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  1. #1

    Dowel to plug bridge post holes?

    My 98 R8 (along with others - hence the well documented 98 scratchplate gap problem) has the bridge fitted too far back and I need to move it forwards. The tuneomatic runs out of adjustment.

    Does anyone know of a source of (preferably maple) dowel in the correct(ish) diameter, or a bit thicker, to put into the 6/32 bridge post hole?

    All that I have seen is far too thick. I guess the only other answer is to get some turned down on a lathe.
    To me, Fenders are a passing phase, but a Les paul is for life.

  2. #2

    Re: Dowel to plug bridge post holes?

    I plugged the holes on my 1988 standard to replace the nashville with an ABR bridge. I wouldn't use dowels because you won't get end grain, which you'll want for stability. I bought some rock maple and used a plug cutter and then turned them down using my drille as a lathe. they came out perfect. plugged the holes, colored them in with a marker, tapped them with a #6 bit and put in the new threaded rod. i don't have the guitar anymore but there are pics on the forum and a good instructional thread started by danelectro i believe.

  3. #3
    Formerly Lefty Elmo Steve Craw's Avatar
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    Re: Dowel to plug bridge post holes?

    +1 on the plugcutter. I just finished (an hour ago) plugging a botched bridge placement on an original 56 Custom. I got a plug cutter, and used an old piece of Honduras, and it worked like a charm. Plugcutters run about five dollars at your local wood working store.
    "The Dude abides"

    With me, you never know...Hell, I don't even know what I might do next.

  4. #4
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    Re: Dowel to plug bridge post holes?

    .
    Last edited by bigsby'd; 07-18-14 at 09:04 AM.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member Guitar Whiskey's Avatar
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    Re: Dowel to plug bridge post holes?

    Why not get a pickguard that fits the guitar instead? I don't know what you mean by back or forwards but if you look at real bursts the plastic comes closer to the cutaway than historics (real on left; historic right). I had a problem with fit also, so bought a guard from Fatboy with the outline cut but requested the neck mounting screw undrilled and located it myself.

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member Seoighs's Avatar
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    Re: Dowel to plug bridge post holes?

    Guitar Whiskey: Reflectors aren't accurate for an R9 are they?
    IF ONE SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMER DROWNS, DO THE REST DROWN TOO?

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member Guitar Whiskey's Avatar
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    Re: Dowel to plug bridge post holes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seoighs View Post
    Guitar Whiskey: Reflectors aren't accurate for an R9 are they?
    No; this historic is an R0.

  8. #8

    Re: Dowel to plug bridge post holes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Whiskey View Post
    Why not get a pickguard that fits the guitar instead? I don't know what you mean by back or forwards but if you look at real bursts the plastic comes closer to the cutaway than historics (real on left; historic right). I had a problem with fit also, so bought a guard from Fatboy with the outline cut but requested the neck mounting screw undrilled and located it myself.
    Thanks, but you've addressed a 'question' that I didn't ask. You've assumed I have a problem with my scratchplate because it was used in a descriptive reference. I fixed that problem years ago. Re-read the post, I'm talking about the BRIDGE.

    Seriously though, I do find on here that you ask a straight question, and the actual likelihood of getting a straight answer (which I haven't) to your ACTUAL question are very slim. You tend to get all sorts of answers that go off at a tangent, and somehow sorta 'take over' or make assumptions about how you should be doing something. Is that an American thing? Honestly, I'm not trying to be inflamatory at all, I say it based purely on my observation of many years being on here. That Dr Vintage guy is the worst, I had so many run ins with him. Thinks he knows it ALL - sure he knows a fair amount (as well as lots of voodoo and mojo ;-)), but it's the condescending way he starts talking down to you (from a great height!) with the premise that you know bugger all yourself. I was seriously studying old Les Pauls in the early 70s and owned a 57 LP Special at that time. Did work on name players Bursts, Customs etc etc. Owned and fixed numerous LPs since.

    Ok back on track... I'm looking for 6/32 size dowel (or slightly larger), simple as that. I wont be re-drilling it - the new hole will be to one side, and turning down a thicker piece in a drill would not be possible because at the length I need, it would snap off. Its just to plug the holes. I have strategies and methods in place to do the job, I just need the dowel. The smaller piece of dowel will limit the amount of surface repair work, and drilling to one side will not be a problem. I will insert a small cap of maple veneer with the grain going the correct way on top, and touch in with a lacquer/stain mix. Cheers guys.
    Last edited by steve(UK); 12-06-10 at 03:36 AM.
    To me, Fenders are a passing phase, but a Les paul is for life.

