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Grounding Of The Tailpiece/strings


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I have found that I was getting some buzz from my guitar until I connected a ground wire from the shielded braid on the wiring in the control cavity, to the strings or the tailpiece (which is connected to the strings electrically). The sound is silenced completely if I am also touching the strings.

Because it's a solid body, it's not easy to permanently put a wire between them. I was looking for ideas on how I might do this the most easily and neatly?

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What you need is a hole drilled from your control cavity into one tail piece hole. Your bridge is non conducting by the look of it other wise you could have gone to that.

Anyway you pull out one tail piece bush poke the wire with the end stripped back into the hole and drive in the bush again and earth the wire to the back of the pot and that should cure the problem.

Your taipiece is a long way back so you will need a long drill to get to the cavity. It may be easier to mark a line from the post hole to the cavity and drill it from the bottom of the body and glue a dowel in to fill the hole later. You may get an easier angle to drill it that way. Food for thought.

Edited by Acousticraft
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Is there anyway for you to drill a small hole from the electronics cavity to the hole where the tailpiece post is. I'd imagine that would be tough, usually I think you just would use the bridge, but with a wooden bridge you'd only have the tailpiece post to use. I've never found a problem in finding long drill bits, but getting the perfect angle to drill the hole isn't easy. Maybe some other have better idea for you. I can't think of a better option at the moment. If you can get a small hole between the cavity and tailpiece post, then you just push the ground into the post hole and reinstall the post. Best of luck. Hope you manage something. J

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Also you can make a little puller outer gizmo. Check out Stewmac to see the little bushing puller they sell to get ideas of how to make one. I believe there are numerous tutorials floating around on how to make your own as well, which is likely to leave a tighter fit for you when you reinstall it. Its too hard for me to explain how to build one, but you could probably pick up all the parts at a hardware store for a couple bucks, I'm probably going to make one just to have in case I need to pull my posts out at some point.

Here is the link to the Knob and Bushing puller from Stewmac. If you really stare at it, you should be able to figure out how to make one, again there should be some tuts out there on how to make them as well, not too hard and leaves a nice snug hole for when you reinsert the post. Best of luck. J

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I screw an appropriately sized and threaded bolt with a washer around it into the bushing, through a hole in a piece of wood, to spread the force and avoid denting the body of the guitar. I also place a bit of leather under the wood to protect the finish. Once the bolt is screwed all the way down so the washer is against the wood, it can't go any further, so as you turn it, it starts pulling the bushing up, and it comes straight up through the hole in the wood. (Make sure the hole is large enough to allow the flange of the bushing to come through.) Pulling straight up like this this avoids denting the guitar, marring the chrome on the bushing, and keeps the hole from getting marred up and out of round, so it will hold the bushing again when you re-insert it, and so the finish doesn't chip at the edges.

Basically the same idea as the bushing puller J mentions.

I've also used large sockets as something to screw against as well - the basic idea can be adapted to whatever you can find that will work in your parts bin, the only specific part you need is a bolt that threads into the bushings.

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Is the thread some standard size/type or will I have to do some trial and error? I could use the bridge stud that screws into the bushing I suppose, except that it has a screw slot head and I might not be able to get enough torque on that without damaging it.

I had a thought that, since only a very fine wire is needed, I can use a very small hole that comes up right beside the post, under the tailpiece body and attach it to the flange, even put it between the bushing and the post and screw the post down onto it. It would be VERY hard to see, especially if I touched it up with some black paint to match the bushing.

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Well I would imagine it depends on the tailpiece and company, but for the most part there are two common sizes I see. The metric is M8X1.25mm and the US thread is 5/16-24. Those are what I commonly find listed as many bridge or tailpiece posts will have the option between those two. You could bring the screw that bolts into the bushing and test it out at a hardware store to be certain. Hope that helps some. I figure it'd be best to do something like that tool or j.pierce mentioned cause its pine, which is already soft, so you don't want to open up that hole too much, otherwise you won't get a tight fit when you reinstall. With dense hardwoods, you just rotate the bushing so the teeth grab some fresh wood, but with prying it out of pine you may open it up too much to get a strong hold. Just something I was thinking about. Best of luck to you. J

Edited by jmrentis
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Your main problem is not extracting the bushing. That's reasonably easy with the proper jig/setup, as it was mentioned.

Drilling the hole for the grounding wire is more of a challenge.

I think the simplest and safest solution to that would be to drill parallel to the body top, from your output jack hole through to the tailpiece bushing cavity. You still need a long and thin drill bit, but not having to drill at an angle is a big advantage with a thin solidbody like yours in my opinion.

Of course, once you got your wire in the jack hole you can enter it to the cavity or simply ground it at the jack itself.

Hope it helps.

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Your main problem is not extracting the bushing. That's reasonably easy with the proper jig/setup, as it was mentioned.

Drilling the hole for the grounding wire is more of a challenge.

I think the simplest and safest solution to that would be to drill parallel to the body top, from your output jack hole through to the tailpiece bushing cavity. You still need a long and thin drill bit, but not having to drill at an angle is a big advantage with a thin solidbody like yours in my opinion.

Of course, once you got your wire in the jack hole you can enter it to the cavity or simply ground it at the jack itself.

Hope it helps.

Hmm, I was just gonna suggest that as well!

That's what I did with the solid body electric I'm just finishing. I positioned the jack socket such that I could line it up to the bridge stud for the ground wire. I drilled in through the jack socket hole. With a really long drill bit you'd be surprised how sharp an angle you can achieve by doing this. Would this be possible on your guitar?

DJ

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When I did my last one, I had it set up so drilling through the jack hole on the side, the shaft of the bit could rest diagonally against the sides of the jack hole as I was drilling - on the right side at the entrance to the hole, and on the left at the exit of the hole where it meets the control cavity. Made lining things up real easy, and added support for the bit so I could get it going through at the right angle. (Does that make sense? I think I may be saying the same thing as Hollowman)

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Yeah, thats what I was thinking in my first post, this probably won't be an easy task cause of where the tailpiece is, if there were a bridge post to use, the angle from the jack would likely be better. I can't really see the layout from the pic, so who knows. Hopefully there will be a way to drill through from the jack hole, otherwise it will be tough. I'm sure he'll find a way somehow. J

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Yeah, thats what I was thinking in my first post, this probably won't be an easy task cause of where the tailpiece is, if there were a bridge post to use, the angle from the jack would likely be better. I can't really see the layout from the pic, so who knows. Hopefully there will be a way to drill through from the jack hole, otherwise it will be tough. I'm sure he'll find a way somehow. J

I sure will :D In fact I will be able to run through from the jack hole to the tailpiece bushing hole, staying parallel to the guitar body surface. That sounds so much easier than trying to get the angle right in 3 dimensions. It's just the sort of idea I was hoping to get. I bought a long 3mm drill bit today and I will attack it next weekend - if not sooner. Next build, I will put a ground wire in before I seat the bushing !

Thanks for the help - great forum!

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Just to close this off... I removed the bushing - not a mark on the guitar that wasn't already there :D and managed to drill straight through from the jack hole to the bushing hole. I used a solid single core wire, laying it into one of the grooves in the side of the bushing (after scraping away some of the black paint for good contact). The bushing was still tight when reseating it - probably because of the extra width of the wire, but mostly because it came out neatly to start with.

Lotsa thanks everyone, you helped me to do the job the right way!

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