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Moving the bridge but only a little  

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Tej
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19/04/2021 11:14 pm  

I’m trying to fix the flaws on a kit guitar. One of the problems is that the bridge isn’t straight, the mount holes were just wrong but I wasn’t paying enough attention at the time. Current plan was to make dowels to fill all the holes and then drill the mount holes accurately. Is there any need to glue towels in or just make them tight fitting for this kind of thing?

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Russ
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19/04/2021 11:18 pm  

I'd use glue @tej. Then you'll know it will be strong enough and won't shift. 

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Boo
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20/04/2021 12:04 am  

Is there any need to glue towels in or just make them tight fitting for this kind of thing?

Glue them in @tej 👍 

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Rocknroller912
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20/04/2021 1:14 am  

@tej 

Dowels should be a tight fit, but they need flutes or grooves along the side or the glue will not be able to squeeze out and it will form a vacuum 

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Tej
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20/04/2021 3:39 am  

@rocknroller921 this was partly why I was asking as it’d be home made it wouldn’t have any flutes unless I cut them in. I’ve tried a similar thing in the past where I’ve had to re-drill a filled hole and the drill has wandered towards the edge of where the dowel meets the workpiece. I’m hoping though this may have been more as a result of using poor quality drill bits though.

By the way, is anyone else able to use the edit function for their posts, it doesn’t seem to work for me?

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tv1
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20/04/2021 9:05 am  

By the way, is anyone else able to use the edit function for their posts, it doesn’t seem to work for me?

@Tej - don't mention the Edit non-function ...

🤐

If it's a kit guitar, then I'm guessing that the bridge holes will be metric rather than imperial, and probably 12mm holes?

You might be able to find (eBay) 12mm fluted dowels for not a lot of ££s, and that would make the easiest, cheapest fix.

Might be the bridge out of position, or might be the neck pocket not cut correctly?

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Tej
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20/04/2021 9:21 am  

Might be the bridge out of position, or might be the neck pocket not cut correctly?

@tv101 It’s a Tele copy, pretty sure it’s the bridge as it’s not parallel with the neck pickup which is parallel with the end of the fretboard. It’s out by about 1.5mm from the nut on one side too and also not parallel with the edge of the control plate which is perpendicular to the end of the neck. Though having just double check the control plate it’s actually ever so slightly off but not to the naked eye so I’ll likely leave that alone!

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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tv1
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20/04/2021 9:53 am  

Tele - that makes it easier @Tej!

How many screw holes fix the bridge to the body?  Some are 3, some 5, some 6.

I'd get the neck fixed in place, then draw lines from the outside edges of the neck over the body in the bridge plate area.  Then draw a line (right angles to a centre line) to mark the scale length.  Work out where the bridge needs to be, and which of the existing screw holes can be used, bearing in mind that there's usually quite a lot of intonation / saddle adjustment on a Tele bridge.

For the exissting holes that can't be used, just fill them and then re-drill in the correct positions.  You could dowel them quite easily as you don't need big bits of dowelling - 5mm/6mm should do it - so you can get those easily/cheapily/quickily from eBay and you'll drill the holes to fit the dowels. 

I'd assumed that you were needing to fill some existing holes on a Tuneamatic/wrapover type bridge, so needed to find dowelling to fit an existing hole.  Just use a test piece first to make sure that the dowels will fit the size hole that you drill.

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Tej
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20/04/2021 1:22 pm  

@tv101 thanks for the advice. Annoyingly none of the existing holes are reusable, they’re small too and I don’t have any small dowel. Pretty sure if I try to turn something that thin it’d just snap too. I’ve some 6mm dowel though so plan is to drill out the holes and fill them with that all of which will be hidden under the bridge plate anyway, only me and Internet will know it’s dirty little secret 🤫 

I’ve made a jig to route the recess for the Grainger ferrule block that arrived too. Then it’s onto making a new template for the pick guard which was seemingly designed by a blind drunk gibbon with distemper. A few of the frets need a little work too so enough to keep me busy for now.

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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tv1
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20/04/2021 2:33 pm  

Kits are often useful for the learning opportunities that they bring!

You'd think, given that they all just come off a machine out there in Chinaland, that someone could set the machine up properly before they press the START button.  How much harder would that be ...

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Rocknroller912
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20/04/2021 10:15 pm  

@tej

Drilling out existing holes to make them fit a commercially available dowel can be very tricky as the point of of the drill is starting in fresh air, which means it will wander and give you an oval instead of round.

One way I’ve got round it is to turn a cone shape on the lathe that’s a bit slack in the hole. Then sticky tape abrasive on and use it to create a counter sink in the hole by hand turning. The drill bit will then be seated neatly and should be an accurate hole.

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Tej
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20/04/2021 10:37 pm  

@rocknroller912 oddly I did something very similar but just rolled some sandpaper into a cone, it all worked out well, and the bridge is in the right place. Now it’s just the pick guard that needs replacing with one that’s cut properly. The ferrule block I installed doesn’t look too good sadly as the original holes for the individual ferrules were so far out I’ve had to install it at an angle. As @tv101 said though the kit guitars have their uses! Took the opportunity to level and re-crown the frets too which I’m getting better at plays really nicely for a cheap instrument! Only the intonation left to sort but that can wait until tomorrow.

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Boo
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20/04/2021 10:51 pm  

@tej I agree with @tv101 about the bad quality of cheap guitar kits. It’s only when I started building guitars from scratch that I really noticed how inaccurate parts of the cheap kits were. Surely it’s not beyond the wit of man to set the machine up properly before running off a batch of guitars. The odd one or two could be put down to a hiccup but it seems to be most of them all the time. I use the ferrule blocks a lot and I end up drilling the string holes with a bigger drill bit sometimes (the holes in the guitar body, not the ferrule block) just so it’s easier to get the strings through the block, through the body and through the bridge saddles. 

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