Friday, 13 March 2015

Thinline Cabronita: Bridge and Tremolo

With bad weather making more clear coats on the Ash Stratocaster build impossible today, I got on and positioned the roller bridge and tremolo on the Ash Cabronita build. Firstly, I consulted the Stewmac Fret Position Calculator to determine the correct location of the bridge posts. With a scale length of 648mm (324mm from the nut to the middle of the 12th fret), the distance of each bridge post from the nut was quickly established - the bass post being 1.5 to 3mm further than the treble post for the purposes of compensation.

The bridge is placed for correct intonation and the Tremolo is fitted.
To determine the lateral position of the bridge posts (side to side) the two E strings were installed across the bridge and up the neck. The bridge was moved side to side until the strings travelled straight up the neck equidistant from each side of the neck. With the position of each post established, a transfer punch marked the correct location and the post holes were drilled using a Brad Point bit in my electric hand drill. The trick is to keep the drill as straight as possible in both dimensions whilst drilling.

Looking amazing - even the white undercoat.
The posts were carefully hammered home with the bridge in place (to stop the posts going in crooked) and soon everything was in. That left just the tremolo to position, and I did this by eye, making sure the strings travelled straight from the tremolo and over the bridge rollers, and that the tremolo itself was perpendicular to the base of the guitar.

In addition to the bridge and tremolo, I also got the headstock vinyl decal installed. A few coats of Tru-Oil will be required to lock the decal in place, but the headstock is basically done now.

The decal is on the headstock and she's looking hot.
The 10 coats of Tru-Oil that I've laid down on the neck are feeling very nice indeed. This baby is going to play beautifully. All in all I'm really liking the look of this build - even with the white undercoat. I'm still deciding on colours, but it's clear that the solid colour was a great choice. I'm really excited about seeing this build come together. The xTrem from GFS feels really nice (much more fluid than my Bigsby B70) and all the chrome really pops.