• Lazy Andy

Bridge Over... let's not go there.

Updated: May 18, 2019

With the neck not yet on my door step I tackled the bridge instead. With the pickguard template complete, it would be foolish to cut it until the neck and the bridge were in place in case any adjustments were needed.

Strat's have three basic bridge variations - vintage 6 screw tremolo, 2 post tremolo and fixed bridge. This Bullet has a variation of the first two, a 2 screw tremolo, which should look a bit like this :

I suspect that a) trying to find a secondhand one of these was going to be near impossible and b) I doubt the two screw holes in this body, especially the one with the crack emanating from it, were going to be very good.

I offered up a 6 screw Squire trem on the off chance that the outer two screw holes would align with the 2 screw bridge - sadly they don't. I briefly contemplated filling the two holes and drilling 6 new ones, but you don't pimp you machine with downgrades, so I shelved that idea.

I looked at a number of the two post tremolos on the market, including the Wilkinson VS100 which seemed to get collectively good reviews. Visually, I wasn’t a fan of the saddles and I didn't feel the shape of the base plate was suited to the Bullet... especially as this would reveal some of the unfaded paint.

A bit more research and up pops the Wilkinson WV2 Tremolo. From a distance this looks exactly like an original Bullet tremolo, but close up it has Wilkinson logos. Underneath the skin the tremolo block is super heavy (unlike the Squire) and the posts are equivalent to the other modern 2 post tremolos where by a fluted insert is tapped into the body, out of sight, and then the bridge is held in with machine screws with a tappered head.

So, drill press, 10mm drill bit, tape and measure.

And measure... and again.

Not a big fan of the non-reversible actions!

I'd love a proper pillar drill but my little Clarke stand will have to do, even if it has to be sat on the guitar to reach the bridge holes. Regardless, holes drills, inserts tapped in and bridge installed.

The claw holes in the back of the guitar were a bit far apart for the Wilkinson claw or the Squire one I had in my box, so this warranted another bit of drilling round the back. I’m likely to leave the back plate off when the build is finished just to show off that lovely authentic fade!

And that's the bridge installed next to a scrappy paper pickguard template... and troubled waters avoided.

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