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 Post subject: DIY Hardtail Bridge?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:15 am 
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Koa
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On a lark, I'm building myself a Tele. However, the specs are not standard (what would be the fun in that! bliss ) So one thing I've done is designed it with wider string spacing. I mean, right? You just decide on your string spacing and drill your pin holes from there.

Not being an electric guitar guy I didn't think it though. These bridges are all pre-made and there is essentially one bridge string spacing for Teles: 2-1/16". Forget finding anything that is 2-3/16"! So I bought these individual string bridges. Problem is that I just don't like the look. It is nearly impossible to get them perfectly lined up unless they touch. If they touch, you kinda defeated the purpose.

So, being a DIY kind of guy I thought, "how hard could it be to take a piece of metal, cut it to size and bend up a lip? That all seems very doable. Except...

How do I make it look like a finished product? All the bridges are chrome, gold or black? I can get brass or aluminum at a local metal supply place, but it won't match the saddles or any of the other hardware.

Any ideas on how I could DIY a hardtail bridge with custom string spacing?

I'm talking about this kind of thing that is basically a bent bracket with some holes drilled in it:

Attachment:
gotoh hardtail bridge nkl.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Hardtail Bridge?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:57 am 
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Cocobolo
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Use the saddles, screws and springs- make the base out of wood.

It's not like the saddle adjustment screws are pulling on that piece...so strength isn't an issue. Space them anyway you want then.

If you don't want the saddle height adjustment screws riding on wood- inlay a piece of metal for the saddles to ride/rest on. Inlayed metal could also be
grooved or made to retain spacing between the saddles. Saddles could also have spacing material added to the needed sides.


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Hardtail Bridge?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:50 am 
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Koa
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First name: Freeman
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The bridge in your picture is 0.125 thick, that would be 11 gauge. Some of the old pan style bridges were around 0.048 - 0.050 in thickness, that is about 18 gauge. Options include

- having a metal fab shop bend one for you out of mild steel. They will use something called a "brake press" to make a sharp bend (it will be slightly rounded). You would have a hard time doing this yourself. Then take it to an auto body shop or someone who builds hot rods or custom motorcycles and find out who does chrome plating in your area. Have it plated (or anodized) in the color you want.

- you can also have it "powder coated" which is a hard baked on finish in any color you want (black for instance). Again, hot rodders or similar will know who can do this

- you can have the sheet metal shop bend it out of stainless steel and buff that to a high polish. It will be slightly different color than chrome plated but you won't have the problems and expense of plating. When I made my tricone I had a sheet metal shop make the lattice grills out of stainless - you can compare SS with the chromed cover plate

Image

One advantage/disadvantage of stainless is that it will not corrode with age like plated steel will - you won't get that funky reliced 1950's look.

ps - the Gotoh bridge is 2-1/8 spacing, does that get you enough?

http://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Par ... _Tele.html

pps - don't forget that if you make the spacing much wider at the bridge you will have to change the neck taper which may affect the pocket. You may also be off center on the pole pieces for your pickups.


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Hardtail Bridge?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:16 am 
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Koa
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Freeman wrote:

pps - don't forget that if you make the spacing much wider at the bridge you will have to change the neck taper which may affect the pocket. You may also be off center on the pole pieces for your pickups.


Biltoff CC pickup and, natch, neck taper and pocket are all custom. As I said, where would the fun be in making a Fender clone?!!

I forgot to mention that with single string bridge pieces I can't see how to ground the strings (except maybe by having a wire run under all of them, which would probably be visible).

I guess I could have a piece fabricated up and chrome plated, but I assume that would be big $$$$. Anyone have experience having small pieces chromed?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Hardtail Bridge?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:32 am 
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Koa
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First name: Freeman
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rlrhett wrote:

I forgot to mention that with single string bridge pieces I can't see how to ground the strings (except maybe by having a wire run under all of them, which would probably be visible).

I guess I could have a piece fabricated up and chrome plated, but I assume that would be big $$$$. Anyone have experience having small pieces chromed?


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I have just ran the ground wire to the bridge pan (under) and it is fine. I have also shielded the bridge pickup cavity and put a little tab of the shielding foil under the pan (I do this with the control cavity cover also). When you solder a wire to the foil it will ground the whole bridge assembly.

Image

I suggested stainless to get around the chrome plating hassle, however if you can get your little piece put in with a bunch of other stuff then the cost should be minimal. I was lucky when I worked for a fab shop - I could just design some little gizmo and send it to the machinist, it would be made out of scrap and I'd do a setup on his kids guitar in trade.


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Hardtail Bridge?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:45 pm 
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The bridge and strings do not need to be grounded. Less likely to get shocked if it is not tied to ground.

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 Post subject: Re: DIY Hardtail Bridge?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:33 am 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:17 am
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First name: Michael
State: AR
Country: USA
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rlrhett wrote:

Forget finding anything that is 2-3/16"!



That's just not correct. https://reverb.com/item/4353835-joe-barden-tele-bridge-nickel-2-3-16-string-spacing-compensated-tb-5140-001


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