Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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A Bridge Over the River Surf

Whoo boy are we getting close now. With the wiring harness done, we can put on the hardware. All of the hardware except the tuners came from Callaham Guitars. Their stuff is the absolute highest quality. If you play a Strat, I can't recommend their trem block (which Leo Fender called an 'inertia block') and bridge highly enough. You will be amazed at the difference in quality over the stock Fender pieces.

One thing I did on this build was put a little graphite lube on the bridge screws. I read in Dan Erlewine's book that SRV's tech used lube on his bridge and trem screws so I figured it was worth a shot. The only thing I had handy was this lock lube, which is great on locks. It's fairly thin in viscosity, so I'm not sure how long it will last, but whatever. I really don't dive-bomb with my trem, just a little wiggle now and then, so I don't have major tuning issues in any event.

With the old-style (aka 'vintage') 6-screw trem, I screw the outside 2 screws down enough to raise the back end of the bridge a tiny bit off the body, then loosen them just enough for the bridge to lower. Then the middle 4 screws are left about a quarter to half turn loose - they really just hold the alignment of the bridge. I don't let the bridge 'float' at all - on this style bridge you'll have tuning problems galore if you float it. Not to mention during bends, all of the strings except the one you're bending will go out of tune. Sounds awful.

Now that the bridge is in the body, ve moof on to ze trem springs! I'll have to fine tune em later, but I put them in a fair amount for now. I use 4 springs...I may experiment with just 3 but 4 gives a lot of tuning stability, which is my main issue. I can't stand going out of tune! You can also see where I soldered the ground wire to the spring claw. If you have trouble soldering it, try sanding a bit of the finish off the claw. I used my Weller iron cranked up to about 800 degrees and had no problem at all.


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