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**Drilling Toploader Bridge For String Through**

Jack Wells
February 25th, 2008, 11:44 AM
I have a project underway that needs a Strat hardtail bridge. I didn't want to spend the $41 for the Gotoh from StewMac. I have a toploader bridge from a Squire '51 so I decided to drill it for string through holes.

I went to the StewMac site and got this drawing of the Gotoh bridge.

......http://www.stewmac.com/catalog/specs/0179_1spec.gif

I printed it actual size.......... cut it out cutting at the lip line and glued it to the '51 bridge plate with spray adhesive.

......http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v208/jwells393/New%20Album/DSC04221.jpg

I attached my 2-axis vise to the drill press and clamped in the bridge plate......

.......http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v208/jwells393/New%20Album/DSC04224.jpg

.....and proceded to drill through the string through holes on the drawing.

......http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v208/jwells393/New%20Album/DSC04223.jpg

Jack Wells
February 25th, 2008, 11:46 AM
Here's the completed plate.

......http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v208/jwells393/New%20Album/Bridgeplatedrilled.jpg

Trimmed&Burnin
February 25th, 2008, 12:16 PM
Well done Jack, A really informative post for sure!

robt57
February 25th, 2008, 12:42 PM
Well done Jack, A really informative post for sure!

Funny you should mention it, or rather I am seeing it right now. Mine is a standard Tele Bridge on a SS Tele.

1st, nice thought out process IMO. I get the impression no Luthier is going to have to have you show up at the door crying 'look what happened, please fix it" ;)

Now, I just came from downstairs marking up my Tele bridge for the exact same thing.

I got a Burgundy Mist body last year [99 US boy I was told] and popped a ferrous non-vintage bridge on it. I had bought an Vintage and 3 brass barrel saddle set up from Angela for it only to see the string through holes where not closer to the neck that the mounting screws, like the body is.
The plate that bolted right on had both string through and top mount hole, so I just strung it up top mounted. That's good enough for the Jims, (Page and Campilongo, I read] good enough for me. ;)

BTW, I did put the brass barrel saddles on the top loader using 3 of the 6 saddle holes. Yep, lined up pretty much, but I did have to slot barrels a touch to hold the strings from sliding slightly. I bend a lot and variable string spacing ain't my gig. ;)

I had seen a thread from this forum where guy actually drilled and put plastic tubes in his body to route the string through holes to the lower position. A lot of work to be sure. He used bondo to fill around it all. Under the bridge, so you won't see it, but the bridge was resting on it, not for me, wood to plate contact only please! ;)

Anyway, I got a Fender hard tail bridge [Strat & thinline type] on eBay with polished SS saddles for my Thin-line project, one of 3 Tele bodies I am in the middle of. And the string through holes are in the right place for my MIM Tele relative to the center line of the mounting holes.
So I used a marker and laid the fixed one over the Tele plate and prestos.

So I marked it up onto the top loader, and I will drill like you did, and have a top and string through. Can;t wait to A/B the sound to see [hear?]

Again, nice work on your part.


Ciao, BobL

magicguitar
February 25th, 2008, 12:53 PM
I love your thrifty approach to solving problems...COOL!

robt57
February 25th, 2008, 06:45 PM
Surprised at just how much the sound is different. I mean the guitar sounds the same pretty much, only it is brighter and seems to have more pop. I'd guess the shorter distance from the plate up to the saddle and the approx. 45^ angle twice [once at plate and again over saddle] holds those saddles down tigher. I think next string change I may go back to the top load to really get an idea. I used heavy strings, but I could see how light strings could benefit from the path as far as pulling down on the saddle.

Maybe I am just hearing new strings. ;)