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Guitar Wood and Kits


by:© Steve Carmody


   Here's a neat little job. Some Stratocaster owners have hard tail envy. They like the tuning stability and sustain that is lost with most tremolo bridges. You can defeat the tremolo by adding springs and tightening the spring "claw" , but for the best effect I like to block the tremolo all together .

   First , I lower the bridge posts and tighten down on the spring claw till the bridge sits level with the top of the guitar . Then I make a hardwood block that fits all the tapers inside the cavity behind the existing tremolo. This is roughed out on a bandsaw, shaped with a belt sander and then final fitted with a bastard mill file.

   This takes a bit of care and effort , but the result is a well fitted block. Once string tension is brought back up, the guitar with blocked bridge delivers as much sustain as can be expected from a non stock hardtail bridge.

   My blocks fit so well that I add one other feature - a screw hole in the top. Once in place the preset screw hole allows the owner to remove the block cleanly, no prying on the edges, by inserting the screw and using it as a handle to remove the block.