Monday, 10 November 2014

Black Ash Telecaster: Moving the Bridge

Well, today I had every intention of getting the remainder of the hardware installed on the Black Ash Telecaster. But, unfortunately, it was not to be. When I did my mock build of the Telecaster prior to starting the finish, I did so with a humbucker in the neck position. As such, the bridge was positioned such that the strings travelled correctly over the poles of the humbucker and up the neck.

Now that I've decided to use a traditional Telecaster pickguard, it turns out the bridge was not perfectly placed to run parallel to the bottom edge of the guard (and wasn't centred either). It looked bloody horrible to tell you the truth. The only thing to do was to move the bridge, and that meant drilling out the original bridge screw holes and plugging them with 6mm oak dowel. Not the best thing to have to do once the finish is completed, but at least the bridge is large enough to cover the damage!

The job was, at least, completed with a minimum of fuss. I sanded the dowel a little with 180 grit paper to make it slide more easily into the 6mm hole, and used Titebond to glue each plug in place. Each plug required a tap with the hammer to get it all the way in, but in the end each sat nice and flush with the top of the guitar.

With the plugs in place, I was able to line up and install both the scratchplate and the control cover. All in all I reckon she's looking pretty bloody good - although in the photo below the bridge is just sitting on top of the plugs.

Once the Titebond has dried overnight, I'll get the bridge lined up again (using both the neck and pickguard as reference this time) and get it screwed down. Then I'll just have the wiring to go. Unfortunately I'm still waiting for shielding tape, so this may still be a while away.