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: 278

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


MYSTERY INSTRUMENT: What are these antique dulcimer things?

Started by Shane (www.ShaneSpeal.com) in Feature Articles. Last reply by Mark Bliss 4 hours ago. 36 Replies

Artistic Lap Steels Made from 2x4's (Videos + Pics)

Started by Shane (www.ShaneSpeal.com) in Feature Articles. Last reply by JL 6 hours ago. 20 Replies

Songs inAm

Started by Dustin Aurand in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Lane Martin yesterday. 31 Replies

Amp help please

Started by David Blackburn in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by David Blackburn yesterday. 18 Replies

Latest Activity

Dave Lynas commented on Barry Parr's photo

Birthday Guitars for my twin grandsons

"Some fun's going to happen."
24 seconds ago
Dave Lynas liked Barry Parr's photo
1 minute ago
Dave Lynas commented on Termoking's photo

France 1917

"Beer playing. One sad fiddle. Wouldn't want to run into these guys."
3 minutes ago
Dave Lynas liked Termoking's photo
4 minutes ago
Dave Lynas commented on Dave Lynas's photo

Varnish drying

":*) Uncle John."
7 minutes ago
Dave Lynas commented on Dave Lynas's photo

Almost finished

"Thanks James. Your cigar box Jim Morris dulcimer inspired me. Your playing and singing is…"
8 minutes ago
Dave Lynas commented on Dave Lynas's photo

Almost finished

"Thanks guys. I'm having fun playing her. Tuned by ear so far. Real pretty tone. I want to…"
13 minutes ago
James O Lunsford commented on Jim Morris's video
15 minutes ago
James O Lunsford commented on Andries D. EKER's video

Run The Range ( Freedom) A D Eker 2017

"Freedom is good Oh Yea !"
18 minutes ago
Dave Lynas commented on Dave Lynas's photo

Tale of tail

"Thanks Rev. She does sing and ring."
19 minutes ago
James O Lunsford liked Andries D. EKER's video
20 minutes ago
Jerryrig240 posted a discussion

WIRING HELP NEEDED! Yeah, I'm lost......

So I am going through what I want my new set up to do.  This is what I have as far as parts..I have…See More
21 minutes ago



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

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service