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Need help with bridge to control panel route

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by rschuh, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. rschuh

    rschuh Banned

    Jan 25, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    I picked up a gorgeous Quilted Maple over Ash Jazz bass body, but it was not drilled for the hole that goes from under the bridge to the control area for a ground. How does one make that cut or route and is there another way to ground the bass without that hole?


  2. I hate this bit, it freaks me out every time. It's so hard getting a proper long drill in at the right angle to go through clean into the ctrl cavity.
    I bought a cheap 4mm tube of metal from a craft shop, cut to about 6 inches long and superglued a 3mm bit into the end.
    Then with the body flat on the bench I drill a 6mm hole vertically down about 4mm deep where the bridge wire needs to go, then using the drill-on-a-stick start the hole into the wall of the shallow vertical hole, angled as gently as you can to aim for the control cavity. Does that make sense?
  3. I've just done this on a modded bass.

    I managed to pick up a 3/16" drill bit which is about 6" long from a vintage tool stall at a local market.

    I took a 1/2 bit and bored a shallow hole approx 1/2" deep under the bridge plate. This allowed me to get a good shallow angle *with bite* using the 3/16" bit which cut right through to the control cavity no problem. Easy from there.
  4. I've found the best way to do it is:

    With one of these drill bits.


    They are a ft long and you can get them in most diameters. You just have to find that special little tool shop with the old guy with a beard who has every concievable tool tucked away in dark corners ;)

    And make yourself a jig (if you don't own a pillar drill) where you can clamp the hand drill onto for the required angle (jig looks like a wedge of cheese)

    I tend to use masking tape over where i'm about to drill, to help prevent cracking as well.

    Hope that helped.
  5. Fasoldt Basses

    Fasoldt Basses

    Mar 22, 2005
    Stevens Point, WI
    Karl Thompson, Builder (Formerly Fat Karl)
    Also, make sure you start the drilling from the front, not from the control cavity. The cavity is a much bigger target than the footprint of your bridge.
  6. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    I used carpenter nails to achieve this task.
    I went through fine but I wouldn't recommend such method. :ninja:
  7. Greenman


    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    Another route is thru the bridge pickup cavity.
  8. Bassman822


    Sep 1, 2007
    Bessemer, AL
    You can get those long drill bits at shops selling to electricians
  9. rschuh

    rschuh Banned

    Jan 25, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    Thanks all. I picked up a 12" long bit today and am going to tackle this on Wed.! :)
  10. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    +1 I generally just drill clear from the neck pocket down to the bridge area. That way, all my wiring has a common channel, and I have a path to my bridge for grounding.
  11. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    Builder: ThorBass
    Or you could just not do it :eek:

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