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Question About Bridge/string Ferrules.

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Hi. I am currently building my first guitar and was directed to this forum by a friend.

I bought a fixed hard tail bridge online (http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&item=220403195180) and I am trying to figure out what the installation will involve.

Will the strings anchor in the bridge, meaning all I will need is to bolt the bridge to the body?


Will I need to do a string-through body design with string ferrules? Aka will the strings go THROUGH the bridge, through the body, and anchor in ferrules at the back?


DO I need to drill 6 holes that do NOT go all the way through the body for the strings under the bridge, meaning the strings will go through the bridge and come to rest in holes in the body but not come out the other end?

Thanks in advance, I'll post updates to how it goes!

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Looks like your standard hardtail bridge. The strings are going to pass through the back of the bridge and that's it. In the 2nd picture of it, i believe you can see the holes to the right of the intonation screws.

Thanks! So does this mean I should drill 6 holes into the body for the strings to go into once they pass through the bridge? Or do I need only to screw it onto the body and thread the strings through it?

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I'm not so sure by looking at that picture. Are those holes next to the intonation screws or a reflection? Look at both sides. In the line drawing, I see holes under the saddles.

There are two kinds of these bridges and it depends on where the string holes are. If they are in the bottom plate, below the saddles, it is the string through body type and you need to drill through and have ferules in the back of the guitar. The other kind is called "top loading" and on saddles like that, the holes are below the intonation screws on the back of the bridge. There is another kind that are beside the screws but it has an offset saddle to the screw. The top loading style is easier to deal with as fas as construction goes.

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This looks like a bridge for string-through-body. If you look at the diagram, you'll see holes in the base coming through the middle of each saddle. The string comes from the back of the body, through those holes, up and over the saddle slot (groove). You'll need to drill holes all the way through the body of the guitar and put ferrules in the back.

Not too difficult if you have a drill press. You'll need to drill 3 holes for each ferrule and string from the back of the guitar. Here's how I've done it:

1) With the bridge in position, mark the centres of the string holes (through the saddles) of the E and e strings. Make sure that the line between them is perpendicular to the midline. Drill straight through the body with the smallest bit you can. Make sure you have some scrap wood underneath to stop tear out whenever you're drilling all the way through.

2) on the back of the guitar, mark a straight line between the centres of the holes. Mark the positions for the other holes evenly along that line. (The distance between each hole should be the distance between the E and e hole divided by 5). Now you're going to drill the actual holes. Always go from the larger diameter holes to the narrower ones for each string hole.

3) Using a brad point bit, drill a hole the diameter and depth of the ferrule flange. This will leave a rebate to allow inserting the ferrules flush with the back. The brad point will leave a mark in the centre of the hole to line up the next drill

4) Drill a hole the diameter and depth of the ferrule body.

5) Again using the mark left by the brad point to line up the bit, drill a hole for the string to go all the way through (about 4mm diameter, or as big as you need to make sure you have a hole going to the holes in the bridge baseplate). Don't forget the scrap at the back to stop tearout.

Hope this helps.

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Brian D's method is pretty much how I would handle the ferrules. If you're interested in an easy and cool looking alternative, here's one I recently did on a custom Tele-ish body for a friends USA strat neck.


Instead of ferrules, I bought a chunk of brass from the hardware store and recessed it into the back. The brass has holes for the strings and is held in with brass screws. I've done ferrules, and this method is not only easier, but I think it makes a more solid looking connection. I doubt you could hear the difference between this and ferrules, but it adds some mojo factor.

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