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converting to string through advice needed

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by jimnto, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. jimnto


    Jul 15, 2007
    I bought a hipshot 'A' Bridge and Hipshot drilled the mounting screws so it is direct replacement for Fender. It has the option for string through and so I want to drill holes through the body of my Fender Aerodyne bass and buy some ferrules and use string through.
    The bridge has holes in the bottom for the strings and the holes are tapered so there is not a sharp corner for the string.

    Is there anything I need to do besides drill holes and install the ferrules?

  2. ZolkoW


    May 8, 2006
    Hungary, EU
    I think you are ready to go, install new bridge, drill through the holes, take off bridge if neccessary, install ferrules and put bridge back.

    take care of the lacquer. I use wood+a sheet of paper under the bass's body to prevent chips at the other side.

    edit: and use as thick and good-quality (hard) drilling bit as possible, because tiny ones tend to bend, and that causes an unlovely placement of holes on the bottom :-/
    3.5 mm (~1/8") is OK.
  3. asad137


    Jan 18, 2007
    I would go one step further and drill a small pilot hole all the way through the body at first from the front, and then finish enlarging the hole for the ferrules by drilling them from the back. Much lower probability of chips on the back if you drill from that side.

  4. DSB1


    Mar 8, 2006
    Do not drill holes clear through the body, nine times out of ten they will not line up perfectly on the other side. In fact, never drill clear through any piece of wood. Instead, do this:

    Use the bridge to locate the holes on the top. Transfer these exactly to the back and measure to make sure they are centered, evenly placed, and perpendicular to the center of the instrument.

    Use a SHARP forstner bit to drill for the ferrules. Chamfer the edges so if the ferrules ever have to be removed there is less chance of the paint chipping.

    On the top of the bass, with a sharp drill bit drill half way through the body. Chamfer the edges.

    Flip it over, and repeat for the back of the bass, using the forstner holes as pilots.

    You can use a black permanent marker around the holes on the top to give a clean look under the bridge if you prefer.
  5. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    here's the best advice you're going to get on this project ...

    simply don't do it!

    save yourself the hassle of a lot of work that will most likely look shoddy because you're drilling holes freehand (with a hand-held or drill press, doesn't matter) ... and all of this work is going to result in absolutey no discernable difference to your sound or the way it feels (unless you're running exposed core strings - and then simply change your strings instead of doing all this work)

    there - what a load of people have been thinking has finally been said. it's all out in the open now :D if you want to read more on how this is a complete waste of time, do a simple search of this forum and read the endless number of threads on this very topic

    all the best,

  6. ZolkoW


    May 8, 2006
    Hungary, EU
    it's another subject, I think... :)

    I like string-through because the strings doesn't pull the bridge plate, they lock in the body. that's all.
    the only difference with tha same bass, same strings I have noticed: the feel and the attack of the strings. with top-loaded strings (traditional plate bridge) the attack is lighter, similar to a compressor's effect. but it's a very subtly difference, if even noticable.. that's MY opinion.

  7. +100000000000000000000000000000000000

    I did this w/ 2 SX P basses !!! BOTH times using a VERTICAL BENCH Press drill. The 1st time-even using this method(+ masking tape over drill points & all other safeguards) the holes didn't line up on the rear of the bass. Even on a mate's telecaster copy we did- there was a slight "mis" on ONE of the rear holes-& a tele is a FLAT body!!!!!!:(

    So Using the same method as DSB1 describes is the best way!! Even then I wouldn't attempt it without a Vertical drill press. My 2nd SX P bass body I did this to worked out(using this method) 'almost' perfectly -ONE hole is about 0.5-1mm out, but is unnoticeable.
    I compared sounds-even recorded the sounds B4 & after this- as the bridge I had was top mount OR string-thru & it was-to my ears anyway-and to my gui****ist- a punchier sound with more guts & sustain. My 2c & $2 ears :D
  8. Delta_Petra


    Feb 26, 2008
    Portland, OR
    I am partially interested in doing the same string through body for my 3-string frankenbass, but was unsure how to go about it.

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