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Help, lost an intonation screw/spring!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Diggler, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. Diggler


    Mar 3, 2005
    Western PA
    Does anyone know of a good source for Fender parts? I have a Duff McKagan Signature Series bass, and apparently at my last gig the intonation screw and spring somehow disappeared from my bass. I have no idea how that could have happened, but it did.

    I called Fender, and apparently intonation screws are not a replacement item. I would have to buy the whole bridge, and it would be special order. They gave me a part number, 0090967000, but a google and ebay search returned nothing.

    I have a show this coming weekend, so I found a Squire MB4 bridge on Ebay for $10 shipped, which looked identical so I ordered it. It was close, but the screw is a smaller diameter. For now, I replaced that entire saddle with the MB4 saddle, screw and spring. It works "OK" but the saddle isn't as solid as the other ones, since the hole in the bridge for the screw is oversized compared to the original. It will get me through the weekend but I want it to be right. Lots of the bridges from Fender, etc are nickel or chrome, and mine is all black, so that doesn't help either.

    I would have thought these screws would be somewhat standard, and available individually, but I guess I'm wrong on that.

    Does anyone have any resources for small parts like this that I could possibly find what I need to make my bass whole again?
  2. JackANSI


    Sep 12, 2006
    I know the ACE Hardware stores around central PA have an incredibly nice hardware section with just about any small/medium screw and misc items you can think of.

    Don't be afraid to find something with a larger head and file it down either.
    okcrum likes this.
  3. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Any decent hardware store should have the screw and spring. If not mcmaster.com will have what you need for sure. I am not sure what size screw your bridge uses, so I can't help you there, but there is no reason at all to buy a new bridge.
    JLS likes this.
  4. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Unless you want the extra parts, which is what I did. You never know when you'll need a height screw or saddle.
  5. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Fastenall is also a great source for screws.

    But the minute you spend money for new ones, you will find the original.
    twinjet likes this.
  6. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    If the bridge is American made, the intonation screws are probably 6-32 x 1" round head Phillips machine screws. Check the length to be sure, but I think they are 1" long.

    If the bridge is imported, like Squire, then the screws are probably M3 x 0.5 x 25mm long. 3mm screws are a little smaller than 6-32, like you are seeing.

    Both of those size machine screws are commonly available at hardware stores, but only in zinc-plated steel or stainless. You won't find black-coated round head Phillips machine screws easily.

    One option is to get socket head cap screws, which are driven with Allen wrenches. They are commonly available in black finish. Get a set of them in 6-32 x 1" and replace all of your intonation screws with them. Then you can use a 9/64" Allen wrench to do the adjustment, which is often easier than a Phillips screwdriver.
    Pilgrim, BadBobbyH, okcrum and 6 others like this.
  7. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars

    Mcmaster carries them in black
    JackANSI likes this.
  8. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Unless you lose a saddle, you can replace every screw in the bridge 10 times over for the price of a new bridge.
    JackANSI likes this.
  9. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    Bruce is right - as usual - but this has come up before, and IIRC, the intonation screws are an odd length that isn't likely to show up in a hardware store. It's not rocket science to shorten one, though; or just get 4 of them...:)
  10. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    6-32 screws are readily available in lengths up to four inches, in 1/2 inch increments. buy something longer and trim it down. Use a crimping tool for that. Most crimping tools have the necessary taps and cutters to trim 6, 8, and 10 AWG screws. They cost about $25.
    Klein Tools 6-in-1 Multi-Purpose Tool-1000 - The Home Depot
    JackANSI likes this.
  11. jeffbassguy

    jeffbassguy "Less is more, unless the guitarist sucks"

    Feb 4, 2001
    so a very informative post like this gets no likes but say fender is overrated and tb faithful jump to be in the fray..only on talkbass
  12. BAG


    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    But not as readily available if you lose the Allen wrench.
  13. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    if you don't want to buy special,tool, or if you have to shorten a metric screw:
    1) thread a nut onto screw before cutting with hacksaw
    2) grind or file leading edge of screw
    3) remove nut- as the nut spins off, it will straighten out the leading thread
    Zooberwerx likes this.
  14. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    First, you need a 6-32 by 1.5" round head phillips. The actual screw should be simple enough but funding it in black is going to be the trick.

    McMaster Carr and Fastenal only has that size/type screw in 18-8 stainless or zinc plated steel. Even bass parts resource and Darren Riley don't list them in black, only in chrome or nickel plated.

    I've even tried ebay looking for black screws like that and all i found were allen heads and they were just black oxided, not black coated. Black oxide is more of a surface treatment rather than a cosmetic coating so color will cary from black to light gray and will wear rather quickly.

    If you can't find them you could blacken some nickel plated hardware but getting a color match is going to be a crapshoot.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
  15. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
  16. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Then just buy pan head and replace all four, you get a package of 50 anyway so its not a big deal

  17. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Unfortunately the screw you linked is black oxided, not black coated. Even the darkest oxide surface treatment won't be as dark as the black screws in the OP's bridge, and the oxide wears away pretty quick. If oxide is acceptable, McMaster carries the round head with a black oxide finish.

    I use a ton of black oxided fasteners on my toy race cars and the black wears off really quickly and it will not match the black on the duff bridge. I'm not sure what the black hardware used by Fender is coated with,but it wears like a ceramic or chrome plating. A guy i know who builds a lot of tactical weapons says it's prolly some kind of baked on enamel or epoxy coating.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
  18. Diggler


    Mar 3, 2005
    Western PA
    Thanks all. I'll try to verify the size of the screw at the hardware store with the saddle I removed. I have the springs that came with the Squier bridge, so I should be ok there even though they're not quite as heavy.

    I thought about "upgrading" to another bridge, but I'm happy with my bass and its tone right now, and don't really see a need to change anything. I really didn't want to spend $65 for something that I don't need and possibly have to put more holes in it besides the original mounting holes.

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