Ye Olde String Ferrule Hole Question Again

headly21

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Many discussions here, but I haven't found my particular situation addressed yet.

I bought an unfinished ash Tele body from a vendor at a guitar show who had stacks of unfinished Tele bodies. I'm providing this detail because I wouldn't know the dimensions of the string-through ferrule holes until now.

I've been finishing the body with lacquer over the last few months. The string-through ferrule holes were pre-drilled when I bought the body, and I recently bought me some standard Fender ferrules:
* 5/16" diameter
* 3/8" diameter lip
* ~0.302" tall

Well, dropping a ferrule in to one of these holes is like throwing a hot dog down a hallway; except the lip stops it from falling through. Insert innuendo of your choice here.
The diameter of the holes (with some lacquer that got inside) are right around 3/8" (0.375") and about 0.45" deep, which is deeper than the ferrules are tall.

So, my question is, should I be looking for a different size (larger) ferrule, or do I try to heat them up to get the lips flush with the body? If I get the lips to stick tight in the holes flush with the body, that's the only part that will be in contact with the wood. The rest of the ferrule would kinda be floating around inside the hole, so to speak.

Thanks for your help!
 

old wrench

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Apparently, your body is drilled for the import ferrules - 9.5mm ???

It's a pretty common snafu

As for heating and pressing the vintage size ferrules in, I wouldn't try it myself - too much chance of them going in off-center and there wouldn't really be anything but the lip and string tension to hold them in place.

It sounds like you are good at measuring (not everyone is ;)) - you'll be better off to use the ferrules that fit - they'll probably be a metric sized ferrule.

These ferrules from Philadelphia Luthier Supply might work for you -


.
 
Last edited:

Midgetje94

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Many discussions here, but I haven't found my particular situation addressed yet.

I bought an unfinished ash Tele body from a vendor at a guitar show who had stacks of unfinished Tele bodies. I'm providing this detail because I wouldn't know the dimensions of the string-through ferrule holes until now.

I've been finishing the body with lacquer over the last few months. The string-through ferrule holes were pre-drilled when I bought the body, and I recently bought me some standard Fender ferrules:
* 5/16" diameter
* 3/8" diameter lip
* ~0.302" tall

Well, dropping a ferrule in to one of these holes is like throwing a hot dog down a hallway; except the lip stops it from falling through. Insert innuendo of your choice here.
The diameter of the holes (with some lacquer that got inside) are right around 3/8" (0.375") and about 0.45" deep, which is deeper than the ferrules are tall.

So, my question is, should I be looking for a different size (larger) ferrule, or do I try to heat them up to get the lips flush with the body? If I get the lips to stick tight in the holes flush with the body, that's the only part that will be in contact with the wood. The rest of the ferrule would kinda be floating around inside the hole, so to speak.

Thanks for your help!

May have been addressed already. I had the same issue with a build. I actually bought 2 sets. One just small. The other just big. Ended up wrapping painters tape around the small ones and cutting it clean. Go little by little and create just enough pressure to hold it. Haven’t had a problem at all with it.

Figure one day it may wear the tape down. But spending a few mins redoing it wouldn’t be a issue.
 

Boreas

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Apparently, your body is drilled for the import ferrules - 9.5mm ???

It's a pretty common snafu

As for heating and pressing the vintage size ferrules in, I wouldn't try it myself - too much chance of them going in off-center and there wouldn't really be anything but the lip and string tension to hold them in place.

It sounds like you are good at measuring (not everyone is ;)) - you'll be better off to use the ferrules that fit - they'll probably be a metric sized ferrule.

These ferrules from Philadelphia Luthier Supply might work for you -


.

9.5mm?? Isn't that more the size of a tuner ferrule?
 

old wrench

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9.5mm?? Isn't that more the size of a tuner ferrule?


It sure could be! :)

The OP said the holes measure about .375" so for us in the States that's 3/8"

9.5mm is a thousandth of an inch under that at .374" - after applying a finish, I think the 9.5mm ferrule would sink in OK with a touch of heat

The body diameter on the Fender vintage ferrules is 5/16" and the flange is 3/8", so like OP said, it would be like heaving a hot-dog down a hallway - I like that analogy!

