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Installing bridge adjusters

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Monkey, Nov 14, 2002.

  1. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I bought a set of aluminum adjustment wheels on e-bay, and I'd like to install them myself. Money is tight, you know.... I have decent wood-working skills, so I think it may be possible.

    My bridge is very low now, so I plan on marking it so that I cut out a space for the wheels that at their lowest leave the action where it is, but will allow me to raise it. I will be very careful about making sure that the holes are drilled parallel to each other and perpendicular to the top of the bass. From what I've seen, they are usually installed with the threads up, right?

    Any suggestions or hints would be welcome. I know I should take it to a luthier, but I would love to try it myself. Thanks in advance.
  2. I built a jig for this operation that holds the bridge perfectly square for drilling and tapping and has an edge that guides it straight along the fence of the saw. The bridge stays in the jig throughout the process so that everything stays straight and parallel.
  3. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    Great idea, Pete. Thanks.
  4. In your drill press, drill the no. 6 or 13/64" holes to depth watching not to break through. Don't move anything. Then open up these holes with a letter F (.257) drill to 5/8" deep. Still, don't move anything and chuck up the 1/4-20 tap in the drill press and turn the chuck by hand for several threads deep so the thread is nice and square. Finish tapping by hand later.
    Then saw the feet off. You may need to move the fence over and take a little more material off the bridge proper depending on final height.
    Another tip is to take a countersink and put a small chamfer on the .257" holes where the straight post goes into the feet and the knurled wheel meets this diameter. This relieves the small fillet on the adjuster and prevents binding and twisting of the bridge feet when adjusting.
    Finally lubricate the threads and post with beeswax and run the threads in and out several times to burnish the threads for smooth operation.
    Apologies to other luthiers for giving away these deep dark secrets, but 99 percent of bassists cannot do these things properly (and shouldn't attempt to) and will continue to bring their bass in.
  5. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Pete-you don't understand. We're trying to edjucate the players so they STOP bringing their basses in.
  6. Um, right, that's it.
  7. tsolo


    Aug 24, 2002
    Ft. Worth
    Not to worry. I'm one of the 99 percent - for 3 reasons:

    1) I don't have the time.

    2) Even if I had the time, I don't have the patience.

    3) If I screw up, I have to bring it in and still have to pay for it. If YOU screw up I don't have to know (but, probably still have to pay for it).
  8. LyleRyan


    Jun 20, 2006
    Berkeley, CA
    I thought I'd resurrect this old thread, since I couldn't find a better place for my question.

    After reading discussions about having the Full Circle pickup absolutely flush with the bridge leg or foot, I checked my recently installed new bridge and FC. The pickup side seems fine, and I don't have any complaints about the sound.

    But I noticed I could slide a post-it part way into the corner where the G-side adjuster meets the foot. (see photo).

    Now it's only a laminated Bass, but the bridge & installation were not any low-price special. Should I expect better from a quality Luthier?


    Attached Files:

  9. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    I think you have a right to be picky about this if you paid a good amount of money for the work. What was the charge? Call the guy and ask him if he will correct it. If he gives you a hard time, you might want to try someone else for future work.
  10. vejesse


    Apr 8, 2006
    Madison, Wi
    Double Bass Workshop
    The fit, function and look of the bridge is a great indicator of a luthier's skills.

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