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Jaguar/Jazzmaster bridge installation questions

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by newuser1, Dec 1, 2020.

  1. newuser1

    newuser1 Tele-Holic

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    I'm working on a Jaguar and Bass VI projects and as I've never installed one of these Jaguar bridges I decided to buy the cheapest bridge + tremolo combos from eBay and Amazon and test them out. Boy do I regret this!

    The first bridge came without thimbles, and now I'm waiting for replacement thimbles to arrive. The second bridge came with thimbles however they have a few problems:

    1. The thimbles don't have bottoms. I've never worked with this type of bridge, but aren't they supposed to have bottoms so the adjustment screws can move the height of the bridge?

    2. I read that the thimbles diameter should be either 3/8" or 9mm, and these ones are 10mm.

    3. Once you put the bridge in the thimbles the fit is not snug and you can rattle the posts within the thimbles. Is this the way it is supposed to be?

    Now some installation questions.

    How snug should be the fit of the thimbles within the posts holes in the body? Should the fit be very snug, and if yes should I hammer the thimbles down gently using a piece of scrap?

    Any tips on how to drill the holes of the thimbles precisely, leaving no room for error?

    Thanks in advance for your help!


    IMG_2789.JPG IMG_2788.JPG IMG_2787.JPG IMG_2786.JPG
     
  2. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The ones I have have bottoms. I don't see how these could work. The pivots are a metal pinpoint that need to butt against metal. Plus, the thimbles shouldn't be threaded. I believe they are for a different bridge that adjusts by threads in the thimbles.
     
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  3. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I agree the diameter is larger than the Jag thimbles, so don't do any drilling until you know for sure what is going on. I suspect you may have bought junk... I would get genuine Fender parts. Bridges are not a good place to scrimp. Even with correct thimbles, the bridge itself may be problematic down the road.

    With the proper parts, the thimbles should be snug enough that they don't rotate, but you shouldn't have to hammer them in. It could split the wood or start a large crack in the finish. A firm push with the thumb or one tap with a light mallet should be enough.

    As for accurate drilling - good luck! I have installed about half a dozen of these and have yet to drill one perfectly. Of course you need to drill several pilot holes and gradually come up to the proper diameter. Do it with a drill press if possible!! Also, I typically tape off the area with tough masking tape to minimize chipping/cracking of the finish. When you start the hole, drill VERY slowly to abrade away the finish without drilling through it. If your drill press doesn't reverse, you can often drill backward by moving the chuck with your fingers (UNPLUG FIRST!) or you can use a hand drill in reverse to get through the finish into the wood.

    Others with more experience will likely have better suggestions than this!
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020
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  4. WingedWords

    WingedWords Friend of Leo's

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    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020
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  5. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020
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  6. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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  7. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    Can you send me the dimensions of the hole in the body, and the diameter of the bridge posts? I had some thimbles machined out of brass that I could send your way. They're a tiny bit oversized for Fender bridges, but they could work for you! 20201201_211724.jpg
     
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  8. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    Here's one better... Screenshot_20201201-212116_Drive.jpg

    Only my machinist couldn't quite get the ID right and they're just a touch oversized.

    I just measure one and it's .274" instead of .27" like the drawing shows.
     
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  9. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Those are nice but I am not sure they would be the best. First, they should have a cup in the bottom so the pivot centers correctly. But a drill could accomplish that. But the other issue is that the hardened steel of the pivot may sink into the soft brass and impede the rocking action.
     
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  10. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    I think you're probably right. I never thought about them moving a little bit in that cup. But my mastery thimbles are so snug with the bridge they don't move at all. These were whipped up as the solution to a problem. The problem: taking a mastery bridge off of a guitar and putting a Fender bridge back on. I had drilled out the holes to fit the mastery thimbles and so they were too big to put the fenders back in. So I had my guy whip up a thimble with the OD of a mastery with the ID of the Fender. An engineer I work with drew that up for me. Neither of us noticed the drill point bottom I suppose. But my machinist asked if I wanted the bottoms flat like that or if he could just use a drill, I told him it didn't matter but he ended up making them flat.

    But again I'll ask if Mastery is making them to such a tight tolerance that the bridge barely slides in and out, does it really matter. The brass might be too soft though like you said.
     
