Shielding with aluminum foil?

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by hudsonnh, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. hudsonnh

    hudsonnh Squier-holic

    Messages:
    3,102
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Location:
    Marshall, VA
    Any of you ever use heavy duty aluminum foil for shielding a strat cavity and underside of a pickguard?
    I'm too big of a cheapskate to buy a roll of copper shielding from a place like GFS.
    I have used that sticky foil tape for HVAC ducts that you can buy at Home Depot - but the fact that its thick and sticky as heck makes me want to swear in front of my kids when I'm using it!

    I want to try using a roll of heavy duty foil I'll buy at the supermarket.
    Has anyone else done that?
    If yes, what sort of glue did you use?
     
  2. barakimou

    barakimou Squier-Nut

    Messages:
    574
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Location:
    Belgium
    I did this with regular aluminium foil i use in my kitchen. I applied 2 layers. I stole this from my children to glu it.

    [​IMG]

    Works like a charm.
     
  3. czook

    czook Squier-holic

    Age:
    62
    Messages:
    1,592
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Location:
    NWMO
    No reason it won't work. I use the aluminum duct tape and it is sticky and induces anxiety and vulgarities. I screw a small electrical connector to it inside the pockets to ground to.
     
  4. hudsonnh

    hudsonnh Squier-holic

    Messages:
    3,102
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Location:
    Marshall, VA
    Anxiety and vulgarities - I've used that duct tape twice - swore and tore it out about 2/3rds of the way thru the 3rd time.
    I'm gonna get some Reynolds foil and a can of spray adhesive this weekend....see if my blood pressure stays lower.
     
  5. tabdog

    tabdog Squier-holic

    Messages:
    4,208
    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Location:
    Little Rock, AR
    I did it on a bass I defretted and modded. I
    did a real quick and dirty job, but it works
    great. ("quiet as a mouse")

    Time from when I started taking strings off til
    after I tuned it up and checked the noise on
    an amp was 25 minutes.

    I know that everyone is so neat and everything.
    They only want copper tape, but why?

    Aluminum actually works better than copper for
    shielding. They put aluminum shielding over the
    copper shielding in audio electronics because it
    works better. Look it up.

    I took some heavy duty aluminum foil and just
    stuck it down in the cavity and screwed a ground
    wire to it which I soldered to ground. No glue, no
    nothin,

    [​IMG]

    I got a nice quiet fretless bass,

    [​IMG]

    You can use Elmers or any contact glue for the
    pickguard. A screw with a ground wire would need
    to contact the pickguard shielding. I didn't use any,
    as you can see,

    Tabdog
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  6. macrocket

    macrocket Squier-Nut

    Messages:
    976
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Location:
    Jonesboro, AR
    I have and it works fine. Industrial foil tape looks more professional though; but who's gonna' see it anyway?
     
  7. AllroyPA

    AllroyPA Dr. Squier

    Messages:
    8,230
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Philadelphia Suburbs
    Neither, you get more out of practicing or turning out fluorescent lighting or step back from the PC...
     
  8. tabdog

    tabdog Squier-holic

    Messages:
    4,208
    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Location:
    Little Rock, AR
    25 minutes of my time is well worth
    the absence of the aggravation. It's
    time well spent,

    Tabdog
     
  9. alfunkz

    alfunkz Squier-holic

    Messages:
    1,679
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Location:
    peterborough
    i used copper but got it cheap on ebay, well worth it though either way copper or aluminum
     
  10. hudsonnh

    hudsonnh Squier-holic

    Messages:
    3,102
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Location:
    Marshall, VA
    that's true - but I have many hobbies (and playing is nothing more than a hobby for me - I might never be in front of an audience again and i'd be okay with that)
    So fooling with the insides of guitars is just another thing, like building a book shelf....and it isn't fun if it isn't fun...so I'm not gonna use that damn sticky foil tape again!
     
  11. stratnewb

    stratnewb Squier Talker

    Messages:
    26
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Location:
    Saint Louis Area
    Buy some conductive paint from StewMac. It is so much easier than trying to deal with getting the foil to cooperate, especially if you're using aluminum and have to worry about keeping continuity between pieces. I used it on my Affinity strat in the control cavity as well as the trem and bridge cavities. I replaced the pickguard with a 3 ply that had aluminum tape on the back of it and so I soldered a ground wire from the volume pot to the inside of the control cavity. It won't get rid of 60hz hum but it won't pickup noise from lights and RF.

    A good test to see how well insulated your guitar is is to take a cell phone and hold it in front of the pickguard near the pickups and pots before and after you shield it. I don't get any noise unless I hold my cell phone within an inch directly in front of a pickup, and I don't get any noise from fluorescent ballasts like I used to.
     
  12. AllroyPA

    AllroyPA Dr. Squier

    Messages:
    8,230
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Philadelphia Suburbs
    I did'nt mean any disrespect, I just seen too many doscussions on the pro and cons, I just side on I'm not gonna spend time doing it for myself. :cool:
    I sheilded one time and I can't even remember which guitar I did. It was not a memorable experience.
     
  13. alfunkz

    alfunkz Squier-holic

    Messages:
    1,679
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Location:
    peterborough
    i enjoyed the sticky foil experience, nothing like good honest sicky fun :)
     
  14. hudsonnh

    hudsonnh Squier-holic

    Messages:
    3,102
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Location:
    Marshall, VA
    No disrespect felt!
     
  15. bluesguy62

    bluesguy62 Squier Talker

    Age:
    53
    Messages:
    56
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Location:
    Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia
    I've been using aluminium foil for around 20 years as neither self-adhesive copper foil nor shielding paint is available here in Malaysia. 3M Spray Mount Artist's Adhesive works extremely well for pickguards. For body cavities, UHU or Dunlop Contact Adhesive is my preferred choice. Be sure to keep lots of rags, paint thinner and machine oil at hand. Dipping your fingers in machine oil keeps them from sticking to the foil while you're working on your guitar. You might want to check this out, loads of pics: http://www.squier-talk.com/forum/tech-talk/8614-squier-california-series-strat-shielding-job.html#post102125
     

Share This Page