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Tremelo system on first build?


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I am currently attempting my first complete guitar build. It is a EBMM axis style, which I love because of its relatively small size and unique shape. I am currently torn between making it a hardtail or vibrato bridge.

I am thinking that I could create my own routing templates to allow a "flush" mounted bridge that can pull up and down like a Floyd, but with a standard two post nonlocking saddles. Sort of like the VegaTrem but without the $269 price tag. Do you think its worth my time as an amateur?

I don't actually use trems that much, but it would kill me to not have the option. I will definitely be installing a tremel-no if I go the vibrato route.

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3 hours ago, jowilmei said:

Do you think its worth my time as an amateur?

Definitely! If you can make it you can pat yourself on the shoulder and say *atta boy*!

Just don't try it on the actual guitar first. Use sacrificable wood for a makeshift body - you can even attach the neck as it's bolt-on - and hone your templates until you're satisfied with the result. The temporary body can be something like piece of 2x5 of whatever you happen to have at hand. MDF, pine, plywood... Just enough for the bridge to be in the right place.

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Have a look at this article I wrote a number of years ago. It's regarding a recessed Floyd Rose routing template system, but the principles are similar to your requirements for a fully floating non-locking bridge.

I would point out that it's fairly advanced work to create these kinds of templates from scratch; not particularly out of reach for a first time builder, but certainly requiring a good chunk of patience, care and attention. As @Bizman62 suggests, practice on scrap should be considered mandatory.

Most people probably wouldn't go to the extra work of recessing a two-stud bridge to allow for up-pull. The more common solutions are to either loosen the trem springs to allow the bridge to tilt forward slightly, or to raise the studs so that the baseplate of the bridge remains parallel to the body top but with some clearance underneath.

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6 hours ago, curtisa said:

Have a look at this article I wrote a number of years ago. It's regarding a recessed Floyd Rose routing template system, but the principles are similar to your requirements for a fully floating non-locking bridge.

I would point out that it's fairly advanced work to create these kinds of templates from scratch; not particularly out of reach for a first time builder, but certainly requiring a good chunk of patience, care and attention. As @Bizman62 suggests, practice on scrap should be considered mandatory.

Most people probably wouldn't go to the extra work of recessing a two-stud bridge to allow for up-pull. The more common solutions are to either loosen the trem springs to allow the bridge to tilt forward slightly, or to raise the studs so that the baseplate of the bridge remains parallel to the body top but with some clearance underneath.

Thank you for the link. That is incredible detail you put into the article. I don't really understand why anything needs to be precisely routed and drilled except for the actual mounting studs, though. Can't all of the cavities be made to fit well without precision templates? I was honestly thinking of using chisels, rasps, and patience to get the work done. 

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6 hours ago, curtisa said:

The more common solutions are to either loosen the trem springs to allow the bridge to tilt forward slightly, or to raise the studs so that the baseplate of the bridge remains parallel to the body top but with some clearance underneath.

I know this is probably the smart solution, but I just don't like the look of it. 

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I say go for it. Many builders advised me to buy a neck for my first build, but I went ahead a dove in --- admittedly with mixed results, but many lessons learned. Good luck!!

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If I do go the hardtail route, what bridges do you guys recommend? It is hard to navigate these waters because it seems like the cheap knockoff stuff will do just as well as the expensive stuff, because its a simple hardtail bridge.

 

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8 hours ago, jowilmei said:

don't really understand why anything needs to be precisely routed and drilled except for the actual mounting studs, though. Can't all of the cavities be made to fit well without precision templates? I was honestly thinking of using chisels, rasps, and patience to get the work done. 

It was more of an idea of what templates you might need to do it (I had assumed you were going to use a router). There's no requirement to make all those interlocking perspex plates; MDF would do the same job and would be easier to obtain and cheaper. But ideally you'd want as a minimum the back route for the springs, the through route for the tremolo block to poke through the body, and some kind of dish route for the baseplate of the bridge to sit in to to allow for up-pull on the bar. They're all rectangular shapes which makes them relatively easy to create.

The closet OCD in me likes neat routes, hence the rather complicated method shown in the article, but there's no reason why a similar result couldn't be achieved with hand tools.

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