Stripped Screw Holes

Spring EnvyWank bar induced tuning instability shouldn’t be a problem for guitar-players anymore, unless of course the player is a moron like I am. Last weekend, I got a set of Gotoh Power Springs for $6, hoping they would make the G&L Dual-Fulcrum vibrato bridge more stable, and perhaps even enhance the tone of the guitar. A bit shorter and narrower, the Gotoh’s certainly looked nicer than the dull and slightly rusted stock springs (see photo.)

After putting them in and re-tightening, the bridge plate was flush with the body with the claw at about the same position as it was with the old springs. Even after moving it back a few inches, it was still not even close to parallel with the top, so I removed the center spring. The action on the wank bar feels a lot spongier now with just the two Power Springs. Tuning it felt more stable, but that could be just my imagination, because I rewound the strings so that they are lower and closer together on the peg.

Unfortunately, the wood in on of the tremolo claw-screws was stripped, and screw started to slip out of it’s hole! Obviously this made any improvement in tuning stability meaningless… This has been a problem since over-tightening the claw-screws years ago. A repair guy filled it in with wood glue, but this didn’t quite do the trick. So I got a tube of wood putty at my local hardware store (another $6) but the tube was too fat for the tremolo cavity. It was a good thing I was listening to jazz, because I had to improvise a way of getting the nozzle flush against the stripped hole.The solution: a delivery device fashioned from 3cm of drinking straw, followed by a wooden yakitori skewer to stuff the stuff way down in the hole. While waiting for it to dry, I read the package, and noted this particular product is intended for screws 12mm long anchoring up to 16kg. A tremolo claw screw is about 4omm long, and who knows what the Power Springs will do it. So far it’s holding, though I wouldn’t be surprised if I have to squeeze more wood jizm in there again after another major adjustment to the springs.

It’s a bit ironic that I bought these springs to avoid paying my local repair guy to fill in the old holes so he can drill new new ones in the guitar for a standard Fender-style claw that will let me use up to five-springs as I mentioned in my earlier post.  Ultimately though, it looks like that would still be the most comprehensive solution. If and when that day comes, I think I will get a set of Raw Vintage Tremolo Springs. It never occurred to me in 20 years of playing this guitar that the springs could have any affect on performance, but this is an easy and affordable mod that makes playing more fun…unless you’ve stripped your screw holes…

So wanking the bar up/down a whole-step is definitely easier now, and the guitar stays in tune, but the low-E and G-strings still come up sharp if you push the bar down as far as it can go. I hear a ping at the saddle, and knock at at the bridge which is probably the sound of blades slipping off the studs. I guess the felt washers under the blades are supposed to mitigate this, but they’ve been looking depressed for years. It occurs to me as I’m writing about this they could stand to be replaced, too. It’s up to me to balance the bridge height, saddle height, intonation and spring tension which is still a pain in the ass. Hopefully, a the set of Schaller Locking Tuners I ordered will solve the problem so I don’t waste time looking for a perfectly balanced set-up which probably doesn’t exist.

広告


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