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Old February 23rd, 2011, 10:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Drilling holes in a Mighty Mite Fender body

I am in the process of putting together my first partscaster and purchased a mighty mite body new (swamp ash... silver inca). None of the holes for the bridge, pickguard or jackplate have been drilled out. Don't want to screw up my first project! Any reccomendations on how to drill the holes properly. Looked for schematics through google, but have yet to find any. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Side note- this is my first forum. Sounds like a great community here.

Thanks,
Mike

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Old February 23rd, 2011, 10:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I've only had to do this once and I use a dremel with variable speed. I don't think you want to go too deep so the screws grab. I must admit that I have even just screwed right into the guitar without drilling! Works but the screw doesn't always go in straight!
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 10:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If you have another strat, use it to get measurements.

I start by clamping the neck in place, then measure 25.5" back from the nut. This is where my high E saddle should be. I square the bridge, and mark the holes. It is best to have the loaded PG laid in place, so you can be sure the strings align over the pups.

Kinda like this (looks kinda funky, due to the camera angle, but you can get the idea):
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 10:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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As far as drilling the holes goes, a drill press is best, but any drill will work. Go slow, you do not want to break a bit off in the wood. It is not the end-of-the-world, but It sure sucks having to get it out.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 10:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcole_sooner View Post
If you have another strat, use it to get measurements.

I start by clamping the neck in place, then measure 25.5" back from the nut. This is where my high E saddle should be. I square the bridge, and mark the holes. It is best to have the loaded PG laid in place, so you can be sure the strings align over the pups.

Kinda like this (looks kinda funky, due to the camera angle, but you can get the idea):
Off-topic but that tele body looks great!
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 10:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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welcome!

i would def say measure three times and drill once! just make sure you put the hole in the right spot and drill slowly!

this is a prety good sight.

STEWMAC.COM : Router Templates for Traditional Strat Tremolo Free information
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 12:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I do like how you have everything laid out RCOLE... seems to look stable and sturdy when setup like that. I will definitely be measuring at least three times to ensure that it's correct.

Thanks a ton you guys... been here less than an hour and already feels like home.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 12:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Forgive me for asking, and i think i'm right, but do the accuracy of the holes go hand in hand with intonation and string vibration over the pups?
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 12:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mm098j View Post
I am in the process of putting together my first partscaster and purchased a mighty mite body new (swamp ash... silver inca). None of the holes for the bridge, pickguard or jackplate have been drilled out. Don't want to screw up my first project! Any reccomendations on how to drill the holes properly. Looked for schematics through google, but have yet to find any. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Side note- this is my first forum. Sounds like a great community here.

Thanks,
Mike
Very carefully.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 01:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Forgive me for asking, and i think i'm right, but do the accuracy of the holes go hand in hand with intonation and string vibration over the pups?
Since the bridge mounting holes will determine where and how the bridge sets, then...

Intonation, yes. That is why you want the high E string saddle located about 25.5" from the nut, with a little room left each way, on the screw, for intonation adjustment. Line the bridge up square, like that, then the mounting holes can be used to mark the proper locations for the screw holes.

String vibration over the pups, yeah, you want the strings as centered over the poles of the pups as you can get, AFAIK. That is where having the pups in place will help get the neck and bridge in line with everything. The PG can also be moved around a little before the PG screw holes are marked.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 09:45 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I was taught to put the trem mounting screw holes (talking vintage trem here) 25 1/4" from the body-side edge of the nut. Always worked like a charm for me.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 09:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Someone recently did this and posted pictures of the drill guide he used to mount the trem screws. Those need to be absolutely perpendicular. You can use a regular electric drill for everything else. If you stick toothpicks in the pickguard screw holes of a recent Bullet, you'll notice none of them are straight. Wouldn't call it hand-made, more like unskilled slave labor... ooops.

That would be nadzab! (above)
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 10:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Getcha some brad point drills... your chance of going straight through are much better. Use machinist drills and you can bet there will be some drift as it hits different densities of wood.

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Old February 23rd, 2011, 10:17 PM   #14 (permalink)
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get a set of brad point drills, that way at least you have a chance of drilling straight through, Use Machinists drills and you're guaranteed to see drill point drift as it hits varying densities of wood on the way through....

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Old February 23rd, 2011, 10:48 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Old trick: put some tape on the drill bit so you don't drill too deep
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 10:59 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I was taught to put the trem mounting screw holes (talking vintage trem here) 25 1/4" from the body-side edge of the nut. Always worked like a charm for me.
Yeah, that probably works for standard bridges, but since I use many different types of bridges, I just started measuring to the saddle. I don't have to remember so much that way. And I need all the help I can get.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 11:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Welcome to the madness!

Ron Kirn is correct (as always) on the use of bradpoint bits, if you can. A drill press is always better than freehand, and if not, a drill with a bubble level in the but is a wonderful thing! Always use a bit of masking tape as a depth marker to keep from going too deep.

RCole is a master of alignment, so use his advice with total confidence. The bridge mounting is critical, so go slow, lay out masking tape in the body and mark carefully. Always measure twice and cut once, as they say. I use a punch to locate my drill point and to prevent wandering. And the Stew-Mac templates listed above are fantastic!

On non-critical parts like the jackplate, simply mock it up (with the jack installed) and punch the locations, then drill carefully. Same with the pickguard, rough in the bridge to be sure the p/g looks even, then use the screw holes as a template to punch it.
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Old February 14th, 2014, 12:53 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Here is a question. If you have a Mexi strat neck, can you put in an American bridge into the body if it has not been drilled yet?
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