, particularly for a guitar fitted with humbuckers. Now, whilst to start with, I’m going to refit one of the old humbuckers, it will eventually getting some variant of a P90. Because single coil pickups are much more susceptible to noise, I decided to make sure the control and pickup cavities were well shielded.

I found just the stuff on eBay; slug repellent tape! This is 30mm wide self-adhesive copper tape, which is supposed to (but doesn’t) deter slugs and snails.

I ran a quick test first to see if two pieces of tape, stuck together, would allow a flow of current. Unfortunately it didn’t. Luckily the copper tape solders very easily.

I cut strips of tape to length, peeled off the backing paper and lined each of the cavities. I then put small dabs of solder to join each piece to it’s neighbour. Once that was done I used the multi-meter to check that each piece of tape was properly connected.

If you’re doing a similar job, don’t forget to shield the cavity cover(s) too. I made sure that the lining of the cavity folded over the lip, so that it’ll contact the shielding on the cover. Hopefully the screw running through should provide the electrical connection. I’ll test this by checking that, once assembled there is a current flow from screw head to one of the other earth points on the guitar.

I used two rolls of the tape and, at less than £2.00, it worked out much cheaper than I’d expected.

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