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Earth wire to bridge

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Hi all,


I’m building my first guitar and I’m definitely hooked, plans for the second already. I’m just a bit stuck on the best way to get an earth wire to the bridge? I’m building a strat style shape but without a scratch plate and using a hardtail bridge. What’s the neatest way to get the wire from the controls cavity? Do I need to drill an access hole from under the bridge through to the cavity? 

I would appreciate any help!





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The usual approach is to use a long, thin drill bit and angle it from the area where the bridge makes contact with the face of the guitar, such that it exits into the side walls of the control cavity. I use a 150mm long 1/8" drill bit for this purpose. The wire you poke through the resultant hole just gets a few cm of insulation stripped off and the pressure of the bridge being screwed to the body keeps the exposed copper strands in contact with the bridge plate, thus providing an electrical connection for your string ground.

If you're using a bridge with a black coating don't forget to sand off any paint to expose bare metal underneath where the wire makes contact. The wire will not make an electrical connection through paint.

Here's the rough idea I use. In this case it's for a multiscale bridge with individual saddles, but the principle is the same. You can skip the steps involving the use of conductive aluminium tape if you want. As long as the stripped wire makes contact with bare metal undeneath the bridge and isn't at risk of pulling back through the hole you should be good:






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@curtisa nailed it.

In case your next build has a wraparound or tune-o-matic bridge, the idea is similar. However, since the bridge is above the body the ground wire channel starts from the nearest stud hole. The pressure of the stud ensures good contact for a bare wire there.

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