Screw this ??!

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by kelster3000, May 22, 2020.

  1. kelster3000

    kelster3000 TDPRI Member

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    Hi all I have a 2008 American standard tele which I love dearly, i am having a nightmare finding the right size saddle screws, I want shorter saddle screws as these suckers are cutting my hand up, so far i have ordered three different sets all of which did not fit... please point me in the right direction, I preferably want 6mm and 8mm lengths, and live in the UK
     

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  2. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

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    What thread size(s) did you try?

    Confirm this before you try again, but I think the correct size is 4-48.
     
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  3. kelster3000

    kelster3000 TDPRI Member

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    I think I love you, the last size were metric and thread size was too big,
     
  4. coolidge

    coolidge Tele-Meister

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    Purchase a set of Highwood saddles, they are superior to the Fender saddles and the grub screws are fully recessed. Note how the Highwoods are bent into a full 360 circle, its the bottom of the saddle that threaded for the grub screw, brilliant!


    hws3.jpg


    hws4.jpg


    hws5.jpg
     
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  5. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

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  6. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    Stop. Take a breath. Save a few bucks:

    Here's the best way to trim the saddle screws so they don't jab you in the palm.

    Make sure your guitar is properly set up to play the way you like.

    Use a small ruler to measure the protruding portion of each saddle screw. Write down each dimension.

    Next, remove all the screws, in order, and stick them in order onto a piece of duct tape (it holds them in order), or use a piece of corrugated cardboard with six holes poked in it with an awl to hold the screws in order (Telecaster). If you have individual saddles (Strat), you need 12 holes.

    One at a time, chuck a screw into your cordless drill with the bottom of the screw (not the slotted/hex recess top) facing out. Measure the protruding portion of the screw and remove the dimension you need, *plus 1/32"*. For instance, if you need to remove 3/32" from the low E screw, grind off 4/32" (1/16") from the screw.

    Squeeze the trigger on the drill and hold it against the fine wheel on your running grinder. Make a nice hemispherical end on it. If you like, you can keep it in the drill and run it against 400-grit paper to polish the rounded end. Put it back in order and proceed with the next screw.

    Take your time and constantly check your progress. Even if you grind off a bit too much, it will still work fine with brass and steel barrel-type saddles.

    CAUTION: if you're working on a Strat with bent steel saddles, accuracy is critical because just the very top of the saddle screw is what engages the saddle. Grind too much off, and the screw will be too short.

    All that said...if you want to buy something new for your guitar, don't let me stop you. But it won't work any better than the above.

    Cheers!
     
  7. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I do appreciate you passing along the info on Highwood Saddles, I’ve had my hand chewed up with screws that are too long and run into the same situation when trying to replace them.
    Thanks.
     
  8. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Afflicted

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    Simple solution:

    Shim the neck. You’ll gain a bunch more adjusting room.
     
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  9. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Afflicted

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    Well now....these are quite handsome, and an elegant solution to a common issue.

    Almost makes them worth the 60 bucks....Almost.
     
  10. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had this problem.

    Filed 'em down.

    Problem solved.

    Remember to file the bottom, not the top.
     
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  11. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    Steady on!
     
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  12. Deeve

    Deeve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    note re: grinding or filing the bottom side of the screws to shorten - it's possible the threads will be damaged near the surface that touches bridge plate - it's ok - screw them into place from underneath.

    Peace - Deeve
     
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  13. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    Sounds a bit beyond my skills and / or patience............I beginning to really like those Highwoods!
     
  14. dunehunter

    dunehunter Tele-Holic Double Platinum Supporter

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    This is it exactly. The saddles are as low as they go (screws sticking out) because the neck angle is incorrect (pretty common on Fenders). Won't need much. An old way was to use a business card. StewMac actually makes neck pocket shims for this purpose
     
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  15. coolidge

    coolidge Tele-Meister

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    Meh, I waste 60 bucks regularly buying crap in guitar stores I don't need.
     
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  16. tah1962

    tah1962 Friend of Leo's

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    Look into Monster Bolts. They can be found on eBay, or Amazon. I replaced the long saddle screws on 2 American strats and 1 American tele. They come in different lengths so just take one of your current screws out and measure the length, then determine how much shorter of a screw that you need. Worked great for me.
     
  17. wildOGpizza

    wildOGpizza TDPRI Member

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    They aren't metric threads, but SAE. The thread is 4-40, I believe

    6mm = 0.23622 inch
    7mm = 0.275591 inch
    8mm = 0.314961 inch

    So either 1/4 inch or 5/16, which are .25 and .3125 respectively. -Probably the closest to what you want.

    I always get hardware from McMaster-Carr which has some pretty wild options typically, not sure if it's the best for UK delivery.

    https://www.mcmaster.com/set-screws/nonmarring-set-screws/thread-size~4-40/length~0-25inches/

    https://www.mcmaster.com/set-screws/nonmarring-set-screws/thread-size~4-40/length~0-3125inches/
     
  18. kelster3000

    kelster3000 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks all suggestions I am going to start with the cheaper route of grinding off the ends first, if I balls up then it's new saddle time, keep you posted
     
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  19. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Get a room guys! :eek:
     
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  20. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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