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help with hackjob bridge route '77 precision

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by blastoff, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. blastoff

    blastoff Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2007
    Hello Bass Talkers. i recently picked up a '77 precision in black, maple skinny neck. nice light weight body. the finish is pretty rough, but i figured why not for the price. the neck pocket is very loose, but thats another thread (they could've called it the Fender Imprecision)
    Anyhow it has a BADASS II installed. When i got home and pulled that off, to my horror, there is a whittled/chiseled out "route" hidden beneath. was this done to accommodate the BADASS I ?
    I was tempted to mix up some bondo and just slap it in there. but. yea. the bridge screws seem to be engaging fine, but they are passing through about 3/8" of AIR.
    So to fix this correctly i would need to re-route (cleanly and squarely) and glue in a perfectly sized wooden patch, is that right? whatkind of wood would be best? and would you reckon this job would pretty much require a subsequent refinish due to all the sanding and whatnot?
    I very much appreciate any informed advice on the matter.

  2. blastoff

    blastoff Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2007
    some more pictures for fun



  3. Were it mine, I'd fabricate a "shim" - basically a flat piece of wood shaped to fill the hole - and fill the space under the bridge with it. I'd paint it black if it showed at all. I might hve to clean out the hole to get a smooth base in it so the shim would make good contact.

    And personally, I'd sell the BadAss on Ebay and install the correct bent-metal bridge with threaded saddles on it. (That's what I did with my '64 Gibson EB-0; ditched the BadAss that came on it and re-installed the original bar bridge.)

    For that matter, I'd also put a bridge cover over it, which would make the cosmetics rather unimportant.
  4. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Yeah, clean it up with a router and fill it with a wood shim. Any good woodworker can help you with that. Refinish isn't necessary if its hidden. Do not use bondo! Yuck!

    As for the sloppy neck joint, put a piece of metal screen (a strip or 4 stainless faucet screens work well; brass screen too) in the pocket, when you bolt the neck on, it won't move. Leave the pocket rout alone; it is what it is.
  5. blastoff

    blastoff Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2007
    yup thanks for the replies. any thoughts on what wood to use for the shim? does anyone know what the body is made of?
    im not sure. its fairly light.

    i do have a bridge cover actually. maybe. at this point i do appreciate the large footprint of the badass but i agree, id rather have the bent metal fender bridge

    ive already got a piece of drywall sanding screen for the neck joint. ive also gotta get rid of those yucky emg active pups. replaced with bartolinis or fender. but thats another thread!
  6. It doesn't make that much difference what wood you use, as it's really just a filler block that will have screws passing through it. It's there to give you more contact area for the bridge, and more stability for the bridge. I'd probably use a wood that's harder then pine but softer than maple...no reason to make it really difficult to carve out the shape.

    If you can rout the recess just a tiny bit deeper and give it a regular shape, it will make installing a block/shim easier, but be gentle with a 1977 Fender. Don't do anything to excess. Routers can cause a lot of damage quickly. Personally I'd be more inclined to clean up the recess with a Dremel held VERY carefully.
  7. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    I think if you can find a craftsman woodworker to route it clean for you, to a uniform depth of the filler thickness so the filler sits flush wouldn't cost much. Have him cut the filler and you can glue it in. It's not that big a job and shouldn't cost more than an hour labor. You will end up with the best possible repair. I think its worth the expense.
  8. lavmonga

    lavmonga Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2007
    New York, NY
    I'd either leave the BADASS on or clean and fill with a shim as mentioned. Looks awesome though, I'd buy it from you.
  9. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Am I the only one wondering how the ground wire is making any contact with the bridge?
  10. I'd put a piece of ash or maple in there. Or, you could clean it up and put a milled piece of brass in there and use longer screws to attach the bridge. To my mind, it seems a hunk of brass would make for more punch and sustain. Although I could be wrong about that statement. But, it makes sense to me. After all, how many companies are there that sell bridges that harp 'n holler and preach about "more mass equals better sustain & tone"?

    Just my .02 pennies on the subject.
  11. Hi.

    Could be, but the correct way to attach the ground wire is by sodering it onto the bridge, hence the rout.

    The "pinched between the body and the bridge" way is just for the lazies ;).

  12. blastoff

    blastoff Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2007
    I like the idea of a little block of ash. thats my last name in Finnish anyways.
    Loud and clear on the "be careful when mixing routers and old instruments". Though i am a woodworker (read: carpenter), id certainly defer to someone with more experience for that gig.
    Ill start with the dremel and see how it goes.
    As for the ground wire it actually was barely pinched in there ( in the first pic you can see the outline of the badass and there was just a little purchase in there. ) of course that didn't matter too much because the other end of the wire was connected to pure nothing! there were some other 'issues' with the wiring as well. i bought it without ever hearing it amplified!
    The best part is that someone actually signed their swiss army knife lutherie job. if you look closely theres an M in pencil right by the ground wire. makers mark. a real pro.
    anyways, many thanks for all the advice. ill post some updates later on. Cheers!
  13. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    This is going to sound like overkill but hear me out. If you or someone you know has access to a machine shop the safest, most precise way to fix this is with an end mill (or a CNC mill if the shop has one handy). With a mill it will be easier to clamp the body to a table and the end results will be much more precise and won't require any special jigs or templates. This will make cutting and fitting the ash block a piece of cake and the fit will be spot on. That's a nice way of saying I wouldn't freehand this kind of job unless I was steady as a surgeon or the router-whisperer.

    Also, take special care to make sure the mounting holes you drill in the ash block line up with the existing holes in the body. I'd do it on a drill press and I would even consider plugging the existing holes so there's not chance of missing the mark and stripping them out.

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