Bridge pickup mounting holes

jasonw1970

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Newbie here but looking for input or opinions on a problem I'm having. I have a partscaster I am assembling and I have tried 3 different bridgeplates 54mm vintage 3 saddle styles. And also 3 different bridge pickups. But none of the pickup mounting holes will line up.I can only get two screw holes to line up but one of the three holes is always misaligned. These are all tele bridge pickups. Klein broadcaster reproduction, duncan stl-2 and a classic vibe. I did not have this issue with the last one I did. The holes should line up. It's driving me insane and I'm spending a fortune on bridgeplates and pickups trying to make something work. Is this a normal problem that occurs? Only my 2nd build but any tips or info would be appreciated. I would like to mount through the bridge plate rather than to the body. Thanks
 

jasonw1970

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The 3 holes in the bridge plate that are supposed to line up with the 3 holes on the bridge pickup. Cant get them to line up to mount the pickup to the bridge plate. The body was a custom made body I bought from a builder in texas. One of the bridge plates was already installed on it. It was already mounted to the body when i got it. But when I try to mount any of my bridge pickups to any of the three bridgeplates I have the screw holes dont line up. So ihave tried 3 different pickups and three different plates. but same issue every time. Was thinking I may have to just mount the pickup to the body instead. but trying to avoid that. Thanks for replying by the way
 

jasonw1970

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Are you saying you bought a pre-drilled body? Where did the body come from?
it was a pre drilled body yes. And one of the bridge plates were already on it. The 3 bridge pickups i have, none of the pickup mounting holes would line up with that wilkinson bridgeplate. So I bought two others. But same issue. Theres always one hole with that does not line up with the three pickup holes. if i enlarge the hole on the pickup it may ruin it.Just trying to mount the pickup to the plate so i can reinstall and wire it up. I don't know if thats a common issue as I have only assembled one other guitar and I did not have that problem. the plates fit the guitar perfectly it seems. Just won't mount to the plate. So maybe i can just screw the pickup to the body. Thanks for replying by the way. hope its not too confusing
 

jasonw1970

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So I gave it one more try and I was able to get the Duncan stl-2 mounted into one of the bridges.I did not post the pic because i fixed the issue. What it was is that with the klein pickup the baseplate had fallen of. I had reattached it and my alignment of the holes was off just enough to make the screw go slightly crooked ,thus making the other holes not line up. My eyesights not what it used to be. And with the duncan pickup there was a slight bit of extra material around one of the holes. I guess from the mold or something. So that was causing the same issue, So i just filed it out. I guess a combination of frustration, poor eyesight and fear of messing up one of the pickups,so I was being a bit too gentle with the installation. Anyway I did get the duncan in there and I am ready to wire it up. I will try to post a pic when I get my headstock decals on and get the strings lined up. I feel a bit stupid now for posting the question but thanks for the replies folks. Much appreciated
 

gsh1968

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@jasonw1970

Tele bridge pickups and bridges are an industry standard. They should fit together just fine.

Please post a picture of the pickup and the bridge plate.
You'd think so but unfortunately this is not the case.
A lot of "import" Tele bridges (mainly from Korea and China) use the same template/mold as the Wilkinson bridge, which has pickup mount holes very slightly off from what we consider Fender spec. No idea why.
They can be made to fit with some fiddling, but they are definitely different. (Note that Hosco and Gotoh are to Fender spec)

Here's my tracings which I used to show a supplier the difference.
 

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yegbert

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I had the same anomaly with some import baseplates. I used a needle file to enlarge a hole or two in the direction needed and got it to work.
 

Wound_Up

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Newbie here but looking for input or opinions on a problem I'm having. I have a partscaster I am assembling and I have tried 3 different bridgeplates 54mm vintage 3 saddle styles. And also 3 different bridge pickups. But none of the pickup mounting holes will line up.I can only get two screw holes to line up but one of the three holes is always misaligned. These are all tele bridge pickups. Klein broadcaster reproduction, duncan stl-2 and a classic vibe. I did not have this issue with the last one I did. The holes should line up. It's driving me insane and I'm spending a fortune on bridgeplates and pickups trying to make something work. Is this a normal problem that occurs? Only my 2nd build but any tips or info would be appreciated. I would like to mount through the bridge plate rather than to the body. Thanks

Why not return the stuff that doesn't work instead of "spending a fortune..."?

