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converting a bass to be strung through body

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Bill Brasky, Dec 15, 2000.


  1. The bridge on my bass (Washburn fretless 4 string) has holes that the strings could go through to be strung through the body, but the body itself doesn't have the holes. How hard would it be to put those holes in the body? I guess I'd have to get the metal things (I think they're called ferrules) that the strings go through to the other side of the body, and get them to fit the holes. Is this the kind of job that should just be done at a repair shop or could it be a do it yourself thing? How hard would it be to remove the bridge and do this, and is it something that could be messed up easily if you don't know what you're doing? The only things I've changed on a bass are the strings, and the pickups (one time with help from my dad on the electronics and soldering stuff). I've wondered about things like changing a neck or a bridge, like is there more to it than just taking out the screws or bolts and putting them back in. It doesn't seem like it would be that easy, and like if you do it wrong you could mess up the action or feel of the bass. Should I leave well enough alone, or is this something that could be done? (in which case, I'd probably get my dad to help again.)
     
  2. uh i dont think it would be too hard, just get a drill and put holes in it
     
  3. it might take more than whipping out the drill and having a go at it, most basses i have seen have had a counter sink in the back with a steal washer/cup to hold the string and to keep it from damaging the wood. also i think you would want to take into acount sharp angles that may snap strings. is your dad good with a drill? maybe bring him to a guitar shop and show him a bass that is set up this way. i.e. fender jazz. tell him to bring his tape measure. as far as taking the bridge off its just screws. good luck
     
  4. Bill,

    DON'T just go drilling holes in the body as has been suggested!!! Take a bit of time to plan the project. It's not hard but does require a little bit of forethought.

    First, to do the job properly, you'll need a drill press. The reason is that you'll want the holes to line up evenly on both sides of the body. Nothing looks worse than a set of staggered ferrules on the back of the bass. Next, you'll mark where the holes in the bridge are on the top of the guitar. Your initial drilling will be done from this side. I prefer the holes on the top to be somewhat smaller than the holes in the back. The ferrules will mount in 3/8" holes but the ones on the front side should be the same size as the holes in the bridge. Drill all the way through the body at the marked places with the drill press. Next, flip the body over and center drill with the 3/8" bit, the holes coming from the face. These will only go about 1/2" in the body. Insert your ferrules, remount the bridge, and restring. You'll likely have to get new strings since the additional length needed will already have been cut off the old ones.

    Yes, you can screw up a neck if you don't think out your project. With care,though, a neck replacement is fairly easy and well worth the effort.

    For a bridge replacement, you might look at the Gotoh #206 bridge. It has good adjustment features and is a string-thru like the original. The ferrules for the strings can be bought from Stewart MacDonald http://www.stewmac.com, but you'll have to put together a $25 dollar order. That shouldn't be hard if you get their catalog.
     
  5. done listen to em
    just get a really powerful drill and go through whatever the hell you have to