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How do you line up a bridge?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by JacksonsMen, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. ok, when all is set and ready to go, how do you align the bridge with the neck? im looking at putting some of my spare parts together and getting a cheap mighty mite body to play with, but there are no pre drilled or pre marked lines for anything basically, and i wouldnt want to risk throwing the whole thing off by not doing it right....

    anybody get what im tryin to ask here? :confused:
  2. The body is very likely to be a two peice body, the join "should" be the centre line, simply mark off of that. you can test it quickly by sticking your bridge down with double sided tape and running a couple of bits of fishing line on each outer string. some luthiers give you more fretboard on the E side because of the string thickness (to even out the outer edge gap) but if it's a fender style one, it is unlikely to have it, so go for a even gap on each side of the fretboard.
  3. its going to be fender style, problem is the body im looking at is pre-finished. so you cant see the seam...ill try the fishing line trick though
  4. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    here is the way i did it:

    i temporarily installed two used strings at the outboard string positions (i.e., B string and G string on a five-string bass) then pulled the bridge tight by hand. once i had the strings centered where i wanted them i marked the bridge position with a pencil.

    surprisingly, it worked very well.
  5. Hookus


    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    What Hambone said.

    That way will also allow you to mark your scale length.
  6. oh, i forgot about even measuring the bridge out for scale, thanks guys
  7. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    +1 on Hambone's description

    This method is definitely a great way to locate a bridge on a body where the neck pocket alignment is suspect (or somewhat loose fitting, as you've already installed the screw holes that secure the neck to the body)

    All the best,



    Jun 13, 2005
    Los Angeles
    IF its going to be a fender style you might also want to compare it to another bass using the same spec's.
  9. Greenman


    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    My strings are not centered on the bridge, so if you use the straight edge method the strings won't be centered on the neck.
    I learned this the hard way.:crying:
  10. Greenman


    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    It's my stock Schecter Stiletto bridge:meh:
  11. orlfl


    Jul 22, 2005
    Hambone's method is great, but there is one thing I don't like about it. Extending the saddles and pulling them back means that your saddles are always behind the initial string break. There is some (subtle?) improvement, I think, in shortening the saddles and extending into the intonation so that the saddles sit in front of the place at which the strings first broke over them.

  12. dooft11

    dooft11 Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2003
    I use hambone method and had successfully installed 3 bridges.. bulletproof..