You are here

Bridge Bother!

For all things relating to guitars, basses, amps, pedals & accessories.

Bridge Bother!

Postby Wonks » Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:18 am

I've just finished setting up a Gibson ES-333 for someone local to me who came to see a 1x12" Marshall cab I was selling but ended up not buying it (it was physically too small for his needs). But he did see that I had various guitars in states of disassemble and asked if I could set a guitar up for him. I must admit, we both thought the action was unplayable as it came - a good 10mm at the 12th fret. Don't know the full details but I have a feeling this was a recent eBay purchase for him.

The Gibson ES-333 is based on the ES-335 but has a removable back panel for control access. One of Gibson's more budget-orientated products at the time, and it shows in the level of finishing (satin, not gloss), rough f-hole edges and the rear control cover sits partly sunk and partly proud with respect to the body. And I'm not taken with the rather drab brown finish, though I know it's similar to one of the '70s ES-335 colours. Made at a time (2003) when Gibson's quality control was pretty poor. But the neck is decent, a bit square-shouldered for my tastes but, still very playable and the replacement pickups (very early Bare Knuckles with no model name on the backs) sound nice.

But I digress.

Image

All was well until it came to the bridge. Tried turning one of the intonation screws but immediately the head sheared off as the screw was completely corroded to the saddle. Tried turning the stub with pliers but it wouldn't budge, even after a soak in WD40. So I remembered about heating things up to budge stuck screws, got the blowtorch out and that did the trick.

Luckily, I had a spare Gibson ABR-1 bridge, which came from my old ES-335. The original bridge on this got replaced by a Tone Pros bridge as the bridge posts were bent on the original ABR-1 installation. So I took a screw from that, but despite both being the same bridge from a similar year of manufacture, the bloody screw was too long to fit in the slot!

The saddles in the 335 bridge had notches in different positions to those on the 333 bridge (so if I'd just used the bridge as-was, the strings would have would have been in the wrong position on the neck), so I ended up moving the saddles across to the 335 bridge and using the 335's intonation screws.

Also, the 333's bridge came with no saddle retainer wire (though it had the holes for one), so re-fitted the one from the 335's saddle. But the number of times those bloody saddles fell out while I was putting the wire back in place was quite considerable and I may have sworn a few times.

But the guitar is now nicely set up with a medium-low action as requested, some current Gibson strap buttons fitted (the originals were ridiculously small) and the bodywork all clean and the finish is now a nicer semi-gloss, rather than near-satin, as a result of its cleaning.
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9767
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: Bridge Bother!

Postby Folderol » Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:29 am

Well done that man!
User avatar
Folderol
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9018
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:00 am
Location: The Mudway Towns, UK
Yes. I am that Linux nut.
Onwards and... err... sideways!

Re: Bridge Bother!

Postby Wonks » Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:52 am

If I hadn't had that spare bridge, it would have been new bridge time. Not the end of the world, but still extra expense and time.
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9767
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: Bridge Bother!

Postby Wonks » Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:33 pm

So never throw any old guitar bits away. You never know when they may come in handy!
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9767
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: Bridge Bother!

Postby blinddrew » Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:34 pm

Wonks wrote:So never throw any old guitar bits away. You never know when they may come in handy!
Never have, never will.

P.S. anyone want a set of unused Grover bass tuners? :headbang:
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Bridge Bother!

Postby Wonks » Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:33 pm

For other people's info, 4-in-line or 2+2? Post diameter/ mounting hole size?
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9767
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: Bridge Bother!

Postby blinddrew » Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:06 pm

Think they're 2x2 but i'll have to have a look.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Bridge Bother!

Postby adrian_k » Mon Jul 29, 2019 3:58 pm

Nice one Wonks :clap:
User avatar
adrian_k
Frequent Poster
Posts: 806
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Gloucestershire
getting better all the time..

Re: Bridge Bother!

Postby zenguitar » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:41 pm

Wonks wrote:So never throw any old guitar bits away. You never know when they may come in handy!
+1000

Well done Wonks :clap:

Andy :beamup:
User avatar
zenguitar
Moderator
Posts: 9252
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Devon
When you see a fork in the road, take it.
Yogi Berra


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Wonks