Bridge post spacing: did this get goofed up?

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peterherman
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Bridge post spacing: did this get goofed up?

Post by peterherman » Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:21 am

I ordered a body for a project from a reputable builder. We discussed bridge spacing, and they were quite certain that whatever their stock option is vis-a-vis post spacing (center-to-center on the holes, irrespective of thimble diameter) would work whether I wound up with a US-spec or metric-spec bridge.

The body showed up, and I installed the thimbles.

My bridge won't fit into them. The post holes themselves seem to be too close together by about a mm. This is the case with multiple floating bridges, though some are a tighter almost-fit than others.

My option at this point seem to be to pull the thimbles, dowel, and re-drill for whatever bridge. I'm not thrilled about this, since it's a painted/finished guitar. Not looking forward to trying to chisel/sand/saw flush over top of a painted and clear coated body.

HOWEVER: having looked all around, it seems that most of the difference between US and import/metric bridges has to do with the inner and outer diameter of the thimbles, but not the post-to-post spacing. Is that correct?

In other words, are the posts themselves the same distance apart--measured center-to-center--on a vintage bridge, a USA spec bridge, and an import bridge?

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bjornsynneby
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Re: Bridge post spacing: did this get goofed up?

Post by bjornsynneby » Mon Mar 29, 2021 1:50 pm

If we are talking jazzmaster/jaguar floating bridges the post spacing should be 2 7/8” = 73,02mm - that is 73mm in metric. I believe the outer diameter of the thimbles vary from 9,5mm to 8,5mm. So try to measure the distance (c-c) btw your thimbles that are mounted on your guitar. Kind of hard to do but...

I re-drilled a classic player Jaguar once that had a tune-o-matic bridge. Dowel. Level down with protection tape. Measure. Measure again. Drill straight. Re paint. In with thimble. Done. In your case the re paint part can perhaps be done just around the holes.

IMO if the c-c distance btw thimbles is way off you should be able to make a return of the body.

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Re: Bridge post spacing: did this get goofed up?

Post by peterherman » Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:40 am

Thanks for the reply. I thought I was going bonkers. The spacing is very VERY close to what I can measure from point-to-point on a bridge. My best guess at this point is that I somehow drove the thimbles in crooked. The threaded-saddle bridge with thinner posts that came off a Vintera JM drops in about half an inch, then just sticks. If I push it in, it will go, except the treble side keeps pushing up and out. Seems more like I got the thimbles in crooked. The thicker-posted solid saddle bridge doesn't even really get started. It's not super duper far off, and the difficulty with the thimbles may indeed be operator error here.

I may wind up pulling these thimbles and drilling out for a roller TOM instead.

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Steadyriot.
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Re: Bridge post spacing: did this get goofed up?

Post by Steadyriot. » Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:44 pm

peterherman wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:40 am
Thanks for the reply. I thought I was going bonkers. The spacing is very VERY close to what I can measure from point-to-point on a bridge. My best guess at this point is that I somehow drove the thimbles in crooked. The threaded-saddle bridge with thinner posts that came off a Vintera JM drops in about half an inch, then just sticks. If I push it in, it will go, except the treble side keeps pushing up and out. Seems more like I got the thimbles in crooked. The thicker-posted solid saddle bridge doesn't even really get started. It's not super duper far off, and the difficulty with the thimbles may indeed be operator error here.

I may wind up pulling these thimbles and drilling out for a roller TOM instead.
I’d stick a soldering iron in there first to see if you can shift them slightly, maybe there’s some paint in there throwing things off.
"If someone duetted with a Bald Eagle, they could rule the Country charts from here to eternity." ~shadowplay

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peterherman
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Re: Bridge post spacing: did this get goofed up?

Post by peterherman » Fri Apr 02, 2021 10:49 am

Steadyriot. wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:44 pm
peterherman wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:40 am
Thanks for the reply. I thought I was going bonkers. The spacing is very VERY close to what I can measure from point-to-point on a bridge. My best guess at this point is that I somehow drove the thimbles in crooked. The threaded-saddle bridge with thinner posts that came off a Vintera JM drops in about half an inch, then just sticks. If I push it in, it will go, except the treble side keeps pushing up and out. Seems more like I got the thimbles in crooked. The thicker-posted solid saddle bridge doesn't even really get started. It's not super duper far off, and the difficulty with the thimbles may indeed be operator error here.

I may wind up pulling these thimbles and drilling out for a roller TOM instead.
I’d stick a soldering iron in there first to see if you can shift them slightly, maybe there’s some paint in there throwing things off.
An even better plan!

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Re: Bridge post spacing: did this get goofed up?

Post by mbe » Tue Apr 13, 2021 3:00 am

I had a guitar with a Floyd Rose system that had the trem post bushings drilled off centre which caused the high E to run off the frets higher up the neck. I moved the bridge back to central by dremelling the bush holes in the direction of I wanted the bridge to go. Then I refitted the bushings using veneer strips to take up the gap in the elongated holes. We're not talking by much here, I think I only moved the bridge by a millimetre but it made all the difference and the flanges on the bushings covered the veneer so it didn't show.

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