It seems like this is one of those situations where we get caught in the middle between U.S. Customary and Metric units

Metric units are more practical and so much simpler compared to U.S. units

Remember back in our school days when we were told that the USA was going to catch up with the rest of the world and switch over to Metric? ;)


I went to the trouble of grinding a 5/16" pilot diameter on a 3/8" bit so I can drill the ferrule hole and counter-bore in one shot - it works great - but then I went and bought a few sets of the Gotoh ferrules because they looked nice and were cheaper - but then, of course, I found that they require different sized holes :)

So now I just stick with the Fender vintage ferrules !!!

.
 

StudentGuy

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unfinished ash Tele body
H'mmm ... Off topic so please excuse me,

But would you have any idea as to what the expected finished build weight of one of these guitars would be ? If not would you be willing to return, and share what your completes ash bodied Tele weighed ?

I ask because there seems to be this dichotomy, where some ash is really light (Swamp Ash ?) and other Ash (north American) is pretty heavy ...
 

old wrench

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H'mmm ... Off topic so please excuse me,

But would you have any idea as to what the expected finished build weight of one of these guitars would be ? If not would you be willing to return, and share what your completes ash bodied Tele weighed ?

I ask because there seems to be this dichotomy, where some ash is really light (Swamp Ash ?) and other Ash (north American) is pretty heavy ...

We were discussing this very topic the other day over in the Home Depot part of the forum

Here's a link to the thread -


.
 

headly21

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Joined
Sep 26, 2006
Posts
139
Location
Orlando, FL
Apparently, your body is drilled for the import ferrules - 9.5mm ???

It's a pretty common snafu

As for heating and pressing the vintage size ferrules in, I wouldn't try it myself - too much chance of them going in off-center and there wouldn't really be anything but the lip and string tension to hold them in place.

It sounds like you are good at measuring (not everyone is ;)) - you'll be better off to use the ferrules that fit - they'll probably be a metric sized ferrule.

These ferrules from Philadelphia Luthier Supply might work for you -


.
Thanks for looking into this. As one other poster replied, that 9.5mm size ferrule does seem like tuner-hole size. My standard Kluson bushings (11/32") actually fit, albeit still a bit loose.

I'm not sure whether 9.5mm seems a bit too big. I measured the holes again, in millimeters this time, and I'm getting 9.17mm. Again, they've got a little bit of lacquer in there, but not much. Do you think a ferrule that is 0.33mm (1/64") larger than the hole is a good fit?
 

headly21

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H'mmm ... Off topic so please excuse me,

But would you have any idea as to what the expected finished build weight of one of these guitars would be ? If not would you be willing to return, and share what your completes ash bodied Tele weighed ?

I ask because there seems to be this dichotomy, where some ash is really light (Swamp Ash ?) and other Ash (north American) is pretty heavy ...
I'm heading on over to the swamp ash density thread now. LOL
 

Boreas

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Thanks for looking into this. As one other poster replied, that 9.5mm size ferrule does seem like tuner-hole size. My standard Kluson bushings (11/32") actually fit, albeit still a bit loose.

I'm not sure whether 9.5mm seems a bit too big. I measured the holes again, in millimeters this time, and I'm getting 9.17mm. Again, they've got a little bit of lacquer in there, but not much. Do you think a ferrule that is 0.33mm (1/64") larger than the hole is a good fit?
FWIW, here are two Squiers - a CV Thinline (exposed) and a Bullet (flush), Let's call them flanges - "lips" is a little too titillating...

20220419_084422.jpg 20220419_084505.jpg
 

headly21

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Apparently, your body is drilled for the import ferrules - 9.5mm ???

It's a pretty common snafu

As for heating and pressing the vintage size ferrules in, I wouldn't try it myself - too much chance of them going in off-center and there wouldn't really be anything but the lip and string tension to hold them in place.

It sounds like you are good at measuring (not everyone is ;)) - you'll be better off to use the ferrules that fit - they'll probably be a metric sized ferrule.

These ferrules from Philadelphia Luthier Supply might work for you -


.
Thanks again, old wrench! I think that, with all the info I've seen here, these 9.5mm doohickeys should do the trick. I just ordered them from that Philly Luthier supply site. I appreciate your help. I hope that, when I get them, I don't need to come back here and express frustration about the for. Should be fine. Happy trails!
 

Si G X

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9.5mm?? Isn't that more the size of a tuner ferrule?

Yeah that's enormous (if we are talking about the actual size of the hole)

I was going to comment but after reading the thread I'm just confused.

