Filling a khaler route cavity

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by GOX42, Jan 14, 2013.


  1. GOX42

    GOX42

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2000
    Location:
    rising sun indiana
    Years ago I got the bass of my dreams (at the time). A Aria SB integra just like billy gould's from FNM. At some point I thought the best idea was to install a khaler tremolo. I didn't measure right so it wouldn't into ate right (ended up about a 33.25" scale after installation) anyhow I would like to fill this cavity and put a regular bridge on it. ( it has been sitting for about 12 years) so my question is what is the best material to fill it with? And my advice..know what you are doing before you do it.
    Thanks in advance
  2. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    The best material to fill it with is wood, preferably the same species and grain orientation as the body wood is made from. Filling it with any type of putty will never work.
  3. slappa_dat_bass

    slappa_dat_bass

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2012
    X2.
  4. GOX42

    GOX42

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2000
    Location:
    rising sun indiana
    Ok am going to be honest I don't know what it is made of. It is hard wood I remember it breaking 2 screws when we were putting in the khaler . Problem is the route is very messy as I said I was young and being young was impatient I could clean up the route I suppose. This will be right under the bridge will wood glue itself hold this
  5. Strat Hater

    Strat Hater

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Location:
    Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
    MAybe post some pics. The experts here might be able to help
  6. 1958Bassman

    1958Bassman

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Hardwood needs to be drilled before screws go in.

    One way to do this is to make a block that fits the outline snugly. If it's the same shape as the new/replacement, keep it that size. If your replacement bridge is larger, you could make the block slightly larger and trim the hole to fit it exactly. If the bottom of the hole is flat, great but if not, chisel/rout it out so it's flat. just be patient and put an even layer of masking tape on the top of the bass before doing this so the bottom of the router base doesn't scratch the top. Square the corners and make it fit. You can use epoxy to hold it in place.
  7. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Location:
    Fillmore, CA
    Disclosures:
    Professional Luthier
    Yep, basically you fill the opening with wood of approximately the same species/density. If the opening is ragged and uneven, re cut it with a router to make the edges square and reasonably straight. Then hand-fit the repair block for a light sliding fit and glue it in. Leave the block a little thick, so it ends up slightly above the surface. Fill any small gaps around the edges with a hard epoxy, then rout the surface flush. With some care, the repair can be nearly invisible. Or, like 1958Bassman suggests, you can make the repair artistic, like it was supposed to be that way!
  8. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    Is it a solid color instrument or natural/burst finish?

    What you will want to do is cut your block, slightly bigger than the existing rout. Then make a template that your block fits into very tightly. Then clean up the existing rout with the new template and glue in the block. Titebond or any other good wood glue will be fine, Just be sure to clamp it in place. Just use a thin layer because there wont be any room for squeeze out on the bottom of the rout. The glue joint will be stronger than the wood itself.

    The more time you spend fitting the block to your template the better your completed job will be.Don't try and make the corners of your rout square, its much easier to round off the corners of your block to fit the radius of whatever router bit you use to do the rout.

    If it is a sold color, I would make the block out of a tight grained hard wood that finishes easy, like maple or alder. If its a see through finish you will have to find out what kind of wood its made from or the end result will look very bad.
  9. GOX42

    GOX42

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2000
    Location:
    rising sun indiana
    Thanks guys its solid color by the way i will try and get a pic up soon

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