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 Post subject: Bridge Replacement and String-through Conversion
PostPosted: February 14th, 2017, 5:01 pm 
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Location: Cincinnati
Hey, guys. I have decided to undertake a project beyond what I thought I would ever do: replace a bridge, and turn a top-loader into a string-through.

The new bridge is not a drop-in replacement, which means I will be drilling and filling holes. A friend of mine has a drill press, which has given me the boost of confidence I need to believe that with the proper knowledge, I can do this without damaging the body or removing any extra wood.

My biggest concerns are as follows:
1) The drill bit wandering: I plan to minimize this risk by using a brand new super sharp bit, and by drilling each hole a little bit at a time, then backing out and clearing the sawdust.

2) Drilling correctly-sized pilot holes: My plan is to use a drill bit that is the diameter of the screw shaft (i.e. not including the threads).

I understand paint can chip when drilling into finished bodies. I would like to prevent that, if possible, but, I am not too worried about it because it wouldn't be seen. I am hoping the sharp bit will minimize that, or get a "sanding bit" of some type to sand away the finish for the size of the pilot hole. I need to do some more digging on that.

The last part is filling a hole that will not be used for the new bridge. I plan on using some liquid wood filler or wood glue. This may not be worth the effort as the hole will be under the bridge.

Drilling for a string through:
I saw a video where a guy drilled string holes by first drilling the outside holes all the way through, then drilling the rest of the holes partially through. He then flipped the body over and finished the inside holes from the back. He definitely knows more than me, but I am not sure if I am going to do that or just drill all of them all the way through.

Wish me luck! Any advice, comments or ideas will be appreciated!

Thanks!

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Gilmourisgod wrote:
I never really "got" what a Rick is capable of until I ran it stereo a few times in my college band. We used to call it the "Piano of Doom". You get all the bottom and all the top in total a**kicking mode.


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 Post subject: Re: Bridge Replacement and String-through Conversion
PostPosted: February 15th, 2017, 3:02 am 
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You can minimize the paint chipping by putting a piece of tape on the spot where you want to drill.

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 Post subject: Re: Bridge Replacement and String-through Conversion
PostPosted: February 16th, 2017, 2:41 am 
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Joined: November 20th, 2008, 7:01 am
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Get the correct sized Forstner bit for the job. Chipping will be minimized, or not occur at all. Good advice there, use tape to prevent chipping. Drill a pilot hole in the exact position of the center of each string hole, remove the bridge, and then make a few passes to the desired depth, with the Forstner, the point of which should fit in the center of the pilot hole you drilled. Allow the Forstner to heat up as you pass through the finish- it should 'burn' right through it cleanly.


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 Post subject: Re: Bridge Replacement and String-through Conversion
PostPosted: February 16th, 2017, 7:39 am 
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Joined: November 20th, 2013, 6:09 pm
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Thanks for the tips, guys!

My buddy tells me that he doesn't think his press is long enough to get to the middle of the body, so we may have to use a hand-drill. :? Yikes!

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Gilmourisgod wrote:
I never really "got" what a Rick is capable of until I ran it stereo a few times in my college band. We used to call it the "Piano of Doom". You get all the bottom and all the top in total a**kicking mode.


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 Post subject: Re: Bridge Replacement and String-through Conversion
PostPosted: February 17th, 2017, 12:09 am 
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Joined: November 26th, 2008, 6:14 am
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Location: Oahu, Hawaii
I've used this type of portable drill press successfully in the past... and their are many types that you can apply... I typed in "hand drill drill press attachment"....

this one is from eBay... I've use this type before, and good depth...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/1622634871 ... noapp=true

this is a nice set-up too, you just have to make sure you get the clearance you need to the hole placement you want...http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/2919096584 ... noapp=true

the advantage to something like this, is, you will be able to drill a straight hole through the body. If you try to do it on your own, you will definitely not go through straight... good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Bridge Replacement and String-through Conversion
PostPosted: February 17th, 2017, 8:23 am 
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Location: Cincinnati
fivebass52 wrote:
I've used this type of portable drill press successfully in the past... and their are many types that you can apply... I typed in "hand drill drill press attachment"....

this one is from eBay... I've use this type before, and good depth...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/1622634871 ... noapp=true

this is a nice set-up too, you just have to make sure you get the clearance you need to the hole placement you want...http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/2919096584 ... noapp=true

the advantage to something like this, is, you will be able to drill a straight hole through the body. If you try to do it on your own, you will definitely not go through straight... good luck!

