A method provides a magnetic transducer that includes an underlayer and a nonmagnetic layer on the underlayer. The method includes providing a plurality of trenches in the nonmagnetic layer. A first trench of corresponds to a main pole, while at least one side trench corresponds to at least one side shield. The method also includes providing mask covering the side trench(es) and providing the main pole. At least a portion of the main pole resides in the first trench. The method also includes removing at least a portion of the nonmagnetic layer residing between the side trench(es) and the main pole. The method also includes providing at least one side shield. The shield(s) extend from at least an air-bearing surface location to not further than a coil front location.