I have a good amount of copper buss bar from a job years ago. Its 1/8 by one. Is it possible to use this in a pickup? Very new to all of this and super pumped about first build.

Views: 296

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

It might work as a shield?

I think the low impedance pickups use aluminum for their loop of wire. I haven't messed with them enough to know if copper would work as a substitute. 


Of course it will. Go read the "How Is This Done?" Lace Alumitone 90+-page thread. Buried within are plenty of designs and experiments using copper, both plate and tube, for a pickup.

Good to know! 

I had read/skimmed that thread, but it's been awhile. Looking at that thread and the Build Your Own Induction Mag thread, I'm seeing copper on the first page - doh! Makes sense that copper would work. I bet silver or gold would too. 

I imagine gold would work very well, especially re conductivity Skeesix, but every time i ask at the scrap yard, they say they have none, and it's rare in dumpsters too

Silver gets used a lot in cell phone and laptop computer circuits and is a good bit more affordable. Also easier to solder too.

Don't think anyone is going to use gold. If they could afford to use that, they would probably just buy a pickup instead of making one. ;)

Wish I could find some gold in a dumpster.

silver is best.followed by copper then gold then aluminium... silver at 6.3 is almost twice that of aluminium at 3.5


yes it would be interesting but unless we can come up with a spot welder for aluminium then we may never know. just did a bit of googling ...

Copper is a superior electrical conductor. Aluminum's conductivity is about 62% that of copper 


this article says that they could use either Al or Cu but highlight the problem with connections for Al ie corrosion but more importantly say the equivalent transformer in Al would be bigger even though it would be lighter. 

so for us as backyard pickup experimenters i think copper is going to be the best/easiest to work with.

Perfect for a low impedence pup, i've made them with 1/16" and even copper tape

You could use aluminum if you drill holes and use press in screw terminals. Then attach wires with crimp on eyelets to the terminal and use a nylon lock nut to prevent loosening from vibration. They would have to be small though.

Thanks for all the input! So I guess I'll have to do some more research before diving in. I am new to all this(and having a blast).If I can figure out how to use a solid piece of this 1/8 by 1 inch copper for a pup then I suspect I have enough on hand to build at least 200 of them.

was looking for a bit of bus bar like that when we first started discussing these pickups but trying to find a small quantity at a decent price in Aust is murder...

a drill and a coping saw with a metal cutting blade and you could do some fancy looking pickups.... pot them in a clear resin to show them off....


The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation?How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources


2017 Halloween Build-Off!

Started by Shane Speal shanespeal.com in Feature Articles. Last reply by mike mayer 8 minutes ago. 37 Replies

Banjo question

Started by Rose Ericson in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Titch the Clown on Tuesday. 46 Replies


Started by Joe Nanzer in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Joe Nanzer on Sunday. 8 Replies

Latest Activity

James O Lunsford liked Richard Sundberg's video
4 minutes ago
Wal Callaby posted a status
"Ha! Did it already; my steel pan resonator is now a four-stringer in G7. Saves actually building one..."
8 minutes ago
mike mayer replied to Shane Speal shanespeal.com's discussion 2017 Halloween Build-Off!
"love it jesse ...good luck bro \m/"
8 minutes ago
James O Lunsford commented on James O Lunsford's video

Girl I Love You

"Thanks Richard appreciate your comments"
13 minutes ago
James O Lunsford commented on James O Lunsford's video

Girl I Love You

"Thanks Slow Blues Dani & OL Grey Bear always feel what I sing"
14 minutes ago
James O Lunsford commented on James O Lunsford's video

Girl I Love You

"Thanks Nancy Kat loved the animated cartoon sweet and funny"
16 minutes ago
Rick Flink commented on Shane Speal shanespeal.com's group Building a Cigar Box Guitar 101
"Ok, I have been a member of CGB Nation for awhile now, but I have not built a CBG until now. I have…"
20 minutes ago
Keith Rearick liked Richard Sundberg's video
21 minutes ago
Keith Rearick liked Dennis Reedy's video
22 minutes ago
Wal Callaby commented on Shane Speal shanespeal.com's video

How to play an old timey cigar box guitar riff

"Do you know, as someone relatively new to this CBG thing, I cannot help but detect a generosity of…"
27 minutes ago
Keith Rearick liked Darwin Gentry's video
30 minutes ago
Keith Rearick liked Darwin Gentry's video
32 minutes ago



© 2017   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service