Import guitars usually have smaller 6.5mm holes, I thought USA were around 8mm? that's the actual hole size with the larger lip sat outside of the hole on top of the body.
 

headly21

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Yeah that's enormous (if we are talking about the actual size of the hole)

I was going to comment but after reading the thread I'm just confused.

Import guitars usually have smaller 6.5mm holes, I thought USA were around 8mm? that's the actual hole size with the larger lip sat outside of the hole on top of the body.
I'm definitely confused, as you might glean from my questions and measurements. But I'm going to try out these 9.5mm ferrules from philadelphialuthiertools.com as the closest thing I can tell that might actually fit. Maybe this guy who sold me the body screwed up when he drilled the holes. 🤷‍♂️
 

Boreas

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Yeah that's enormous (if we are talking about the actual size of the hole)

I was going to comment but after reading the thread I'm just confused.

Import guitars usually have smaller 6.5mm holes, I thought USA were around 8mm? that's the actual hole size with the larger lip sat outside of the hole on top of the body.
Yes, I suspect that is the FLANGE size, not the hole size. I am not about to remove one of mine to measure, but I would guestimate 8mm as the plug size, as you mention. That's about 3/4 mm overhang. My suspicion is the larger the diameter, the flatter they lay because of the larger hole/flange. Less complication when fitting and fewer returns. They also would have less of a tendency to sink into softer spots in the wood. I can't say I like the look, but they may be a better design. PLUS, the flange can hide small chips in the finish - for a while...
 

Boreas

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I'm definitely confused, as you might glean from my questions and measurements. But I'm going to try out these 9.5mm ferrules from philadelphialuthiertools.com as the closest thing I can tell that might actually fit. Maybe this guy who sold me the body screwed up when he drilled the holes. 🤷‍♂️
A good supplier should post a diagram of the part, showing all dimensions. When they don't, things can definitely become forked up.
 

old wrench

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I'm definitely confused, as you might glean from my questions and measurements. But I'm going to try out these 9.5mm ferrules from philadelphialuthiertools.com as the closest thing I can tell that might actually fit. Maybe this guy who sold me the body screwed up when he drilled the holes. 🤷‍♂️

I think you hit the nail right on the head !! :)

There are so many different entities making and selling "Tele" bodies now just because there can be a little profit in it.

Obviously, with all of the fitment issues that crop up with stuff like bridges not lining up, ferrules not fitting, etc,. etc, we can be pretty sure that not all of these different makers and manufacturers are working off a proven set of blue-prints like we have access to with the accurate Terry Downs drawing that is posted up in the "stickies" over in the "Home Depot" part of the forum

It could be the case with whoever made your body - all they did was copy another Tele body (who made it?)- and never thought to pull a ferrule out and actually look at it - they might have just measured the part they could see - the flange - and measured the O.D. of the flange and said - Yup, this needs a .375" or 9.5mm hole - who knows?

I hope those ferrules from PLS work out OK for you - PLS is one of my trusted suppliers - they give an accurate description of their parts including dimensions, and stand behind their stuff the same way that StewMac does - but their prices are lower ;)


.
 

FabriceKaiser

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Apparently, your body is drilled for the import ferrules - 9.5mm ???

It's a pretty common snafu

As for heating and pressing the vintage size ferrules in, I wouldn't try it myself - too much chance of them going in off-center and there wouldn't really be anything but the lip and string tension to hold them in place.

It sounds like you are good at measuring (not everyone is ;)) - you'll be better off to use the ferrules that fit - they'll probably be a metric sized ferrule.

These ferrules from Philadelphia Luthier Supply might work for you -


.
Heating stuff and hammering them in place sounds really satisfying but is also the sort of stuff that can so easily end up in tears... I know you want to see your body finished ASAP and play your new guitar but please, do resist the urge. Get the right size ferrule even if that means spending a bit more and waiting a few more days. It's worth it!
 

Telekarster

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FWIW I don't know if what I would do in a situation like this would be considered taboo or not, but if I had this issue the OP has, I'd probably take a couple of toothpicks, split em to make thin shims, hide glue em into the holes, and while the glue was still fresh I'd take a drift punch and drift those furrells into the holes until flush, and trim whatever toothpick material left over with a razor blade. I haven't needed to do this on a Tele body, but I have done this sort of thing on other repairs in the past, particularly with antique furniture restorations (another hobby of mine), like loose chair legs and such. Anyway, good luck man! Hope you get it sorted out.
 




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