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Drilling bridge holes

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Tej
 Tej
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30/06/2021 6:21 am  

As I need to apply the guitar finish before glueing the neck I’m not sure when to drill the holes for the bridge. Current thought is that I could dry clamp the neck in now and drill the bridge holes then disassemble it to put the finish on. I can’t see a single reason that wouldn’t be ok but I’m very keen not to screw up here as the last thing I want is to end up having to relocate the bridge afterwards. 

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Bill Flude
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30/06/2021 10:32 am  

If your neck pocket is tight then the neck will be in the same position so you should be able to drill bridge holes now - can't see it being a problem - only issue would be if the neck can wobble side to side........

Measure once........
Measure again.........
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Tej
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30/06/2021 12:17 pm  

@frocesterbill that was my thought but there’s no play in it, I’ve rushed a few decisions on this build and things haven’t always gone to plan, hence the paranoia!

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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Rocknroller912
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30/06/2021 12:30 pm  

@tej

What type of bridge do you have. If it has some intonation adjustment that should take care of any small changes after the neck is glued.

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Tej
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30/06/2021 1:27 pm  

@rocknroller912 it’s a gotoh 510UB my concern is around possible need for lateral movement as opposed to the intonation. I’ll set it up on some scrap and see what play there is in it.

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Tej
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30/06/2021 2:49 pm  

@rocknroller912 this is the bridge I have below. It’s a little different to the one @markbailey uses in the video. I was planning to mount it with the posts in line  with the scale length line but 6mm back. Then use the side adjustment for the whole bridge to set the intonation line. Then use the individual saddle adjustment to get everything spot on. Does that sound about right!?

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Rocknroller912
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30/06/2021 3:20 pm  

@tej

If it’s got side adjustment it sounds like a plan but I’m not an electric guitar expert. If your neck is a tight fit there shouldn’t be much difference between the test fit and the final. I can see the problem if it’s a natural wood finish there’s no room for hiding mistakes.

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Tej
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30/06/2021 4:15 pm  

@rocknroller912 I’ll keep that in mind if I ever make a “real” guitar then. Measuring the string lengths nut to bridge on another guitar with the same scale length suggest the adjustment should be more than adequate. Rechecked the neck for play sideways and it’s snug, just under half a mm off the actual centre line which is annoying but not the end of the world, I can’t see trying to adjust that making anything better 😬

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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tv1
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12/07/2021 9:45 pm  

Few comments ...

1.  That's a good bridge.  I've used it on a few builds.  Lots of adjustment in that, both for the bridge overall and the individual strings

 

2.  Definitely drill the bridge holes *before* you apply finishing to the guitar.  Else there's a risk that you'll mess up the finish when you drill the holes.

 

3.  The way I do it;

  • Put the neck into the pocket.  Clamp it if necessary to keep it in place.  Make sure it's good and tight with no lateral play.
  • Then use long straight edges clamped along the side of the neck to extend the outer lines of the neck onto the body to the bridge line.  This is an indicator of where the strings will be.
  • I usually put some pieces of masking tape on the body and draw those "outer edge" lines on.
  • At the bridge line (ie scale length) you can now position the bridge so that it's centred within those outer lines.
  • Now nudge the bass side of the bridge back 2-3mm and mark the centre points of the mounting posts.
  • Drill.

A picture would be worth a thousand words (or as many as I've typed above), but I don't think I've photo'd that stage of the process on any of my builds.

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Tej
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12/07/2021 10:37 pm  

@tv101 thanks for the feedback, that’s pretty much what I did in the end apart from moving the bass side back but the adjustment for. The test set up I made was more than enough for the scale length based on other guitars.

What I didn’t do however was drill pilot holes for the pickup mounts so they will have to be done after finishing, just after much curing and through light tack painters tape under an umbrella of wishes and hope 🙂

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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tv1
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13/07/2021 11:55 am  

under an umbrella of wishes and hope

I love that phrase!!  First time I've ever heard it ...

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mark bailey
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13/07/2021 1:06 pm  

You can dry clamp the neck to mark and drill the bridge holes - just make sure to double check alignment as you are gluing. You can run a ruler down each side and check it intersects with the bridge mount holes before final tightening of the clamps.

 

If it was a bolt on neck I might advise full test assembly before taking it all apart again to spray.

Good luck!

 

Measure twice, cut once...


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darrenking
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14/07/2021 12:38 am  

under an umbrella of wishes and hope

But is it enough to protect you from a shit storm of mistakes and disasters ?!!


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Bill Flude
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14/07/2021 12:41 pm  

@darrenking But is it enough to protect you from a shit storm of mistakes and disasters ?!!

Of course not........

Measure once........
Measure again.........
Sod it - make tea!


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