Les Paul ABR bridge installation question

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Les Paul ABR bridge installation question

Postby Christ Kacoyannakis » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:04 pm

I am working on a Les Paul style build. I am using ABR style bridge studs (although much beefier ones to prevent them bending). After drilling the hole, is the ABR stud just twisted into the hole self threading itself, or do builders thread the hole first? I am a ways off from this step, but just planning ahead. Also, on the stop bar, are the holes drilled straight up and down or perpendicular to the plane of the top at that point? Thanks !
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Re: Les Paul ABR bridge installation question

Postby David King » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:48 am

Most studs are splined so they can be pressed straight into the body and engage the grounding wire -hopefully without sheering it off. I haven't seen a type that twists in yet but if that's what you have and you want a full contact with the wood then finding a corresponding tap would be nice. There are lots of different types of threads and the correct tap may be elusive. A link or a photo would be handy.
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Re: Les Paul ABR bridge installation question

Postby Christ Kacoyannakis » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:28 am

David, these are the posts from the bridge. The original Les Paul's had these really thin posts that had threads on them. You screwed them into the top, and then put on the big wheel that held up the bridge. Then the Nashville style bridge came along with the threaded stud plug you pressed into the top. Mine is the former, but some companies are now making them with a larger bottom portion. Is the bridge supposed to be grounded? What about the stop block? In the plans that I have, there is nothing to indicate grounding the bridge or stop block.
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Re: Les Paul ABR bridge installation question

Postby Freeman Keller » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:49 pm

Christ, I have only installed the later "Nashville" stud style bridges in my ToM guitars but I've worked on a few ABR's. My understanding is that you simply drill the correct size hole and thread the post into it, then screw the adjusting wheel onto the post. I know there is supposed to be an advantage among purists but I've got a 1977 Custom on my bench right now where the owner has wrapped paper around the post because the hole is so worn. One of the things he wants me to do is plug and redrill the hole. Btw, the posts I have seen have an allen head to help you screw them in.

As I said, I've always used press in bushings for both bridge and stop bar. I drill a hole from the p/u cavity to the treble side bridge post take a piece of wire and fan it out so it makes contact with the bushing when I press it in. That is my string ground.

I would like to see a picture or a link to the one you are using - if its larger diameter than an ABR but still threads into the wood it might be a fix for the 77, altho I'm guessing the bridge has larger diameter holes and my customer wants to keep his old guitar original.

edit to add, I have always drilled both the bridge and stop bar holes perpendicular to the back of the guitar (not the curve of the top). My guitars are still pretty flat at the stop bar - I just put them on the drill press and make the holes. It seems like less chance of binding but I don't know if this is correct or not

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Re: Les Paul ABR bridge installation question

Postby Christ Kacoyannakis » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:37 pm

Freeman, I have these Faber Tonelok's in god lhttps://www.faberusa.com/product-category/faber-bridge-studs/for-nashville-conversions/faber-bswkit/. I am building this guitar from scratch, and it is for me. It is not a Gibson or a Les Paul copy, so I don't have to worry about being accurate. I have just done some research and looked at all the options, and decided what I wanted to incorporate. So you can see the Fabers are steel, rather than zinc, and will be much stronger. They are also meant to thread into the bigger hole from a Nashville that you want to convert to an ABR. I am using them as OEM for my project, and figured that the larger base would be a more stable platform, along with the stronger steel material for the bridge I liked best, which fit an ABR post. Obviously, if your client want the complete vintage set up, then you will have to plug the holes and use a regular ABR post, but he might be satisfied with this solution. It just depends on how much of a purist the client wants to be. Thanks for your advice. So you don't bother grounding the stop bar at all?
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Re: Les Paul ABR bridge installation question

Postby Barry Daniels » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:36 pm

You only need to ground one thing (stop bar or bridge, your choice) because the strings will make contact with the other one to make it grounded.
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Re: Les Paul ABR bridge installation question

Postby Chris Richards » Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:12 am

I've converted a few later LPs to the earlier ABR bridge by doweling the large holes left after removing the pressed-in inserts, before I did the job I had my doubts but was actually quite surprised how solid the final job was. Before you start make a note of how high the existing bridge posts are so you know how deep to drill the new holes for the new posts, I didn't thread the wood I found that the new posts threaded in nice and tight, use two adjusting wheels locked together on the post so you can screw them into the wood and with the holes drilled to the correct depth they seat nice and solid..

Also you'll have to move the earth wire from the bridge to tailpiece, so you'll need to remove a tailpiece insert.
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