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Stripped Bridge Threads

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by kwd, Jul 21, 2003.


  1. kwd

    kwd

    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    I didn't release enough tension on the strings when making some initial bridge adjustments which caused the threads to strip. To remedy the problem I've been using a 3/8" nut as a spacer. Is that going to affect the sound adversely? I don't have a baseline to compare against because the bass wasn't even one day old when I did that.
     
  2. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    You are very resourceful. I think whether you could hear a difference depends on what type of bass it is. The higher the quality, the more I suspect you might hear it. I don't know of any bridge adjusters that would strip out due to not lessening the string tension. Are you sure they were properly installed?
     
  3. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    After swapping pickups on my guitars many times over, I would run into thread-stripping problems too...good thing I don't use a pickup for my bass (until I get the chance, heh).

    I would just drop a toothpick and some glue into the hole to give the threads something to bite on.
     
  4. Mine stripped too. I put washers in to get the right height!!
     
  5. kwd

    kwd

    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    I'm not sure if they were properly installed. I assumed that it was my fault for not releasing enough tension. In researching other threads in this group I've found that if properly installed, this shouldn't happen.

    It's good to know that I'm not the only one who's had to face this. I've thought about the toothpick, glue and re-tap idea. I might give that a shot. I understand that lubricating the threads with graphite can reduce the risk of this happening.

    I started out with washers then went to the nut. I thought that the vibration might be better transmitted through one element as opposed to three our four.

    PS: I'm playing a Christopher hybrid, which is probably closer to the lower end of the quality spectrum.
     
  6. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Don't waste your effort trying to re-tap. It won't work. What will work is to replace the adjusters with ones that have a larger diameter thread. If you have 1/4x20 threads, you can get adjusters with a 5/16x18 thread from Wil deSola, at 203-762-2044. The unthreaded part is 1/4 diameter and will fit right in. You'd just have to drill out the tapped portion to 1/4 or so, then run a tap through and lubricate. I use candle wax and graphite powder with good results (on bass bridges, that is).
     
  7. kwd

    kwd

    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    Arnold

    I really appreciate the info. Thank you.

    Even if it doesn't improve the sound that much it gives me back an adjustable bridge. Right now I have to take the bridge off and take it apart just to adjust the action. Also, I think my toolbox is running low on acceptable spacers ;-).

    kevin