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  11. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Their website says they fit snug, so they aren't going to rock like the Fender-style. The string is meant to slide over the polished hardened steel saddle. Nice units (that I can't afford), but I like the industrial look of the threaded rod saddles...
     
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  12. tewiq

    tewiq Tele-Meister

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  13. newuser1

    newuser1 Tele-Holic

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    Have you bought anything else from these guys? How is the quality of their stuff?

    I quickly found a few things I would like to buy from them for my offset builds, but was wondering if anybody else has bought from EYPARTS, and what was your experience?

    Here is what I am thinking to buy, let me know your thoughts?

    https://www.eyguitarmusic.com/New-W...nobCapacitorWirewith-56K-Resistor_p_2069.html

    https://www.eyguitarmusic.com/Chrom...stang-Jazzmaster-Jaguar-95-Radius_p_2681.html

    https://www.eyguitarmusic.com/NewBlack-ButtonSlide-switch-for-Fender-JazzmasterJaguar_p_1381.html
     
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  14. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

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    I bought a Wilkinson WVS 50 II K trem from them earlier this year. I ordered it just before the lockdown so I didn't give it much of a chance of even getting here. But it did after about 2 or 3 months. I found their prices to be reasonable and at the time couldn't find that trem at a decent price elsewhere.

    The bridge looks fine but I'm not so sure about the electronics. I'd get better quality parts. A quick search and I found this. They are out of stock right now but the parts are quality. Maybe contact them. This is a much better kit.
    https://toneshapers.com/toneshapers-wiring-kit-fender-jaguar.html.html
     
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  15. newuser1

    newuser1 Tele-Holic

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    Thanks Richard,

    They also have this wiring kit which seems better quality:

    https://www.eyguitarmusic.com/New-W...nobCapacitorWirewith-56K-Resistor_p_2572.html

    Does it look OK to you?
     
  16. newuser1

    newuser1 Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for the useful responses and suggestions guys!

    I've decided to order 2 of these bridges Mustang 9.5" radius bridges:

    https://www.eyguitarmusic.com/Chrom...stang-Jazzmaster-Jaguar-95-Radius_p_2681.html

    The problem is I'm not sure what tremolos to buy now. Probably using the tremolos from my Chinese knockoffs is a bad idea.
    I actually need both lefty and righty tremolos but I gave up on finding a lefty one, so I'll do the lefty guitar with a righty tremolo.

    What do you guys think of this Fender one, which unfortunately have no mounting screws or tremolo arm?

    https://www.guitarpartsfactory.us/0...aguar-Jazzmaster-Vibrato-Tailpiece-0076232049

    Any other ideas for decent Jaguar tremolos on a budget?
     
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  17. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Nothing good is cheap. You could try these:

    https://www.stewmac.com/parts-and-h...PfNPihFAej_3rCdKd3iAC9RDvMGdG9JgaAgI4EALw_wcB


    At least they come with all of the parts... You could also try AllParts. I also came across this:

    https://reverb.com/item/37190730-vi...vlOMpKAjbN0wp_jA_WAQ1hBhCQSeeOsYaAoIVEALw_wcB
     
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  18. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    Steve, if your height adjustment screws are long enough, you could easily modify those inserts by kissing the bottoms with a regular twist drill bit. I think either the drill bits with the conventional tip or the more modern split face tips and shallower angle would work OK.

    A letter size "I" drill bit would be perfect (.272"), but you might be able to skate by with a 17/64" bit (a wrap or two of tape around the bit to help keep it centered definitely sounds like hill-billy engineering, but it might work for one hole). Before anyone takes umbrage, I'm well qualified to make hill-billy comments, one of my fore-fathers was a hill-billy coal miner, and the apple didn't fall far from the tree!

    Of course the bit size wouldn't be critical at all if you have access to a lathe ;).

    '
     
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  19. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

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  20. Jimclarke100

    Jimclarke100 Tele-Afflicted

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    For my latest build (a baritone) I used a cheapish roller bridge in conjunction with the Jazzmaster/Jaguar trem and so don’t have the closed thimbles to allow the bridge to rock.
    It’s a modern style bridge think like a tune-o-matic but with rollers instead in the usual blade saddles. The guitar has also got a brass nut and locking tuners. End result is that tuning is really stable - even when abusing the trem in a way that your not meant to be able to....
     
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