Help! Vintage 3-Saddle Bridge on Body for Modern

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by JRtele, May 23, 2020.

  1. JRtele

    JRtele TDPRI Member

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    Hey guys,
    Doing my first partscaster. Bought a body drilled for a 6-saddle bridge but going for a relic/worn look and aiming to install a Gotoh In-Tune bridge.
    As you can see in the pictures, I won’t be able to get it in the correct position for 25.5” without drilling new holes.

    Other than “buy a new bridge,” could someone recommend the best way for
    An inexperienced builder to solve the Lack of string-through-body issue?

    I understand the options are re-drill all 6 but is there an easier way to drill at an angle to existing holes?

    I only have an electric hand drill at my disposal and other basic tools.
    Help would be very appreciated. 21B5E377-4A25-4A4F-8609-058B346D43B1.jpeg
     
  2. jhiatt1

    jhiatt1 TDPRI Member

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    You could try drilling at an angle but wouldnt recommend it. Is it a top loader bridge? If it is you dont have to do through body stringing.

    Or buy a Wilkinson compensated bridge with brass saddels. They are set up for through body or top loader.

    Here is my build using the Wilkinson bridge. I use it as a toploader.
     

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  3. 440mhz

    440mhz TDPRI Member

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    I agree, you can get a bridge plate that's fairly inexpensive and you should find one with the same dimensions with corresponding holes. Drilling without a drill press or a jig to keep the drill from angling, and it looks bad on the rear of the body, if the holes don't align.
     
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  4. olaftheholy

    olaftheholy Tele-Afflicted

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    agreed with toploader solution.
    sounds oinky as can be and if it's good enough for Jim Campilongo...then it's good enough for all of us here.
     
  5. jhiatt1

    jhiatt1 TDPRI Member

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    If you cant find one. Find a toploader bridge(i personally like these better than through body) Then fill the holes drill in the new bridge and you are good to string it up.
     
  6. jhiatt1

    jhiatt1 TDPRI Member

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    Lots of famous guitarists use toploaders on theit teles. David Gilmour uses a toploader on his workmate tele and I believe Keith Richards does as well.
     
  7. jhiatt1

    jhiatt1 TDPRI Member

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    Plus changing strings is quicker on a toploader.
     
  8. JRtele

    JRtele TDPRI Member

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    I appreciate the replies. It isn’t a top loader. I could potentially make it one...?

    Id really rather not buy another one just because I can’t return this first. Up north we have a hard time getting parts without getting robbed with customs fees. (Americans are very lucky in this regard)

    Alternatively I can go pick up a jig for relatively cheap. If I do that I would have the option to go strait through (I don’t care much if there’s an extra 6 holes in the back).
     
  9. jhiatt1

    jhiatt1 TDPRI Member

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    Solomusicgear.com carries the Wilkinson bridge fairly cheap and shipping is quick.
     
  10. jhiatt1

    jhiatt1 TDPRI Member

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    No customs fees with solo. But you could try to make it a toploader but risk damaging it in the process. Post the bridge for sale on letgo or offerup or craigslist. Just sold my old bridge for $20 which is $5 less than what I bought it for. My whol build cost me about $350 for the kit and all parts. Most expensive parts was my bridge pickup and fender roller nut. If you know where to look you can get pretty good quality parts fairly cheap.
     
  11. JRtele

    JRtele TDPRI Member

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    I’ve used solo for every project so far. Actually used a Wilkinson wraparound for a LP jr.

    I could still actually return the Gotoh, My volume knobs are going back as well, they didn’t fit on the Emerson pre-wired kit.

    I’ll take a couple days and see if I can find a friend with a drill press, I’d still like to do through the body if possible.
     
  12. jhiatt1

    jhiatt1 TDPRI Member

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    Another good site is guitarfetish.com all wearhouse direct stuff there.
     
  13. JRtele

    JRtele TDPRI Member

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    I’m quite stubbornly determined to make the gotoh 3 saddle bridge work.

    I’ve got access to a drill press and will attempt drilling string through holes at a 45 degree angle to the existing holes.

    If that fails plan B will be converting this bridge to a top loader.
     
  14. jhiatt1

    jhiatt1 TDPRI Member

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    Making it a toploader shouldnt be too hard. You just gotta make sure you get the measurements for the holes just right though.
     
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  15. JRtele

    JRtele TDPRI Member

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    Seems like a Success. Don’t know I would have opted to do this on a higher end build but for a “relic” look I’m not too concerned.
     

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  16. ben smith

    ben smith Tele-Holic

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    gotta top load it, i have been here before
     
  17. ben smith

    ben smith Tele-Holic

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    fill in the other holes maybe? it's going to be a pain in the butt trying to get the string through the new holes
     
  18. JRtele

    JRtele TDPRI Member

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    I know... not looking forward to it. Concern now with filling The old holes is going too deep and blocking the holes to new bridge.

    Project is on hold for a few days whole I wait for conversion bushings for the Gotoh Tuners but what I’ll try after is to guide the strings in from the top, maybe blocking/redirecting with a 1/8 drill bit.
    On the bright side, I can still do top loader option or give up and get a new bridge that goes back to the original holes.
     
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  19. JRtele

    JRtele TDPRI Member

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    So it worked! Drilling at 45 angle from the new bridge to the old ones worked.

    Took my wife’s nimble little vet tech fingers and any tech I take it to will hate me but doable.

    I won’t be filling the old holes. Chances of getting exact depth so as not to block off is unrealistic with my limited abilities. Also I like having the option of swapping bridge later.

    I’m also justifying it by the fact that it’s a relic build, and adds to the look I attempted, although that is pretty subjective.

    It’ll be interesting to see what breakage is like with Ernie Ball Cobalts.

    FBDC6EA0-D047-401A-AC43-4EE818D8E40A.jpeg
     
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