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member RR82's Avatar
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    Re: Dowel to plug bridge post holes?

    Quote Originally Posted by steve(UK) View Post
    Thanks, but you've addressed a 'question' that I didn't ask. You've assumed I have a problem with my scratchplate because it was used in a descriptive reference. I fixed that problem years ago. Re-read the post, I'm talking about the BRIDGE.

    Seriously though, I do find on here that you ask a straight question, and the actual likelihood of getting a straight answer (which I haven't) to your ACTUAL question are very slim. ,You tend to get all sorts of answers that go off at a tangent, and somehow sorta 'take over' or make assumptions about how you should be doing something. Is that an American thing? Honestly I'm not trying to be inflamatory at all, I say it based purely on my observation of many years being on here. That Dr Vintage guy is the worst, I had so many run ins with him. Thinks he knows it ALL - sure he knows a fair amount (as well as lots of voodoo and mojo ;-)), but it's the condescending way he starts talking down to you (from a great height!) with the premise that you know bugger all yourself. I was seriously studying old Les Pauls in the early 70s and owned a 57 LP Special at that time. Did work on name players Bursts, Customs etc etc. Owned and fixed numerous LPs since.

    Ok back on track... I'm looking for 6/32 size dowel (or slightly larger), simple as that. I wont be re-drilling it - the new hole will be to one side, and turning down a thicker piece in a drill would not be possible because at the length I need, it would snap off. Its just to plug the holes. I have strategies and methods in place to do the job, I just need the dowel. The smaller piece of dowel will limit the amount of surface repair work, and drilling to one side will not be a problem. I will insert a small cap of maple veneer with the grain going the correct way on top, and touch in with a lacquer/stain mix. Cheers guys.
    Quote " you tend to get all sorts of answers that go off at a tangent, and somehow sorta "take over" or make assumptions about how you should be doing something. Is that an American thing?"
    Last edited by RR82; 12-06-10 at 06:03 PM.

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member Arnold Layne's Avatar
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    Re: Dowel to plug bridge post holes?

    Man, that is one rude arsed reply to people that are trying to help you.

  11. #11

    Re: Dowel to plug bridge post holes?

    Quote Originally Posted by RR82 View Post
    Quote " you tend to get all sorts of answers that go off tangent, and somehow sorta "take over" or make assumptions about how you should be doing something. I that an American thing?"
    Hey hang on, that's not even my quote, you re-wrote it incorrectly. And how dare you try to pump this up into something?! If you read on, I qualify what I'm saying and it is not meant to be nasty in anyway, purely, as I say, based on long term observation.
    To me, Fenders are a passing phase, but a Les paul is for life.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member RR82's Avatar
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    Re: Dowel to plug bridge post holes?

    Quote Originally Posted by steve(UK) View Post
    Hey hang on, that's not even my quote, you re-wrote it incorrectly. And how dare you try to pump this up into something?! If you read on, I qualify what I'm saying and it is not meant to be nasty in anyway, purely, as I say, based on long term observation.
    How dare "i" try to pump this into something? Now that's funny. Whatever man.

  13. #13

    Re: Dowel to plug bridge post holes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arnold Layne View Post
    Man, that is one rude arsed reply to people that are trying to help you.
    1) It may be perceived as that, but as I said, it was based purely on observation over a number of years. I cannot change what I have seen, it's fact, nothing to do with trying to be rude arsed. I have had some great help from guys on here who have gone way beyond the call of duty to help, but...

    2) It IS frustrating when time and time again, you start a thread and people just dont read it, giving you answers that are none helpful, even though I'm sure they are trying to be helpful! I dont doubt that they are. People should read posts more carefully. I'm not the only one. Time and time again I've seen people frustrated by answers that are not really what they are seeking, or even plain wrong.

    I dont want to get into a slanging match. I stand by what i said, no offence meant to anyone, and offence should not be taken by anyone.
    To me, Fenders are a passing phase, but a Les paul is for life.

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member Guitar Whiskey's Avatar
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    Re: Dowel to plug bridge post holes?

