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String Thru Body Conversion

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I've got a Les Paul copy guitar that I want to mod. Its an archtop with a very thin maple top. What I want to do is convert it from a stop tailpiece to string through body. I want to slap on a new bridge anyways so will any bridge do? I know that placement of the bridge is crucial, but how far behind the bridge should I drill for the string ferrules and can I drill the ferrules in any pattern I want?

Thanks in advance

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yes, you can drill them in any pattern you want. it really doesnt matter how far back the ferrules are from the bridge. but you know you are going to have to re finish the guitar, right.?

Yeah, I know. The guitar has only a couple of coats of black spray paint on it anyway. I'm okay with any bridge choice?

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You do need to make sure the break angle over the bridge is not steep enough that the strings won't bind on the bridge between the saddles and the ferrules, and not shallow enough that the strings will easily pop out of the saddles.

Edit: And bridge choice... you need to pay attention to the string spread.

Edited by Rick500
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I'm okay with any bridge choice?

Not any bridge. You have to find one that will fit the existing posts (shouldn't be too difficult), or be willing to fill in those holes and drill new ones. If you do that, then the only thing to worry about is the string spread. But that should be pretty standard.

Chances are, you'll be able to find a bridge with inserts that will fit into the existing bushings, so you won't have to drill anything.

Maybe head over to StewMac for this --they give detailed specs for their bridges, you'll be able to see what will/might fit.

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StewMac's fret calculator says it should be, the bridge is 1/8" further back from the nut. Is this significant enough that I should reset the bridge?

Ah yeah, I wasn't thinking of that issue. Most wraparound bridges are set straight to the neck, but TOM style bridges are angled back on the bass side, since the TOM bridge doesn't give enough backward adjustment to intonate properly. Stupid design.

I'm pretty sure Schaller makes a wider bridge with more play in the saddles that can retrofit.

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