Help fitting a Strat bridge with 2 7/32" mounting holes to a body with 2 3/16" mounting holes

Krisgel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30
Hi,

I am building a partscaster replica of a 62 Strat. I ordered the Fender Pure Vintage Tremolo. http://shop.fender.com/en-US/parts/...stratocaster-tremolo-assembly/0094247049.html

The Fender website states that it fits most vintage and modern Stratocasters with 2 3/16" bridge mounting. I even verified with Fender tech support that I should order my body with 2 3/16" bridge mounting holes.

I finally received my painted body and dropped in the bridge just to see how it looks on the guitar. I was surprised to discover that the outside mounting holes on the bridge did not line up with the body. I took some careful measurements with my machinist ruler and found that the body mounting holes were 2 3/16" inches like they were supposed to be but the Fender bridge mounting holes were actually 2 7/32".

I am wondering what is best to do about this mismatch? A couple ideas I thought of were:

1. Slight enlarge the diameter of the outer holes in the bridge plate so that the mounting screws will fit without causing any potential binding.

2. Slightly shave down the diameter of the unthreaded portion of the mounting crews used in the outer holes so that there is no potential binding.

Thoughts, ideas?
 

Krisgel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30
One more thing to mention. I got the idea for elongating the outer bridge holes in the bridge plate from how it is done in the Wilkinson vintage bridge. Presumably this is done in the Wilkinson bridge for better versatility in fitting to different bodies.

 

Krisgel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30
From center of the outer body holes to center of the outer bridge holes, it is a difference of 1/32". I measured twice, very carefully with a high quality machinists ruler.

The photo exaggerates things a bit, due to lens distortions and the fact that I was not able to hold the camera perfectly parallel to the surface of the guitar.
 

Blackmoreguitar

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,025
I would ask Fender customer service why their bridge does not meet the quoted spec', before doing anything else.
 

Laurent Brondel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,809
Can you return the bridge and get one that fits the holes in the body?
Or is it a mistake on the body?
If you want to go ahead and fix it yourself, the correct way to do this is to fill the existing holes in the body and redrill to the correct spacing with a drill press.
 

Krisgel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30
The body is drilled correctly at 2 and 3/16". I don't see anywhere else that lists a bridge with 2 and 3/16" mounting, and I really want to use the use Fender Pure Vintage bridge because it is most accurate looks and design for my relplica.

I can fill the outer holes with a dowel rod/wood glue and redrill the outer holes. I only have a hand drill, but I can do my very best to insure that I am drilling perpendicular to the body.

Is this a bad idea?
 
Last edited:

Laurent Brondel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,809
IMHO you need to fill and redrill all the holes if you do not want the bridge to get hung up on misaligned screws.
Hand-drill meaning electric drill, right?
 

Krisgel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30
Laurent,

I'm beginning to think you are correct about the importance of filling and redrilling all of the holes. I have a battery-operated electric drill.
 

swiveltung

Member
Messages
14,490
Fill at least the outer two holes. The center two look fine. The problem is, what dowel do you use? If you use a small dowel like 1/8" or less, if the dowel is harder than the alder body, you may have trouble drilling on target due to drill drift to the softer wood.
I too don't understand whey the hardware does not fit the "proper" body... Buy a Wilkinson bridge..?
 

Laurent Brondel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,809
Laurent,

I'm beginning to think you are correct about the importance of filling and redrilling all of the holes. I have a battery-operated electric drill.
A good one I hope… Brad points are best and centre punch the holes before drilling, use a square on the body to make sure you drill straight in all directions… Practice on a piece of scrap first.
I checked on my templates and the correct vintage spacing is 2 7/32", so the holes on your body are wrong. All the vintage bridges I know mount on 2 7/32" (Callaham, Gotoh, Fender etc.).

The problem is, what dowel do you use? If you use a small dowel like 1/8" or less, if the dowel is harder than the alder body, you may have trouble drilling on target due to drill drift to the softer wood.
Very true, which is why a drill press is a must.
 

Krisgel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30
It seems that most 1/8" dowel is birch. I'm not sure how that compares to Alder in terms of hardness.

I think the discrepancy comes from Fender incorrectly listing the mounting holes on their bridge as 2 3/16 rather than 2 7/32.

I could get the Wilkinson bridge, but it would mean that I know longer have the accurate look, sound, and operation of a 62' Strat tremolo for my 62' replica project. All other components for the guitar are as vintage accurate as possible, so it would be a shame to have to go with the Wilkinson bridge for this project.
 

Krisgel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30
Thanks guys for all of your help and input! I think I am going to see if I can send back the body to Musikraft and have them plug the holes and precisely drill new holes for me. Hopefully they will be accommodating.

If not, maybe I can find a luthier to ship the body to.
 

Mike9

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,954
The problem with hardwood dowels is you'll be drilling half into end grain and half into face grain two different mediums. I would not recommend that by hand. You're idea of filing the holes is not a bad one it would require a chainsaw file the proper diameter and a jig to keep you straight. We're talking 1.64" on each hole +/- a stroke, or two and the screw heads will cover that.

On the other hand if Musikraft is amicable to you sending it back send the bridge plate with the body so they can match it.
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
33,083
They should have matched at 2 7/32.
Only with high precision machinery could you correct that.
Get the right parts if it is important to you.
The body is mis-drilled for vintage spacing.
One or the other has to go.
A trem has to be PERFECTLY aligned for best operation.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,273
I am wondering what is best to do about this mismatch? A couple ideas I thought of were:

1. Slight enlarge the diameter of the outer holes in the bridge plate so that the mounting screws will fit without causing any potential binding.

2. Slightly shave down the diameter of the unthreaded portion of the mounting crews used in the outer holes so that there is no potential binding.
two bad ideas;

both bits of metal are hardened and plated, grinding away at them will both be really difficult and will ruin the strength of the metal. also, it's the outer two holes that most need to be true for the bridge to work right; if anything you could skip the middle two holes.

the fix really is to correct the body holes, and yeah that'll be tricky too; it has to be perfect or you'll get drag and binding, so a trem that doesn't stay in tune.
 




Trending Topics

Top