Vintage string spacing on a Strat body with modern screw spacing

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by Outstanding Bill, May 19, 2018.

  1. Outstanding Bill

    Outstanding Bill TDPRI Member

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    23
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2018
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    My recently-bought body has 2 1/16" screw spacing, but my hands are used to 2 7/32" string spacing.

    I've had a few ideas how to tackle this, but they all seem challenging.

    Perhaps there's a good quality Strat bridge I can buy to convert the spacing?

    Ideally I'd like to fit a top quality bridge such as a Callaham. They only offer 2 7/32" strings with 2 7/32" screws, so if I go this route I'll have to plug the existing screw holes and redrill, which seems risky. (Plus the block routing might need to be widened.)

    Suggestions I've read range from plugging the existing screw holes with a narrow plug, through widening the screw holes pine dowel, through to routing out the entire screw area and filling with epoxy.

    I've tried making a narrow plug from a bamboo skewer using my cordless drill as a lathe. It looks a bit raggedy, but I guess that won't be so much of a problem once it's jammed into the hole. The new outer holes would be centred 2mm from the originals, and so the drill will not bite the bamboo there. The new inner holes would be overlapping the original holes though, so the drill will be biting into both alder and bamboo, which could make things a bit wobbly. Plus the bamboo grain would be parallel to the screws, while the alder grain is perpendicular. All this suggests I'd need to use a really hefty drill press, and one of these.

    Any thoughts, kind people?

    20180515_220110.jpg
     
  2. netgear69

    netgear69 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,510
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    Location:
    england
    If the outside holes need drilling that should be more than enough to hold the bridge down as for plugging the other holes bamboo is a waste of time once that drill bit hits that is will tear it out get a small scrap of hard wood sand is down ,pack the hardwood dust into the holes in segments/ superglue =dust superglue =dust superglue until you fill the hole
    maple dust & superglue makes hard cement
    As for routing for a new block avoid that measure the block you have strat bridges can be built by buying separate parts for what you need
    good luck
     
  3. WriteNoob

    WriteNoob Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    130
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2014
    Location:
    West Central Wisconsin
    Go to a hobby shop and get a proper sized birch dowel. Bamboo is harder than alder, and will play hell with drilling a hole with a small diameter bit, which will deflect and skip sideways off of the harder, Silica rich bamboo.
     
  4. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,306
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Location:
    Nueces Strip
    I once just plugged the E and A holes and the B and E holes. I screwed the new bridge on with just the D and G screws. ( these are well close enough to not have to be redrilled).
    This will hold the bridge in place enough to use as a drill guide to get the other four holes started.
    Hope that makes sense.
     
  5. Outstanding Bill

    Outstanding Bill TDPRI Member

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    23
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2018
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Would that deflect the drill?
     
  6. netgear69

    netgear69 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,510
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    Location:
    england
    I have done it a couple of times on miss lined & chewed out neck mounting holes never had any issues with the drill ,the re-drilled hole has always been clean and solid
    just use a center punch or sharp nail where you want to drill so the bit doesn't wander
     
  7. Outstanding Bill

    Outstanding Bill TDPRI Member

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    23
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2018
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
  8. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,903
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Location:
    South London UK
    Forgive me if this is too basic, but I presume the neck you have is the right width spec for the wide vintage string spacing. Watch out for strings too close the the edge of the fretboard. There are benefits to the narrower spacing (in my experience) as I hate strings being close to the edges.
     
  9. Outstanding Bill

    Outstanding Bill TDPRI Member

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    23
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2018
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    The strings will be closer to the edge of the neck, yes, but that's also the case with my '76ish Strat, so I'm comfortable with it. I recently tried a vintage replica which also had strings close to the edge of the neck (more so on the thin E than the thick E). Thanks for the advice though.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.