Installing tailpiece on a string-through guitar?

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by NotSaintPatrick, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. NotSaintPatrick

    NotSaintPatrick SS.org Regular

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    Hi.

    The title says it all really. Is this a really bad idea, or doable? :scratch:

    I've got a Chapman ML2 (single cut style guitar), and it's got your kind of traditional string through construction through a tonepros bridge. I realise there's gonna be some routing in this project, and I also realise this might be a silly idea. But I never cared much for the string through look, and would love to get a tail piece on there so it'd look more like a les paul kinda deal.


    Thanks in advance.

    Oh, and this is my first post, so please be gentle:rolleyes:
     
  2. Zhysick

    Zhysick Sick of all

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    It would be easier changing the bridge for a wrap-around style one.

    If the bridge of the Chapman is a real TonePros there should be direct replacement (no routing or work involved...) for this one, which is a TonePros too.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. NotSaintPatrick

    NotSaintPatrick SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the tip. I'll definately consider that. Downside is though, I'll still be left with six holes through the body, now without any purpose. That's why I wonder if the tailpiece maybe could cover them up or something. :scratch:
     
  4. Zhysick

    Zhysick Sick of all

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    You could "cover" them installing the tailpiece over them but they will be there anyway... I don't find any reason to do more holes to a guitar than needed.

    It could be easier to remove the ferrules and, specially if a solid finish, refinish the guitar filling the holes first...
     
  5. NotSaintPatrick

    NotSaintPatrick SS.org Regular

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    Hm. I guess I have some thinking to do...

    Thanks for the help :yesway:
     
  6. Pikka Bird

    Pikka Bird Vaya Con Cornholio

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    If you install a regular tailpiece it'll hide the string-through holes fine, unless someone gets really close and has a look under the tailpiece. Especially if you screw it down all the way (and I've never understood why anybody would do anything else, BTW).

    It'll only be obvious from the rear, so that's the only thing to be mindful of. But the ML2 uses some pretty straight-grained hog, so plugging those holes and chiseling them flush will look at least semi-decent if you get some hardwood dowels of a similar colour and orient the grain properly when gluing them in.
     
  7. NotSaintPatrick

    NotSaintPatrick SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the input :yesway:

    Thing is though, I'm really hesitant to bother refinishing it because it's a new generation ML2 with the flamed maple veneer top and see-through black cherry finish. It's too gorgeous, and I'm guessing it would be too much work to get it looking like that again after butchering the paint on it. As for holes still being visible from the back, not that big of a deal. It's not like that's be part that'll be visible most of the time anyway, right? :rolleyes:
     
  8. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

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    There is one reason you might not screw a tailpiece down all the way - If you already have enough downward pressure on the saddles, the extra downward pressure can actually make the bridge sag in the middle over time. You end up with needing to replace the bridge a few years (or many years) down the line because it's too flat for the radius of the board (or is the reverse of the radius of the board)

    Granted, design flaw in the bridge, not the tailpiece, but one reason nonetheless.
     
  9. Pikka Bird

    Pikka Bird Vaya Con Cornholio

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    ^I have heard of that, never seen it... Seems like something that'll happen mainly to bad quality ones (like Gibsons, eeyyy!). To be honest it never entered my mind, but I suppose you could top wrap your tailpiece then?

    Why would you need to refinish it? If you drill properly it won't crack the finish. Make a proper template, make sure the post distance is correct for your tailpiece and clamp it onto the guitar before going at it with a properly sharp brad point drill bit. And don't mash the drill in there- let the spurs cut the finish slowly.
     
  10. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

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    You couldn't top wrap, because it's the bridge and saddles that would be lower in the middle, not the tailpiece. It happens to ABM-1 and Nashville types AFAIK, along with any similarly designed copy of such I assume.
     
  11. Pikka Bird

    Pikka Bird Vaya Con Cornholio

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    ^I was talking about doing it before the bridge would start to sag... Could probably have clarified that.

    Also, are there any other types than ABM-1 (studs threaded directly into the wood) and Nashville (wider intonation range, with studs thread into bushings pressed into the body) types? Then there's the "import" variant with the thicker stud that has the slotted top for screwdriver adjustment, I suppose.

    I think the ABM-1 design with the retainer wire is the most prone to sagging because it has those cutouts for the intonation screws. Never heard of it happening to stuff like a higher-end import model.
     
  12. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

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    I was thinking more about the various weird GFS bridges that use a tailpiece setup, to be honest.
     
  13. Pikka Bird

    Pikka Bird Vaya Con Cornholio

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    ^I have only seen it on Gibson's own bridges. Never on an import, no matter the age.
     

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