Bridge ground wire came off!!!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Macaroni, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    I was installing a set of 3 Charlie Christian pickups and a new wiring kit in one of my guitars with a wraparound bridge. All was going well and then I accidentally pulled out the ground wire from the hole in the control cavity that leads to the right bridge stud, where it was connected.

    I contacted the luthier - Mike Rowan - and he said I have to pull out the stud insert, put the ground wire back in, and then re-install the threaded insert, which will then couple properly with the ground wire.

    Hasn't someone thought of an easier way to do this?

    I don't have the proper tools, nor have I done this before. Looks like you could easily screw things up.

    I've been waiting for months for the parts to do this project, and I was 99% done, when this happened!

    Should I just go to a local tech or is it something I could do?

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Mooncusser

    Mooncusser Member

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    That happened to me once to. Listen to Mike as it is what will rectify the connection for you. The threaded insert comes out fairly easily. Just go slowly and take your time. I did this same repair about 2 months ago.
    Good luck and take care~
     
  3. Giraffecaster

    Giraffecaster Member

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    take it to a pro with the right tools and experience
     
  4. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    Mooncusser...

    What tool(s) did you use and what other tips can you give me re safety, etc?

     
  5. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    Also, I was thinking that I could insert a small screw into the hole - with a flat head on the tip instead of a point - since the hole is already there - and it will then touch the bridge post insert, making the ground connection. Or how about a small nail?

    What do you guys think about that idea?
     
  6. GtrDr

    GtrDr Member

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    I have a puller that removes the stud in a few moments, then a new wire is installed. A tech wont charge much.
     
  7. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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  8. RandK

    RandK Silver Supporting Member

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    Go to Ace hardware (or equiv) and get two 1/4" x 1/2" steel dowels. Take an x-acto knife, razor blade or equiv and score any finish in the way of the bushing coming out. Watch carefully for that when it starts moving so you don't end up with a big chip. Throw one dowel down the bushing hole tighten the stud (shield the guitar top with cardboard etc to avoid screwdriver slips) when the bushing is out as far as it can go remove the stud and throw the 2nd dowel in there and repeat until the bushing is out. It should press back in without drama if you line up the knurling. Beats the Schatten tool and costs about a buck. Watch that finish around the hole!
     
  9. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    RandK...

    BINGO!!! I remember now that someone told me about that method several years ago and you just refreshed my memory!! Thanks so much for that!

    How much pressure is needed when screwing the post in, to get the insert to start moving up? Should I expect it to be relatively difficult?
     
  10. rick13

    rick13 Member

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    With my luck, the dowel would pop out of the other side of the guitar. Sounds like a great idea though. I would also use a spare tailpiece screw , since the edges of the screw often get buggered up.
    Rick
     
  11. RandK

    RandK Silver Supporting Member

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    Shouldn't take much effort to jack it out but sometimes they resist a little until it starts moving. Safer to have one of those Stewie-Mac stud drivers that can't slip. Watch that top. I think was in one of those old StewMac trade secrets books about cutting the head off of a 1/4x20 bolt but the two dowels work best for me.
     
  12. Giraffecaster

    Giraffecaster Member

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    +1

    That's why I said earlier to take it to a pro if this is your first time doing it. If this was some cheap beater guitar I'd say knock yourself out and use even pressure... but it's a Rowan and it's not hard to cause permanent damage
     
  13. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    Thanks for the additional input. I am a bit nervous. I'm going to Home Depot today to see if I can get all the parts to make one like the Stew-Mac unit.

    One local guitar tech said he just uses a claw hammer!!! Put down some double cloth and use very slow, even pressure. He said he does it that way all the time. :eek:
     
  14. Bob V

    Bob V Member

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    the dowel trick is worth it so long as the bushings have open bottoms. You can make your own bushing puller using a large enough socket and a washer and wingnut on a bolt. Mine's made out of a plumbing fitting but its the same idea. Just match the threads of the tailpiece studs to a wingnut and get a bolt to match. Might be 5/16-24 but check to make sure.

    Oh and please don't try shoving a screw in where the wire came out, it would bugger the thing up irrevocably and there's no excuse since it should not be difficult to do it properly.
     
  15. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    Bob V...

    The bushings do have open bottoms. Do you have any pics of the gadget you made?

    Thanks for the screw warning!
     
  16. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    Update...

    I went to Home Depot but couldn't find the necessary parts to make a pulling gadget, so I went with 2 small aluminum spacers/dowels. I got the bushing out, replaced the wire, carefully hammered the bushing back in, and thought all was well.

    So I soldered the pickups to the wiring kit a when I went to attach the ground wire, it broke off again!!!! :jo

    Isn't there an easier way to make this ground connection? :huh
     
  17. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    Update...

    I used a multi strand wire for the ground this time. I also scored a small groove in the hole opening to the bushing hole, to minimize the Guillotine effect - it worked!!! :D

    Got everything connected and finally got to hear the new custom, noiseless, Charlie Christian pickups that Kent Armstrong made for me - FANTASTIC!!!

    I'll report on those in another forum.

    Thanks for all the help guys!!!
     
  18. elkym

    elkym Member

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    Gotta see some pics of this sucker. Post up!
     
  19. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    Here's the guitar with P90s, but the CCs look exactly the same. Kent didn't have the CC blade style housing in a P90 size, so he just made them like P90s with screw pole pieces instead of the blade. He said they would sound exactly like the blades and they do. I had another set of his CCs with blades and these are every bit as good.

    Here are the specs...

    -Mahogany Body and neck - Ebony fret board
    -25.5" scale, SS jumbo frets
    -Flame Maple solid top - chambered - with Abalone purfling
    -Grover Mini Locking Tuners, bone nut
    -Pigtail Aluminum Wraparound bridge
    -TFN Technologies custom wiring kit - 1 volume pot - push/pull - engages the bridge pickup so I can get neck + bridge or all 3 pickups.
    -It has a 5 way rotary switch instead of a Tone pot - 1 position has all 3 pickups in series, ie: standard CC mode, another position has all 3 pickups in parallel mode for slightly thinner, but beautiful tones.
    -The other 3 positions are various combinations of series and parallel.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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