Getting bridge plate to lay flat over push-back cloth wire

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by logans_tele, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. logans_tele

    logans_tele Tele-Meister

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    I have 72 Telecaster deluxe with the hard-tail Strat style bridge. I did some upgrades and part of that was going to cloth pushback wire. I noticed that the extra bulk of this wire caused the bridge plate to not want to lay flat as I tightened it down. Compared to the thin plastic stock wire, the cloth wiring is thicker and doesn't flatten as easily. Eventually, I just ended up cranking down on the bridge plate screws and I assume it sort of pressed the wire into the wood a bit below the bridge plate and it appears to be laying flat now.

    Is this a common thing or did I miss a more obvious solution?
     
  2. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Not sure I understand but if its a grounding wire I usually strip the wire so its bare and then it gets pressed into the wood
     
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  3. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Yea this was my initial thought. Funny timing because I was putting a partscaster together over the weekend and couldn’t figure out why my bridge was tilting. Finally took a look and realized the push-back wasn’t pushed back.
     
  4. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    This happened to me when I dropped N4 pickups into my MIM Telecaster. You say you have new pickups. First check that it's not the height adjustment screws that are preventing you from seating the bridge. If that's the problem, you can drill 3/16" holes where the adjustment screws left their mark on the bottom of the cavity. If the problem is the leads, try to place them along side the pickup, rather than under it. If that's impossible, you may have no choice but to deepen the route in the bridge pickup cavity. You can do this free hand very carefully with a Dremel tool. You just need to remove material from the side of the cavity where the leads will run. Don't go too deep. Don't remove more material than necessary.
     
  5. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't think I've ever seen a tele that didn't use bare wire for the bridge ground. I don't know what the real old one's look like, I'm guessing there are pictures in the blackguard book, but I don't recall that particular detail atm.
     
  6. logans_tele

    logans_tele Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, I actually did this a while back and thinking about it I did push back the cloth wire. The real issue was that the stock wire was the multi-strand stuff that you can sort of flatten out where the push-back cloth wire is a solid single conductor. That solid conductor created a "bump" that prevented the bridge from laying flat. My solution was to just tighten the screws and press the solid conductor into the wood finish below the bridge. I guess my question is.... is that what everyone does or is there some other way to get a solid conductor wire seated below the bridge laying flat?
     
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  7. tessting1two

    tessting1two Tele-Meister

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    I prefer to solder the ground wire to a strip of adhesive-back copper foil so the wire sits in the hole and the bridge rests on the foil.
     
  8. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Stranded wire, fanned out.
     
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  9. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Holic

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    If you have something that is solid vs strand, then you don't have the kind of wire typically used on guitars.

    With that I'll acknowledge that the typical push back wire has thicker strands than the typical plastic insulated wire, but it shouldn't be enough of a difference to keep the bridge from laying flat (unless the cloth is not pushed back).

    Edit. I'm wrong. Apparently, Solid is what Fender first used. Then stranded "Pre-tinned".

    Well, I guess yours is good and pressed into the wood then. I've not had that issue, but the only guitar I have with style of bridge it the one I made. I didn't use push back.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  10. logans_tele

    logans_tele Tele-Meister

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    The wire I used is Gavitt cloth wire like this picture. I guess there are strands there but they're soldered. I didn't bother trying to suck away the solder and flatten the wires. I just left it pretty much like you see it in the picture. I know this kind of wire gets used all the time, so is there a trick I'm missing?
     

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  11. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Meister

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    As you said, you kept the solder at the end of the wire. You could have simply cut a few mm to get rid of the solder, then the wire should have fit far more easily under the bridge.
    In the end, if the bridge is now laying flat, problem solved! Even with thin stranded wire, fitting it under the bridge and tightening the screws always leaves a compressing mark into the finish/wood. I guess the one yours have left is only a bit deeper.
     
  12. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Meister

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    As you said, you kept the solder at the end of the wire. You could have simply cut a few mm to get rid of the solder, then the wire should have fit far more easily under the bridge.
    In the end, if the bridge is now laying flat, problem solved! Even with thin stranded wire, fitting it under the bridge and tightening the screws always leaves a compressing mark into the finish/wood. I guess the one yours have left is only a bit deeper.
     
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