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installing string ferrules help wanted!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by TenOhJay, Jun 1, 2004.

  1. TenOhJay


    May 28, 2004
    Owasso, OK
    Does anyone know if it's possible to install string ferrules in a bass that previously did not have the strings going through the body? Would it be too much of a risk? If its possible, how? I'm upgrading my mexican Fender Jazz and thought that might be something cool to do, but if its too much of a risk, I'll lay off. Thanks!
  2. BigTopBruno


    Sep 6, 2002
    NJ, USA
    ready to get out the big drill?....not sure the benefit, esp. on a multi-piece body...
  3. Sure, you can do it easily - with caution and experience it will go well. Remember,you'll have to have the proper bridge to make it work.
  4. Get the right bridge. Get the ferrrules. Install the bridge in its proper location. Mark where the strings will pass thru with a sharpie or whatever. dissassemble bass. Take body to a drill press. put clear tape over marks to minimize chipping of finish, drill thru top of body w/ a .125" diameter (minimum) brad point drill bit (back bit out frequently to clear out bit while drilling. Drill thru the body until the brad point comes thru the back. this will be your locator for the back drilling operations... flip body over. Get appropriate size drill bit and counterbore bits to accomodate ferrules. Tape over spot points on back. drill for the neck of the ferrule. Not too big a diameter. Then do your counterbores. Again, not too deep. Consistency is key.

    Use clear nail polish or superglue and rubbing compounds to mend any finish chipout.

    Good luck. Quick and easy.
  5. How did this come out? Did this work for you? I'm interested because I'm currently customizing a bass and trying to install ferrules as well. I'd love to know how your results were.
  6. keyboardguy

    keyboardguy Supporting Member

    May 11, 2005
    My Carvins came with the holes already drilled, but I can share some advice on installing them.
    Coat the exterior ferrules with candle wax; they will slide in more easily.
    Also, when I pounded them in with a hammer, I placed a piece of wood between the ferrule and the hammer.

  7. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    First rule: Practice on a scrap wood first.

    Bloozcat has a good simple method to get you started on this thread:


    How I do it:

    With the bridge on, I mark the string holes on the front with a pencil. I made a drilling template in Powerpoint that is just intersecting lines at the correct spacing and print it out 1:1, then cut that out and tape it to the correct location on the back of the body (this takes measuring and re-measuring). This serves the dual purpose of perfectly centered holes and tape to reduce chipping. I then drill the ferrule holes with the drill press and the correct size sharp forstner bit to make sure they line up perfectly. I don't know how you would get the depth right with a hand drill, but it's probably possible. I then use a smaller bit to drill halfway through the body from each side until they meet, then clean up the hole all the way through. Then you can dry fit the ferrules to make sure they are right before epoxying them in place.

    By the way: Practice on a scrap wood first.
  8. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Two words: drill press.
  9. saxofunk


    Jul 25, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Absolutely. I did it to my Toby.

    No, not if you take steps to protect the finish and make straight hole.

    Now, why did you have to go asking "how?"? :scowl: By the time I typed step by step instructions I could be at your doorstep with my drill press and a sheet of plexi.
  10. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Added holes to my earlier version Hiphsot Type B, put it back on, took an awl to mark the positions on the bass body, drilled the front side narrower holes all the way through slowly into the back (masked to prevent chips), then flipped the bass over and did the back with the appropriate diameter bit {on a handdrill yet, with a level ; } with a collar on the bit so it wouldn't go too deep.

    A little grease into the holes and on the ferrules, and a rubber mallet, and it was operational.

    Ironically I hardly ever use them now, for the past couple years I've been changing strings so often only the low B usally goes through. Just quicker that way for string experimentation/swapping, and it doesn't mess up the tuning peg ends.
  11. ethanbowen666


    Jan 8, 2011
    Bassist, shadowseerband.com
    :help: I have some 3/8" holes pre drilled and I have 3/4" ferrules. I have trouble getting them in. I cant even get it to stand straight up so I can start hammering.
  12. Three words: waste of time. The best way to do it is to not bother.
  13. ethanbowen666


    Jan 8, 2011
    Bassist, shadowseerband.com
  14. What?
  15. ethanbowen666


    Jan 8, 2011
    Bassist, shadowseerband.com
    Why are you here, go annoy someone else.
  16. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Step away from the hammer...

    What part of the ferrule is 3/4" wide? It may simply be too large for the 3/8" hole.
  17. I would only add, when you have the small holes drilled thru and you start to drill from the back, take a straight edge and make sure your guide holes are aligned. Looks much nicer from the back when the ferrules are in alignment.