    Quote Originally Posted by steve(UK) View Post
    Thanks, but you've addressed a 'question' that I didn't ask. You've assumed I have a problem with my scratchplate because it was used in a descriptive reference. I fixed that problem years ago. Re-read the post, I'm talking about the BRIDGE.

    Seriously though, I do find on here that you ask a straight question, and the actual likelihood of getting a straight answer (which I haven't) to your ACTUAL question are very slim. You tend to get all sorts of answers that go off at a tangent, and somehow sorta 'take over' or make assumptions about how you should be doing something. Is that an American thing? Honestly, I'm not trying to be inflamatory at all, I say it based purely on my observation of many years being on here. That Dr Vintage guy is the worst, I had so many run ins with him. Thinks he knows it ALL - sure he knows a fair amount (as well as lots of voodoo and mojo ;-)), but it's the condescending way he starts talking down to you (from a great height!) with the premise that you know bugger all yourself. I was seriously studying old Les Pauls in the early 70s and owned a 57 LP Special at that time. Did work on name players Bursts, Customs etc etc. Owned and fixed numerous LPs since.

    Ok back on track... I'm looking for 6/32 size dowel (or slightly larger), simple as that. I wont be re-drilling it - the new hole will be to one side, and turning down a thicker piece in a drill would not be possible because at the length I need, it would snap off. Its just to plug the holes. I have strategies and methods in place to do the job, I just need the dowel. The smaller piece of dowel will limit the amount of surface repair work, and drilling to one side will not be a problem. I will insert a small cap of maple veneer with the grain going the correct way on top, and touch in with a lacquer/stain mix. Cheers guys.
    Thanks; glad I could be of service to you.
    Last edited by Guitar Whiskey; 12-06-10 at 11:39 AM.

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member Kim R's Avatar
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    Re: Dowel to plug bridge post holes?

    Quote Originally Posted by steve(UK) View Post
    My 98 R8 (along with others - hence the well documented 98 scratchplate gap problem) has the bridge fitted too far back and I need to move it forwards. The tuneomatic runs out of adjustment.

    Does anyone know of a source of (preferably maple) dowel in the correct(ish) diameter, or a bit thicker, to put into the 6/32 bridge post hole?

    All that I have seen is far too thick. I guess the only other answer is to get some turned down on a lathe.
    Steve,

    Hobby shops (the "serious," large stores that often cater to model aircraft builders) typically carry maple dowels in the range that would be workable. A little sanding might be required.

    Tangent:

    I don't know how far off your intonation is with the current posts, but flopping saddles, adjusting the nut and saddle slots, and possibly bending replacement steel studs might yield better overall results. Just a thought ~
    ______________________

    K

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member cooljuk's Avatar
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    Re: Dowel to plug bridge post holes?

    Plug cutter, eh? Sounds like a tool I should have invested in!

    Steve, here's what I did:

    I bought a "pen blank" of flamed rock maple on eBay for a few bucks, cut to size and turned it in my drill as a lathe. I know you said that wouldn't work in your case, but it did work for me doing one plug at a time. The same place I bought the pen blank from also sells dowels and plugs, but as mentioned above the grain and flame wouldn't match with the dowells and the plugs were too shallow. I had to create my own. I roughed it to size, then slowly sanded and re-checked until it fit. Lined up the grain/flame and glued it in with Titebond. Measured, marked, drilled and tapped for 6-32. Marker colored it to match. One day I may drop-fill with nitro, but it's very well hidden under the new bridge so I don't feel any rush to do so.

    I hope something in this is useful to you. Sorry I haven't got a source for a proper dowel for you.

  17. #17
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Dowel to plug bridge post holes?

    Yes, forums always get odd responses that may/may notbe a direct answer. Sometimes that's valuable.

    Possibly in this case. you may know what YOU want to, and that may not always be the best solution. Dowel is rarely the "best" as others have pointed out because of grain orientation. Being that you plan on just plugging the existing hole, you'll have half solid body mating and half dowel, so the problem is less but still a concern. You said you aren't going to drill, but you'll at least want to clean out the existing threads for the best possible coupling here. That would mean drilling the next size up and finding dowel to fit that. Try hobby shops or wood supply stores for dowel.

    There is the fact that simply leaning the bridge forward a touch by bending the post might be simpler, cleaner and provide the best sound.

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