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Nickel Hardtail Bridge


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Has anyone encountered a hard-tail bridge like the popular Hipshot one, but in nickel rather than chrome? It doesn't have to be Hipshot (obviously), but something that looks fairly similar would be great.

I've seen the WD and Mighty Mite ones, but they're also chrome, black, or gold only, and I'd really prefer to have nickel.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

:D

Greg

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I guess I'm doomed, then.

I check WD, Allparts, Warmoth, Stewmac, Mighty Mite, and Universal Jems. Also searched e-Bay and it's a no-go.

What the hell? Weird that you can't find a single nickel bridge like this in the world.

I guess I'll get the chrome one, which will leave me with the option--

-If it looks ass, just use the original recessed TOM idea

-If it looks ass but I REALLY want this style of bridge, gradually replace the other parts with chrome to match, and save the nickel parts for a Les Paul to be made in the future

-No matter how it looks, suffer, because this is the style of bridge I truly want.

Wish I hadn't sold myself on the recessed TOM... or that I had gotten all chrome parts....

Kind of annoying, though-- in hindsight, I also really wanted the Grover tuners, which were only available in nickel.

GRRR!!!

:D

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I don't know if "Mann-Made" is still around, but they used to do some PRS bridges, and PRS used nickel. So maybe they'd have a hardtail similar to the Mighty Mite one that is available in nickel. Otherwise replacing your saddles with PRS saddles would at least get you nickel saddles.

Also, I believe that many gold plates are done over nickel, so if you got the Mighty Mite gold bridge you can easily buff it off. It doesn't take much. Just some brasso and elbow grease. You can even use a dremel with a felt wheel to speed things up. Incidentally, the WD hardtail that looks like it has PRS saddles is the same as the Mighty Mite one for half the price, and WD lies and says it isn't the same.

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Yeah Mann-Made has one like the hipshot:

http://www.mannmadeusa.com/fixed.htm

And in case I didn't make myself clear, I know for a fact that you can buff away the Mighty Mite gold if you want to. I just can't say for sure about the others. Schaller's gold plating for example is one of my favorites, and I wouldn't try to buff that off for anything. It's very good.

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Holy editbricks that Fatback Hardtail (by MannMade) is expensive! However, I'm very grateful that you took the time to jog your memory and look that stuff up!! The Fatback is, indeed, nickel!

Let me get this straight, though you were very clear and I probably don't even need to confirm--

If I get the Mighty Mite "gold" one, I can use some brasso, a dremel with a felt wheel, and buff the gold right offa that sucker, leaving nickel behind?

Greg

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Yes, but it will be hard to get into the corners and such. Plus its hollowed out under the saddles, so you'll never get in there. Now you can't see under the saddles when the bridge is put together, but you might get some reflection from under there. So you might cast a gold-ish reflection back to the baseplate underneath the saddles. You can color the underside of the saddles with black magic marker to mute that out. Maybe find one of those conical shaped felt bits to get into the corners of the baseplate. Use some stainless screws, and you're home free. There's a slim chance the saddle height adjustment screws are going to be gold plated too. You can either replace them or buff them. The intonation screws are gold, but you can probably find hardware store screws to replace those too.

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Thanks for the reply, Frank. Sounds like a lot of work, but the price is right and the work is easy though plentiful. :D An eBay merchant has agreed to ship chrome ferrules and screws (good'nuff for me), though the intonation screws will still be Gold.

My Pacifica has black saddle-height adjustment screws, and from the pictures, so does the Mighty Mite. Either way, I can likely just swap them out of need be.

I guess it's one of those things-- worst case scenario, I have a ****ed up bridge that I can use on a "bitsa" guitar some day in the future. B)

Of course, the other option is to get new machine heads, pickup covers, and the hipshot bridge. :D

Greg

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Well, after flip-flopping around I've decided to go for the Hipshot.

That decision comes after having a beer with a friend last night who told me about a place in town that can re-plate pieces 'n' parts 'n' stuff. If the chrome really throws off the whole thing, I'll take the saddles off (which are steel anyhow, so they're neither chrome nor nickel) and send the 'base plate' (or whatever you call it) off to be nickel-plated.

It'll be expensive (about another $30-50) but if that's what it takes I suppose I'll go for it when I have the finances.

In the meantime, no other bridge has made me think, "Yeah, this is the one" the same way the Hipshot hardtail bridge has, so I guess it's time to just suck it up and go for it.

Now the new question--

What's the thickness of the bottom of the one that StewMac sells? Ie. is it one that I can put in without worrying about neck angle? The Hipshot website shows 2 different thicknesses. I imagine you should be able to use either, but I seem to recall someone on here mentioning something about the difference once upon a time.

Any further info?

Greg

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I've been looking at my brass Hipshot Hardtail (string-thru) and thinking that it wouldn't be that hard to machine a piece of steel to replace the brass... then use the springs, bolts, and saddles on the new base.

Or maybe find the saddles and some springs, then get a local (small) machine shop to mill a piece of metal to your specs. It's just a block of metal that has been cut to specific measurements and drilled at specific locations.

Replicating a Hardtail shouldn't be that hard.

BTW: I bought the one that has 0.1" of brass under the saddles, which puts the top of the saddles (at their lowest adjustment) about 3/8" above the body. However, the saddles can be adjusted up another 3/8"... so there's a lot of room for adjustment.

D~s

Edited by Dugz Ink
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That's a great idea, Dugz-- I'm not very resourceful for this kind of thing, though, so I dunno where in the Yellow Pages to look for something that'll come out half-assed-looking and not cost me an arm and a leg.

It definitely wouldn't hurt to call around, though, so what would I look under in the business directory? Metalwork? Machining? Hrm... let me answer my own question and dig out the Yellow Pages....

Hmm... 2 places that look interesting under "Metal Specialties". They both say, "Custom Metal Fabrication."

Several more under "Machine Shops".

I have no idea how involved this kind of work is, though, so I wouldn't know how expensive it would be to set it up. I suppose if there was a prototyping fee or something, I could do a run of 10 or so (depending on price) and try to sell them off. :D

Now, the thing about the hipshot is that it has a few sexy-looking curves (OK, maybe not literally sexy) that would take a bit of extra work and might up the price.

Anyone who knows anything about this kind of stuff, what kind of price do you think I should expect to pay? I'd phone around myself but being the weekend and all, they're not going to be open.

Cheers for responding, Dugz.

Greg

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I would drop the Yellow Pages; people have to pay to be listed in those, and you might do better looking for the small shops that don't bother to advertise.

As I've mentioned before (on PG), I have built a lot of custom rifles. Occasionally, I would need some custom metal work for these projects, and I always used the small machine shops that did custom work for the local racers. They didn't use CNC systems because they couldn't afford them... but they knew how to set up the milling machine (or whatever) to do what I needed.

If you see somebody who has a very nice hot rod or a race car, ask them if they know a good machinist. Tell them that you build custom electric guitars; most hot rodders will think that's cool, and some of those people will actually try to help you.

If you find a machinist, and they cut something out of a square bock of steel for you... but it still looks like a square block of steel... pull out the Dremel tool, some single-cut files, emery cloth, grinding compound, etc. and shape the metal yourself. Just be patient when you're working with hard steel; it will eventually become what you want... if you don't try to hurry.

Afterwards, you can send it off to be chromed, you can polish it to a mirror finish, or you can take it to somebody who can powder coat it for you... another connection you make by talking to motorheads and machinists.

D~s

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