Installing bridge mounting studs

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by joeln87, Jan 8, 2006.

  1. joeln87

    joeln87 Guest

    While trying to install my bridge studs in my new warmoth body.. the hole seems a tad smaller than the stud... anyone have tips to install the studs without spliting the wood? it could be the finish.. but i was seeing if anyone else has had this happen before.
    thanks
    joel
     
  2. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    It's a good idea to remove the finish using a countersink tool, to just larger than the diameter of the insert, so you don't chip it.

    But the insert must be a really tight fit in the wood or it won't hold under string tension. You should definitely not be able to push it in by hand. If you've got a G-clamp with long enough reach, you can squeeze the insert in with that (obviously protect the back of the guitar), and if not you'll have to tap it in with a hammer - in either case, protect the top of the metal with a piece of scrap hardwood, or (better) use an old post threaded right into it, that way you won't risk marking the finish as it goes down to the surface.
     
  3. tonezoneonline

    tonezoneonline Member

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    As John suggested ,I use a old post threaded into the insert and press them in with a large drill press.If you have to tap them in with a hammer go slow and make sure they stay straight.It will help to put a dab of paste wax on the lower end of the insert.
     
  4. joeln87

    joeln87 Guest

    bad news... even with your help, the wood split around one post! I think one of the posts was drilled to close to the wall ( closeset to the pickup)eventully i had to dremel some of it... one went in fine.. the other i ended up having to glue in.. i dont think it will effect the tone any.. but it still REALLY pissed me off. not a happy camper that day. Hopfully the rest of the project comes with ease. thanks guys
     
  5. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Is this a Strat-style body with a Floyd Rose or Wilkinson type bridge by any chance? If so it probably won't make you feel any better, but this is a common problem on the treble-side post, especially with an angled humbucker... which is just a stupid idea and only became fashionable because EVH - great player but (by his own admission) a really bad guitar hacker - fitted his like that on his Strat. You can get away with it with a 6-screw bridge, but I've repaired probably dozens on 2-post bridges. Even a normal angled single-coil cavity can be a problem. The only easy solution is to epoxy the post into the body and hope for the best...
     
  6. tspallone

    tspallone Guest

    Kind of on this same topic, I'm building a solid body from scratch. I have a Gotoh Tune-a-matic bridge that I'm about to drill holes for. Here's my dilemma; the diameter of the posts measures exactly 7/16 inch. I have a forstner bit just for this. Problem is, drilling that size hole produces a hole which receives the post but, I can push it in with my hand and pull it out just as easily.

    Using a smaller bit is simply TOO small would require Dremeling with a small sanding drum. Not that I'm apposed to this but, my fear is that I won't sand it PERFECTLY round and therefore, the post won't be in the exact position.

    I'm thinking of shimming or "filling" the walls of my 7/16" hole and tapping in the post so that it's solid in it's place.

    Is there a more "confident" way of doing this? Also, I would imagine the bridge post need to be in the holes and not have the ability to be removed hand, am I correct?
     
  7. K-man

    K-man Member

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    You definately want the post to fit in tight. You shouldn't be able to push it in by hand. Like someone else mentioned the best way to install it is by putting a dowel in a drill press and pushing it in. If you don't have a drill press then you can carefully tap it in with a hammer.

    I would suggest finding the right size bit. Maybe a 13/32"? Try it in a block of wood first to make sure it will be a tight fit.

    When you get the right bit, you'll need to plug the hole and then redrill it. Use a wood dowel and sand it so it fits tight in the hole, then superglue it in and trim it off with a pair of fret cutters so the plug is flush. Then you can redrill the correct size hole.
     
  8. Tinman

    Tinman Member

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    Go to a good harware store and bring the bushing with you. Try metric bits and try "letter" bits. I have not built a guitar with a tune-o-matic in quite a while, but I remember that I encountered the same problem and I was able to solve it going outside of English bits. I wish I could remember what I ended up using, but whatever it was, it was just right. Good luck.
     
  9. tspallone

    tspallone Guest

    Yes, I thought of going metric but, I can't find Forstner bits in metric and yes, I suppose a 13/32 bit would work perfectly but, again, I had the hardest time finding the 7/16. Sure, I COULD get these things on the web if I wanted but, I've found that I could get the bit I wanted for about $4.40 and the shipping cost $5. I can't see it.

    By the way, I havn't actually drilled the holes in the guitar itself yet. I've been testing until I'm confident of the hole size.

    The problem is, you can't really test it all the way because, well, then, the thing is IN. And can't come out. The guitar would be completely finished by that point with paint and clear coat and all. Not at that point yet but I wanted to place the holes so I can continue. I'm going to look for the 13/32 bit. Thanks.
     
  10. Tinman

    Tinman Member

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    Why do you want to use a fostner bit? There is no advantage that I'm aware of to having a flat-bottomed hole in this application. You CAN test the bits without drilling into your guitar. Use a piece of scrap. It can be 1/2" material. Drill the test holes near the butt end of the scrap. If the bushing gets stuck, just put a chisel on the end grain and give it a tap. The wood will split right to your bushing.
     
  11. K-man

    K-man Member

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    I agree you don't need the flat bottom bit. I recommend using a brad point bit if you are drilling a finished guitar, helps keep the paint from chipping.

    I know where you are coming from not wanting to order the bit from the web, but I found that in the end it is worth it to use the right tools for the job.
     
  12. tspallone

    tspallone Guest

    Well, I guess my thinking with using the Forstner bit was that I wanted as much wood-to-post contact and having that flat bottom would provide for that better than any other type of bit. But, at this point, I just want the whole to be the proper size and I'll give in with having the bottom of the hole come in to contact with the bottom of post.
     

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