The Guitar Tips, Tricks, and Hacks Thread

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by StarbardGuitar, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. StarbardGuitar

    StarbardGuitar SS.org Decaf

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    Hey everyone,

    I was thinking it would be cool if we could have a thread dedicated to any useful tips or tricks anyone has come up with that they'd like to share. Just anything that others may find useful. I think it'd be cool to put all ideas in one place, and help each other out as well as maybe inspire some new ideas.

    So I guess I'll start with a really simple one. Here's how I stop the springs in the back cavity of any guitar with a trem from ringing and producing unwanted noise that gets picked up. I had seen videos on youtube where people used some sort of tubing that would fit inside the springs, but for me the tubing would come out when I used the trem. I've also used electrical tape around the springs, but if you ever want to take it off it may leave a residue. So, here's my solution - it's completely reversible, and if you like having your rear trem cover on, no one will see it.

    [​IMG]

    I use the squishy padding material that comes in Seymour Duncan bass pickup boxes. Simply cut a piece to the right size, and stick it under the springs. If it moves around when you use the trem, you can tape it in place. I used stewmac's binding tape for that, but I imagine masking tape would work fine.

    If you leave the back cover on your guitar, though, you could attach the piece of that material to the back of the cover instead.

    Leave any of your own ideas, or tricks you've come across that you think others may find useful! Let's start building this thread!
     
  2. StarbardGuitar

    StarbardGuitar SS.org Decaf

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    Here's another one I thought of that I use all the time. This one is very useful. It helps any guitar stay in tune a bit better - trem or hardtail. I do this with every string change, and most of the time I won't have to stretch my strings out for it to stay in tune.

    So, you may have heard that if you get graphite in the slots of the nut, that it helps your guitar stay in tune right? Well this takes that idea further. The reason that works is because it acts as a lubricant so that when the strings slide across those slots during a bend or trem use, that they don't get stuck and cause the guitar to be out of tune. But the problem is, the nut is only one part where the strings are moving. And the other part of the problem is, getting graphite into other areas is hard because it's a powder, so getting it to stick under string trees just isn't going to happen.

    I also came across this tip once that you can use chapstick under the string trees to help stop the strings from sticking. So here's where my idea comes in - combine chapstick and some graphite powder to make a super useful lube for your guitar. You can get this graphite at a hardware store.

    [​IMG]

    Squeeze out the chap stick into a container, add some of the powder, and mix it together with a toothpick or something until it becomes this sort of black goop.

    [​IMG]

    Then, all you've gotta do (I do this with every string change) is use a toothpick to put this stuff anywhere where the string contacts or any moving part in general. Wipe off any excess with a rag or tissues after putting the strings on. So here are the key points:

    The nut:
    [​IMG]

    Under the string trees:
    [​IMG]

    The saddles:
    [​IMG]

    And the pivot points on the trem posts that contact the edges of the bridge (where it pivots when you use the trem)
    [​IMG]

    That last one is critical especially if you've got a floating tremolo that won't come back in tune. I remember I had a cheaper model Ibanez years ago that had a floating trem, and no matter how I tried to balance the tension between the springs and the strings, it would come back flat when I pushed the bar down and sharp when I pulled up. This trick fixes that.

    Every string change, just wipe off any of the old stuff (it will probably be dried up) and put some more on and you're good to go.
     

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