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Thread: Scale length ad bridge placement

  1. #1

    Scale length ad bridge placement

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    So I'm very new to building guitar kits and I was having some troubles with the bridge placement.
    I have measured 25.5 inches or 648mm from the inside face of the nut to the body and drawn a pencil line, but when I seat the bridge with the pickup in it as far fowards as I can, the saddles in their middle position are too far back, and would be almost falling off if they were at the scale length.

    I did measure this with a tape measure, but I don't think I am too far off.

    Will I need to extend the bridge hole forward or can I get away with just bolting it in where it is and trying to intonate it properly? The gap between the scratch plate and bridge does look larger than pics of high end teles.


  2. #2
    GAStronomist FrankenWashie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Glebe, NSW
    Hiya JS_R

    on a lot of the Tele bodies the Bridge pup seems to be placed wrongly. a number of builders have had to extend the pup cavity forwards to get the scales lengths correct. By the looks of it it seems you need to do the same else you run the risk of not being able to intonate at all.

    If you were able to close the gap between the scratch plate and the bridge it'd be just about right wouldn't it?
    Where “What if?” meets “Why the hell not?!”.

  3. #3
    Overlord of Music dave.king1's Avatar
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    Aug 2014
    Woonona by the sea
    That's it FW I had to ease the bridge pup rout by about 6mm, would have been a bit less with the kit bridge but not even close with the Wilkinson 6 saddle bridge

  4. #4
    Overlord of Music Dedman's Avatar
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    Mar 2016
    The "Fabulous" Gold Coast
    Yup, what those guys said. get the bridge in the right spot and adjust the pick up cavity. You can do that with a dremel type tool, or a small sanding drum in an electric drill.
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  5. #5
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Hey JS_R.
    As a self-proclaimed newbie, at least you measured before drilling and screwing in the bridge!

    The TLA-1 kit I got (completed guitar in avatar) had the exact opposite issue. Bridge pickup routing was too far forward.

    Good troubleshooting & problem solving skills become an important part of kit builds! Lots of good advice here in the short time I've been a member.
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  6. #6
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Oct 2016
    Reading, UK
    Don't have the saddles in the mid position when measuring. Move them forward (well you only really need to do this the top B + E saddle as this will always be the furthest forward saddle with standard tuning) so that you've got about 2-3mm of thread showing.

    It is pointless having them in the mid position when measuring scale length, as the saddles should only need to be moved back from the scale length in order to intonate the guitar correctly, never forwards. The more towards the rear of the bridge the saddles are, the higher up the end of the thread will sit, and I've seen some builds where the thread ends are sitting 3-4mm above the strings as a result. If this does occur to you, I'd cut off the ends of the threads so they don't stick into your palm when playing.

    Unfortunately, a lot of the Tele bridge pup routs are in the wrong place by about 2-3mm, so will need enlarging. The good thing is that this work doesn't have to be particularly neat, as it will be hidden by the bridge plate. A chisel, or a sanding drum on a Dremel, are the easiest ways to do it. Just don't go wider than the existing rout as the bridge plate only just covers up the rout width, so any extra width will show.

    The gap between the front of the bridge plate and the pickguard bridge cut-out is normally around 2-3mm on real Teles, though this can vary slightly on the bridge used.

    So from your photo, the bridge look likes it needs to come forward by a couple of mm, which should then allow the saddles to intonate correctly. It probably means some pickup rout enlargement work, but be positive but careful and it won't take long.

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