Teflon Heat Shrink On Bridge Posts

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Beebe
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Teflon Heat Shrink On Bridge Posts

Post by Beebe » Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:56 pm

Hey gang. Anyone try this? I didn't want to spend $12 plus shipping for the Fender Nylon JM bridge bushings when such items usually go for pennies. So I did a little research and had a hard time finding any alternatives with the right dimensions. I did find some Teflon Heat Shrink at Mouser. It's for 4 AWG wire and looks like I might be able to shrink a couple of layers over the bridge posts. It has low friction and is semi ridgid. So I made the purchase. It was pretty expensive at around $30 per 4ft piece, but if it works it'll probably last me a lifetime of builds.

https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/pa ... cycode=USD
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timtam
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Re: Teflon Heat Shrink On Bridge Posts

Post by timtam » Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:27 pm

Someone here had located a source of those nylon anti-rocking bushings with the right dimensions. But I can't find the post. The Fender ones have an ID of ~6.7mm and OD of 8mm.
https://darrenriley.com/store/fender-am ... 710508000/

As far as using heatshrink is concerned, an issue might be wear due to contact with the thimble walls. Heatshrink subjected to friction contact tends to wear through, as it's not usually designed for that.

The other question is whether restricting rocking is a good idea or not. The rocking design depends on full, consistent motion of the bridge with trem use. So that it rocks all the way forward/back as the strings move in those directions with trem use, which can only occur if the strings do not loose the required high-friction 'grip' on the saddles. If you partially block post motion, you force them to loose that grip, so that the string-saddle interface is converted to "stick-slip" motion. So your mechanics are now half-way between a rocking bridge and a fixed bridge (like Mastery or AOM, which rely on strings sliding over the saddles with low friction). Blocking post motion by wrapping/covering the posts is really from a time when few people understood how the rocking bridge and trem are supposed to work (although it's all basically in Leo's 1958 patent). As such, the logic behind Fender adding the nylon bushings to the Am Pro's Mustang-style bridge in recent years is somewhat obscure.

Having said all that, AFAIK we have not had many reports of people having problems with the Am Pro's bridge/trem, although some people do remove the nylon bushings.
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Beebe
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Re: Teflon Heat Shrink On Bridge Posts

Post by Beebe » Thu Mar 04, 2021 6:29 am

Thanks Timtam! I'm doing my current build with a hardtail plate from Faction Guitars, so no trem. And without the bushings, I find that the bridge likes to rest in either the forward or backward position depending on how you push it. I'd prefer to set the bridge vertically.

Here is some info on teflon shrink tubing that makes me hopeful it could stand up to the stresses:

TEFLON® HEAT SHRINK TUBING
PTFE (Teflon®) heat shrink tubing is an excellent choice for applications requiring the highest level of lubricity available. Teflon® (PTFE) heat shrink tubing is an excellent choice for catheter fusing sleeves and printer roller covers. It is available in a variety of sizes, dimensions, and shrink ratios and made to ensure that products subjected to extreme heat, corrosion, shock, moisture, and other critical conditions are perfectly protected and ready to perform.

TEFLON® TUBING CHARACTERISTICS
Outstanding Electrical characteristics
Withstands extreme heat and other critical environmental conditions
Excellent chemical and solvent resistance
Chemically inert
Shock and abrasion resistance
Encapsulation
High Tensile Strength
TEFLON® TUBING APPLICATIONS
Medical
Waterproofing mechanical protection
Shock and abrasion protection
Strain relief
Component covering
Fluid transfer
Connector and Terminal sleeves
Fiber optic cable jacketing
Hermetic motor insulation
Battery pack and capacitor encapsulation
TEFLON® TUBING SPECIFICATIONS
USP Class VI Certified Polymers
Available in 1.3:1, 1.6:1, 2:1 and 4:1 shrink ratios
Sizes range from #24 to 2” (custom sizes available upon request)
Operating temperature up to 500°F (260°C)
Available in standard wall, thin wall, lightweight wall and industrial wall
Natural (translucent) color
Custom colors available upon request
RoHS compliant
Teflon® meets SAE-AMS-DTL-23053/12
Teflon® FEP meets SAE-AMS-DTL-23053/11 class 1 & 2
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Re: Teflon Heat Shrink On Bridge Posts

Post by Beebe » Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:12 am

Well I tried shrinking the teflon tube with a lighter and it was a mess. So I ordered the heat gun I've been meaning to pick up anyway. Apparently the teflon needs to be heated to somewhere around 700 degrees to shrink... and in a controlled way. More updates to come after the gun arrives.
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Re: Teflon Heat Shrink On Bridge Posts

Post by Beebe » Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:30 am

So it actually worked really well. Using a heat gun set to around 900 degrees, I shrank two layers of the tubing over a 7mm drill bit shank. The end result is hard like plastic. I cut about 1cm length and placed it on the 6.5mm diameter Japanese mustang bridge post. The top layer of tubing extended over the inner layer slightly to taper at the bottom for easy insertion into the thimble. The tubing remained in the thimble and I can pull the bridge in and out. The bridge has a snug fit when in place. Here are a few pics:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/HyxfEE7bK6TkgsRx6
https://photos.app.goo.gl/xkkQPyv3KDpCCPSd6
https://photos.app.goo.gl/CrBe7t5BJ2kRnRRz8
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