Squier bridge lift problem

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by rojo412, Mar 20, 2014.


  1. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

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    I've had a few Squier Deluxe Active basses in my day and they all seem to suffer from the same problem:
    The tailpiece of the bridge lifts up under string tension.

    In other words, you look at the bridge from the side when it's strung and there's a gap between the rear and the body. That doesn't give me the highest confidence in the bridge itself.

    I see bridges like the Gotoh that have screws in the tailpiece:

    [​IMG]

    I was contemplating using my drill press to neatly drill 2 holes into the tailpiece, countersink the edges, and use 2 more bridge screws to prevent the lift.

    Has anyone done this before? If so, how successful was it?
     
  2. tbplayer59

    tbplayer59

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    I'm curious about the problem. Are you talking about putting screws in through the thick metal section where the strings feed through? I'm just trying to picture how the bridge is being lifted. Is it pulling the original screws out of the body wood? Is the bridge being bent?
     
  3. JoeWPgh

    JoeWPgh

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    Why not just pull the bridge, fill the screw holes with toothpicks or splinters, and re-install it?
     
  4. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

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    No, tbplayer had it right. The string tension is pulling the thick tailpiece upwards. The bridge is still attached well, but under tension, the fatter tail section lifts. So much for high mass, I guess!

    If you see in the pic above, the Gotoh model was designed with the extra screws through the fat section, to keep it down. This is what I was thinking about attempting to do with the Squier bridge.
     
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  6. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

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    Here's a pic, I took it off, but you can see that the plate and the tailpiece are not at a right angle...

    [​IMG]

    What is happening is, the weakest point on the plate is where the screw holes are drilled, because it removed material in a straight line, right at the bend point.

    The way I see it is, if I can anchor down the tailpiece, then the middle, the front screws will pull it down to flat.
     
  7. JoeWPgh

    JoeWPgh

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    Yikes! What are they using for metal? There's no way it should bend like that. You could drill and countersink it. I'd probably be looking at just replacing the thing.
     
  8. 96tbird

    96tbird This Indian movie is really boring man.

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    I had a late 80s Squier that did that. It didn't affect anything. I just kept an eye on it; checking for cracks often. I did notice that they could have set the holes farther back on the plate. If it bugs you a lot, time for a new bridge.
     
  9. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    Personally, I would drill a couple holes through the back end of the bridge, countersink it, and screw it down with a couple #8 or #6 screws. Drill the two holes, one between the E and A, and one between the D and G string and call it good.
     
  10. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

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    Okay, so just before band practice tonight, I made an executive decision to just go for it. The bridge wasn't worth much bent, and if I screwed it up, I'd have to replace it anyway, so what the hell!

    1) Screwed the bridge to some scrap wood for stability

    [​IMG]

    2) Gave it a surface to write on

    [​IMG]

    3) Measured and plotted axises to drill

    [​IMG]

    4) Used a pointy old spade bit to drill some pilot dents

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    5) Drilled out some "coutersink" divots to the size of the screws

    [​IMG]

    6) Drilled screw holes

    [​IMG]

    7) I had to drill a little deeper with a smaller bit to get the screws to sit down more, but... TADA!

    [​IMG]

    I'm going to use neck attachment sized screws, because I had them and they look nice.

    [​IMG]

    That should fix that!
     
  11. 96tbird

    96tbird This Indian movie is really boring man.

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    Yep, that'll do it. I would screw the front plate down first, then the five orig screws then draw it down at the back with the new screws.

    If you do it in reverse, those two front screws may warp the plate when you crank them down. Best that they're secured first and let the two big back ones and all that meat at the tail do the flattening work.
     
  12. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

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    Well, that's not a bad thought. I may have done that if I read the post before doing it, but it turned out fine reverse of that too...

    [​IMG]

    But yeah, makes sense.
    Once I get the headstock situated, I'll test it out. But I think this is ON THERE!!!
     
  13. freatles

    freatles

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    I hope I wont have to go through this as well.

    Although just buying another bridge might be easier.
     
  14. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

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    It only took me 20 minutes to do it...
    But as 96tbird said, it probably doesn't make a huge difference, bridges like these bend all the time and work fine.
    I've seen a lot of 90s basses that suffer from it, like Tobias Growlers and Renegades, Yamaha BB series... it happens!
     
  15. 96tbird

    96tbird This Indian movie is really boring man.

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    What kind of metal is that you think? Those drill chips all wound around the bit usually means soft. I guess that's what the Chinese call mild steel?

    Any rate, what you did there looks very good and eliminates your worry. Good deal.
     
  16. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

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    I think it's got a lot of drywall in it, like the toothpaste and dog food :D
    If removing 4 holes in a line drilled into it caused a structural weakness, I think it's about as mild a steel as you can get.
     
  17. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    Nice work man, looks like it came from the factory that way.

    The way it made those long metal shavings, instead of chips it almost looks like aluminum. Its probably cast out of some kind of cheap pot metal with a high zinc content.
     
  18. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

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    That's very clean work. My compliments!

    I think you could hang a Volkswagen from that bridge now.
     
  19. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the kind words. I'll see if I can find a Volkswagen
     
  20. mech

    mech

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    Nice work, rojo412.

    The majority of die cast bridges are made of zinc alloy and the rest of aluminum. There are no steel or brass die cast bridge base plates.

    mech
     
  21. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

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    Well, it isn't aluminum, so Zinc Alloy it is!
     

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