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Trem to Hard Tail Conversions

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Hi, I've recently started to put together a custom guitar and have got a great strat style body from ebay, but want to make a few adjustments to it to suit my style:

On my existing strat I don't use the tremlo so want this model to have Tele style through body stringing for fuller tone. Its routed (as far as I can tell) for a normal tremlo, though the cut out on the front is t shaped rather than rectangular. What's the best/easiest way to convert it, or can you offer any other surgestions?

Also has anyone got any tips for building proffesional looking scratchplates?


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I would try to get some "scrap wood" from an area that will be hidden by the pickguard and use that to fill-in the trem rout areas, especially what will be shown. There are a lot of ways you can go about converting trem to non-trem. So far, my method has been to just fill in the upper area, usually consisting of two pieces of wood. One piece is clamped/glued from the bottom side, because the rout is usually bigger below the little "shelf" area, if you know what I mean. I then make a really thick "back plate" out of wood and put metal string "ferrels" ( I think it's spelled different) on the back plate. So it's a string through body, but there's some area where the strings are going through just air, in the trem-block area.

I think I might like to try something different in the future : Instead of the strings going all the way through the body, I'd like to try using a bridge-plate with notches cut into the string holes, so the strings can be "top mounted". An area under the bridge plate would be routed out, so the string ends can sit just below the bridge-plate, sort of how a typical acoustic guitar bridge works. That way, you could just loosen the strings, and pop the ends out of the notches in the bridge-plate, and they could be put back in, with no damage to the strings, if you're careful.

It's another part of my never-ending obsession with making normal sized bolt-on neck guitars into "travel guitars" ( you would pop the strings off the bridge to take the neck off, to trasport the guitar in a smaller case)

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My method is a little bit different, first of all the way I do it your going to end up with a solid body finish since the convertion would be highly visable on a translucent or natural finish.

I purchase either oak, maple or some other hardwood that is 1/2 the thickness of the guitar body or more. Then where the cavitys are on the front and the back I route them out so that they are square or rectangular according to the space they cover.

Cut the hardwood board into two individual piece's that fit in each of the new cavity's and glue them in from the front and the back. I use Loctite's "Good for Wood" repair and filler kit along the edge's so that they can be smoothed out and don't shrink under the new finish, then drill the hole's through the new wood where the strings and ferrel's need to be placed.

The reason I use either maple, oak or some other hard wood is because the density of the wood itself allows the resonance of the string vibration to flow through to the rest of the body.

Of course this method would never look good under a clear or translucent finish as stated above but it also fill's any voids or air pockets and is a good solid mount for any hard tail bridge you want to mount. :D

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