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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / How to stop bridge string height screws from loosening

Tinkerer
Contributing Member
****

San Diego, CA USA

Mar 30th, 2018 08:57 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have an inexpensive import hardtail, top load, strat style bridge and the string height screws have a tendency to loosen up. I would appreciate suggestions about how to "thread lock" them, but still keep them adjustable.

Thanks!

wrnchbndr

New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Mar 30th, 2018 09:33 AM   Edit   Profile  

I use a toothpick and apply a "small" drop of shellac to the threads. Clear fingernail polish works too.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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superstar
Mar 30th, 2018 09:48 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yep. The stuff locks them in place, but it's not permanent.

If you need to adjust it later, a light twist of the screw pops the dried lacquer off the threads.

Make your adjustment, and apply a teensy drop to lock it down again.

Tinkerer
Contributing Member
****

San Diego, CA USA

Mar 30th, 2018 09:58 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks guys- I have the string height set to where I want it, should I back the screws out and apply the shellac or nail polish to the threads, or is it sufficient to just put a drop on top of the screw?

Thanks again!

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Mar 30th, 2018 10:05 AM   Edit   Profile  

I use Loctite 222 (Purple) removable threadlocker. It's designed for use on small (under 1/4") fasteners. As above, just a tiny drop on the end of a watch oiler or toothpick.

loctite 222 info

(This message was last edited by Te 52 at 01:47 PM, Mar 30th, 2018)

Peegoo
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superstar
Mar 30th, 2018 10:09 AM   Edit   Profile  

You apply the threadlock of choice to the spot where the threads meet the saddle.

Keep the stuff out of the recess where the little wrench goes.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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superstar
Mar 30th, 2018 10:18 AM   Edit   Profile  

Looky here.

Read the stuff under the pic.

Peegoo
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superstar
Mar 30th, 2018 10:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

If the screw is all the way down (nothing protruding), loosen the string so you can flip the saddle over, and apply the threadlock to the bottom, same way as above.

Immediately flip the saddle over and re-tune the string.

If you wait too long and the stuff cures, you may crack the cured threadlock when re-tuning.

Pinetree
Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Mar 30th, 2018 10:24 AM   Edit   Profile  

Never in all my days have I worried about this happening.


Given enough time, rust and dead skin will get in there and keep them snug.



Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

I say stuff
Mar 30th, 2018 10:56 AM   Edit   Profile  

One of my sons had a mini Squier Strat years ago. I had to do this with the saddles.

Never had to do it on a quality bridge.

Tinkerer
Contributing Member
****

San Diego, CA USA

Mar 30th, 2018 11:19 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks everyone!!

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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superstar
Mar 30th, 2018 12:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

Most guitars don't do this.

Once in a while you find one that for whatever reason the earth's magnetic poles pull the screws in the opposite direction of gravity, and the planet's gyroscopic precession makes them rotate, and they work loose.


Us scientists are working hard to stay on top of this stuff, you know.



Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

I say stuff
Mar 30th, 2018 12:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

Stupid gyroscopic precession!

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Mar 30th, 2018 01:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

It also depends on whether you do clockwise or anti-clockwise windmills.

DrKev
Contributing Member
******

Paris, France

It's just a guitar, not rocket science.
Mar 30th, 2018 03:28 PM   Edit   Profile  

Clockwise/anticlockwise from the guitar player or audience point of view?

I use the blue medium strength threadlocker on humbucker height adjustment screws when the humbucker keeps dropping. 15 min set time allows plenty of time to reset height and and you can even make a few small adjustments after that.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Mar 30th, 2018 03:57 PM   Edit   Profile  

"...Clockwise/anticlockwise from the guitar player or audience point of view?..."

That depends on whether the player is in the northern or southern hemisphere.


Peegoo
Contributing Member
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superstar
Mar 30th, 2018 04:31 PM   Edit   Profile  

That's right.

Our ozzie friends have to reverse the above instructions!

DrKev
Contributing Member
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Paris, France

It's just a guitar, not rocket science.
Mar 31st, 2018 01:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

As our antipodean cousins might say...

Fair dinkum, mate!

macatt

Pacific Northwest

macatt
Mar 31st, 2018 02:22 AM   Edit   Profile  

+1 for clear nail polish.
I've been doing this for decades.

S Mac

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / How to stop bridge string height screws from loosening




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