Wilkinson plates are usually pretty spot on in my experience and reading tons of threads online. People change their fender bridge to them all the time with no issues.

You could even go so far as to use a Wilkinson plate AND pickup so they're sure to work together. They sell some pickups made in Japan that are supposed to be pretty good.
 

jasonw1970

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Why not return the stuff that doesn't work instead of "spending a fortune..."?

Wilkinson plates are usually pretty spot on in my experience and reading tons of threads online. People change their fender bridge to them all the time with no issues.

You could even go so far as to use a Wilkinson plate AND pickup so they're sure to work together. They sell some pickups made in Japan that are supposed to be pretty good.
I was able to fix the issue and I posted the details up there somewhere. I've been working on so many guitars of late and ordering so much stuff it just becomes a pain returning stuff with my tight schedule. If i have extra parts it also gives me an excuse to do another project.I'm getting alot of parts stocked up lol. I was able to use the plate I bought after all. But now I have some extra bridge pickups. so might do a 70's style tele next
 

Boreas

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You'd think so but unfortunately this is not the case.
A lot of "import" Tele bridges (mainly from Korea and China) use the same template/mold as the Wilkinson bridge, which has pickup mount holes very slightly off from what we consider Fender spec. No idea why.
They can be made to fit with some fiddling, but they are definitely different. (Note that Hosco and Gotoh are to Fender spec)

Here's my tracings which I used to show a supplier the difference.
Just because there are industry standards does not mean everything MEETS those standards! With global supply issues, manufacturing is shifting around and new plants are making new parts. Machining get set up improperly and the factory produces a run that does not quite meet specifications. Depending on the manufacturer, they may scrap the parts, or they may simply pass them on hoping they don't get burned by consumers. Because they usually test every lot received, most guitar manufacturers will find the out-of-spec parts and return the entire lot to the manufacturer. That manufacturer then can either scrap the lot, or pass it on to parts companies. End-users may be able to get the parts to work, saving the manufacturer from eating the cost of scrapping the entire lot/run.

Another issue that CAN happen, although it shouldn't, is incorrect machine set-up. CNC computer driven technology is very accurate and consistent, but only as good as the specs and parameters that are input by humans or data files. Sometimes it seems the input isn't exact enough, such as converting specs from fractions of inches to fractions of millimeters. This typically won't happen with seasoned programmers and employees, but part of the global shortage issue also often involves a shortage of skilled employees - even in quality control.

Now what is going on with you, I am not sure - other than tolerances from many manufacturers may be becoming intolerable!
 

Boreas

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So I gave it one more try and I was able to get the Duncan stl-2 mounted into one of the bridges.I did not post the pic because i fixed the issue. What it was is that with the klein pickup the baseplate had fallen of. I had reattached it and my alignment of the holes was off just enough to make the screw go slightly crooked ,thus making the other holes not line up. My eyesights not what it used to be. And with the duncan pickup there was a slight bit of extra material around one of the holes. I guess from the mold or something. So that was causing the same issue, So i just filed it out. I guess a combination of frustration, poor eyesight and fear of messing up one of the pickups,so I was being a bit too gentle with the installation. Anyway I did get the duncan in there and I am ready to wire it up. I will try to post a pic when I get my headstock decals on and get the strings lined up. I feel a bit stupid now for posting the question but thanks for the replies folks. Much appreciated
Well, OK, you figured out the problem with that pairing. What is going on with the others? It would seem to me that with relatively long mounting screws, one should easily be able to compensate for small inconsistencies between the parts. I am wondering, if your eyesight is indeed poor, if you may NOT be noticing a typical non-issue with pickup screw holes. They are usually undersized so that a new installation often requires cutting threads through and plastics or coatings on the mounting ears. This is typically done without thought with the machine screws the first time they are screwed in. But if you are having trouble SEEING this, it may be leading you to believe the parts are not fitting properly.

Could this be the case? I don't know. I am not trying to be critical, but if your acuity is impaired with detail work, you may want to try more magnification and light. It will likely make your work more efficient and precise. :)
 




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