Post holes drilled incorrectly?

Southwest

Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2020
Messages
449
Reaction score
1,116
Disclaimer: I’m completely new to building and repair so the following may be complete crap. If it is, please tell me – I’m trying to learn.

My cheap kit continues to throw challenges my way. This is the latest, and if I’m right the biggest, so far. Early in the build I did a dry fit and noted the unusual bridge saddle positions after a rough intonation.
1632156591186.png



I put it down to a combination of the crappy plastic OEM nut and the crappy OEM strings and carried on with the build. Once complete, I took a nut file to each of the three bass string slots to angle them back to the tuner posts, then strung up with EB9s. No difference. The bass E never quite gets to 12th fret intonation, but perhaps would if I turn the saddle around. Ditto the A string.
1632156622784.png


So I got a long ruler on it. I’d already done some mods including adding a Nashville bridge by this point.
1632156669566.png
1632156690622.png


1632157101325.png

1632156735067.png


So the 12th fret measurement gives me the expected 24.75” scale length, but the bridge is way off, particularly on the bass side. The neck is bolt-on, but looks to be fully seated in the pocket.

Does this (as I think) show that the bridge post holes were drilled in the wrong place? Anything else (less catastrophic) it could be? If it’s the post holes, I’m guessing my only course of action to fix it properly is to dowel the hole(s) and re-drill. Is that right?

Many thanks in advance for any guidance.
 

Attachments

ARandall

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2012
Messages
16,226
Reaction score
13,658
Its either getting the neck further in, or move the bridge holes. The neck option will take more work, but the bridge option will be more obvious later.
 

Davey Rock

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
557
Reaction score
325
Disclaimer: I’m completely new to building and repair so the following may be complete crap. If it is, please tell me – I’m trying to learn.

My cheap kit continues to throw challenges my way. This is the latest, and if I’m right the biggest, so far. Early in the build I did a dry fit and noted the unusual bridge saddle positions after a rough intonation.
View attachment 561754


I put it down to a combination of the crappy plastic OEM nut and the crappy OEM strings and carried on with the build. Once complete, I took a nut file to each of the three bass string slots to angle them back to the tuner posts, then strung up with EB9s. No difference. The bass E never quite gets to 12th fret intonation, but perhaps would if I turn the saddle around. Ditto the A string.
View attachment 561755

So I got a long ruler on it. I’d already done some mods including adding a Nashville bridge by this point.
View attachment 561756 View attachment 561757

View attachment 561761
View attachment 561759

So the 12th fret measurement gives me the expected 24.75” scale length, but the bridge is way off, particularly on the bass side. The neck is bolt-on, but looks to be fully seated in the pocket.

Does this (as I think) show that the bridge post holes were drilled in the wrong place? Anything else (less catastrophic) it could be? If it’s the post holes, I’m guessing my only course of action to fix it properly is to dowel the hole(s) and re-drill. Is that right?

Many thanks in advance for any guidance.
In my experience, I’ve had an epiphone les Paul custom and the g string would never reach enough to get intonated. Even after the saddle was flipped. This led me to a big conclusion. Although scale length is a rough estimate, in the long run, it will never be accurate 100%. Especially how the nut is cut can pull the intonation out of range and whether many people do not like them, a zero fret is always an idea to be considered. However in the long run, the true best way to get a bridge position right it to do what my great grandfather learned. Set your tune o matic on a very thin but still strong enough piece of wood to sit your bridge on. Don’t put studs on. Use small wood shims and get high enough to where your action is preferred, then set the outer e saddles directly in the center of adjustment with the saddle being in the middle. Use those wood shims you are using as a floating arch top bridge and slowly and precisely move the bridge until both the e strings are intonated almost perfectly without adjusting the saddles themselves. Mark your locations for boat posts and re drill. However in our case, this is simply a RE location. In my case, leave the bass side post alone, remove the treble side and adjust until intonation is achieved. New post location found. In your case, the BASS side must be move forward slightly. With both your and my guitar Ive seen a pattern. After adjustments are made, the bridges seem to line up with a flat across position instead of the traditional angled tune o matic location. My great grandad has a 78 the Paul and it has the harmonica style norlin bridges. Whether you like norlin or there harmonica bridge, there is no denying that this bridge should’ve stayed with the company. Looks were chosen over versatility and it shows in today’s quality. Obviously they’ve made it this far, but it is no secret that this bridge should’ve stayed on at least a couple guitars.
Anyway, if you feel like you can do it, just adjust the bass side until intonation is possible then mark the area for the new stud. There are however bridges that help compensate for this. There is one in particular I plan on buying. The hip shot tone o matic bridge. Although the look is to be desired, you can’t beat the stock extra intonation range and adjustable angle ability to help with your problem specifically. Check it out. Granted the price is kind of steep.

 

LtDave32

Desert Star Guitars
Super Mod
Silver Supporting Member
Gold Supporting Member
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Messages
47,676
Reaction score
158,790
SW, did you want this to be 24.3/4, or a more realistic Gibson scale of 24 9/16?

As long as the center of th 12th fret to the center of the bridge equals the measurment of the nut face to the center of the 12th fret, you' should be good. The actual bridge angle should be ( from a horizontal line drawn across the body at the bridge center point) 1/16 above that line on the bass side, and 5/32 above that line on the treble side.
 

Southwest

Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2020
Messages
449
Reaction score
1,116
Many thanks guys. Really useful information as always. It'll be a while before I get to this, but I'll check out the tone-a-matic and do some more measuring before I make any decisions. In the meantime I'll be following the drill press thread with interest.
 


Latest Threads



Top