Thanks, man! I am getting the impression that doing this without a press is inadvisable. I have another buddy who has a press that he believes will work. I think I will have to go that route.

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Gilmourisgod wrote:
I never really "got" what a Rick is capable of until I ran it stereo a few times in my college band. We used to call it the "Piano of Doom". You get all the bottom and all the top in total a**kicking mode.


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 Post subject: Re: Bridge Replacement and String-through Conversion
PostPosted: February 17th, 2017, 3:23 pm 
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Joined: December 9th, 2014, 5:27 pm
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Location: Boston, MA
I once drilled through the body by hand while having the body on my lap.
I didn't had the drill press and thought I could do it and I did it... But honestly I was lucky to get it right as they seem to be all lined up.
That was a cheap body but I wouldn't take any chances with a nice one.
Image
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 Post subject: Re: Bridge Replacement and String-through Conversion
PostPosted: February 18th, 2017, 10:09 am 
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Joined: November 20th, 2013, 6:09 pm
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Location: Cincinnati
You did a hell of a job doing that by hand, man. I don't trust myself to do anything like that kind of accuracy.

I recognize those ball-ends, by the way. I have those same strings on my Thumb!

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Gilmourisgod wrote:
I never really "got" what a Rick is capable of until I ran it stereo a few times in my college band. We used to call it the "Piano of Doom". You get all the bottom and all the top in total a**kicking mode.


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 Post subject: Re: Bridge Replacement and String-through Conversion
PostPosted: February 18th, 2017, 11:33 am 
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Joined: December 9th, 2014, 5:27 pm
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Location: Boston, MA
I was definitely lucky...!
Those are Ernie Ball strings if I'm not wrong... the orange pack or Dean Markeley blue steel... Am I right?
Post some pics of the outcome, would be cool to check it out!
Best luck and have fun! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Bridge Replacement and String-through Conversion
PostPosted: February 18th, 2017, 11:55 am 
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Blue Steels, indeed!

I will post some pictures, sure. It will be about two weeks before I get around to it.

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Gilmourisgod wrote:
I never really "got" what a Rick is capable of until I ran it stereo a few times in my college band. We used to call it the "Piano of Doom". You get all the bottom and all the top in total a**kicking mode.


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 Post subject: Re: Bridge Replacement and String-through Conversion
PostPosted: February 18th, 2017, 1:42 pm 
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Joined: December 9th, 2014, 5:27 pm
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Location: Boston, MA
Cool! I was leaning towards blue steel...
Looking forward to see the outcome!


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 Post subject: Re: Bridge Replacement and String-through Conversion
PostPosted: March 19th, 2017, 8:32 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA USA
apologies for being late to the party here ...

working a string-thru job is best tackled by understanding what you need to accomplish:

a) string holes on the top side that are aligned and centered with where the string will load into the bridge

b) ferrule holes on the back side that are evenly spaced and aligned so that the ferrules don't look like they tried to escape while you were mounting them

c) a tunnel thru the body that connects the top and back sides


'a' is pretty easy to do once you know where your bridge is mounted, and can be added after the bridge location is set and you've validated that you have full adjustment travel to intonate all of the strings. it's typical to utilize a 3/16" (4.75ish mm) hole into the body utilizing a drill press (pillar drill) with a bit long enough to reach the other side

'b' is best done by aligning where the ferrules need to be located, and then drilling their evenly spaced locations with a Forstner bit that matches the size needed for the knurled press fit length. it's ok if the hole from the front isn't centered inside this ferrule hole, so long as you clean it up so the string will pass thru freely to accomplish objective 'c'

Use your drill press to press in the ferrule instead of banging it in with a hammer. even better: use an arbor press to press in the ferrule

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