To those who have converted to floating bridges with wooden bases

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by Carbohydrates, Nov 30, 2019 at 1:07 AM.

  1. Carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates Gretschie

    189
    Feb 24, 2010
    DFW area, TX
    Where do you find a wooden base low-profile enough to fit on a guitar with a low neck set angle, such as most Electromatic Jets with TOM bridges? I am interested in a wooden base floating bridge on my G5220 for reasons, but obviously a standard Gretsch base will be dramatically too tall.
     
    GOOBALL JEFF likes this.
  2. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    IIRC I bought a generic wooden bridge base with a design suitable to sand down(no feet), plus I ordered a low profile Compton bridge(I had Wayne cut approx 5 mm of the bottom).
     
  3. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    You'll struggle to find a wooden base thin enough to give you the require height without a lot of sanding, and by that point there'll be almost no support left for the threaded posts.

    As an alternative, there's a Bigsby aluminium bridge that sits on an alloy base which is thinner than a wooden one. I suppose you could paint the base black to look like ebony.

    I have one in my man drawer; it measures 20mm from the underside of the base to the highest point of the bridge arc with the knurled adjusters at the lowest point. There's room for removing maybe a couple of mm more from the underside of the base before hitting the bottom of the posts. You can also remove material from the underside of the bridge itself.

    Be careful when ordering; some are compensated for a plain third. Those crazy jazz cats!

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-Bigs...932100&hash=item5438691845:g:77MAAOSwVH9cASCa
     
    GOOBALL JEFF and Ricochet like this.
  4. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    The post distance probably won't fit a tuna matatic. I'll check it later. You also need to file your own string slots.
     
  5. GOOBALL JEFF

    GOOBALL JEFF Gretschie

    195
    Oct 1, 2019
    london
    it wont work i have tried that, it will be way too high unfortunately
     
  6. GOOBALL JEFF

    GOOBALL JEFF Gretschie

    195
    Oct 1, 2019
    london
    yeah that might work i like that idea
     
  7. Carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates Gretschie

    189
    Feb 24, 2010
    DFW area, TX
    I've definitely thought about the Bigsby base. In fact, I've wondered about the Sorkin / bowtie base as well, which appears to be even shorter in height. I've seen them, historically, on a lot of Les Pauls, Specials, and Juniors so it feels like the overall unit should be short enough to support a shallow set neck guitar, right?
     
  8. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    Are they flat bottomed? The one in the link is curved, and fits a duo jet.
     
  9. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    From the description:
    Bigsby Bridge With Slightly Arched Base

    Compensated for unwound G string.

    15” radius, 3” post spacing.

    5-5/8” long x 19/32” wide.

    7/8” tall at lowest setting.
     
  10. rcboals

    rcboals Country Gent

    Nov 21, 2008
    Springfield Oregon
    Why do you think you want to do that?
     
  11. Carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates Gretschie

    189
    Feb 24, 2010
    DFW area, TX
    Because my guitar was previously converted to a wraparound bridge and I would like to add a Bigsby B7 to it at some point. I am considering all options! One would of course be to get a wraparound with slots or grooves, or cut grooves into an existing one. The trick is that it's done with 50's style angled stud placement, which really limits the availability of a properly compensated wraparound that can be grooved. Most adjustable ones, lightning bolts, PRS bridges, etc. are all intended to be used with parallel, 60's/modern stud placement. It would probably have to be the Faber. Could even use locking studs to secure it as a bridge, but I doubt that would be necessary thanks to the down pressure from the tension bar Bigsby.

    Another option is a floating bridge. A thin wood base would be nice, but the Bigsby aluminum bases are very thin already. The Sorkin is appealing as its design specifically covers up wraparound bushings on guitars that initially had wraparound bridges. I do know that Sorkins are flat on the bottom, so that's an annoyance that the more standard square base solves - but again, I feel like that one is taller, perhaps. Unsure.
     
  12. rcboals

    rcboals Country Gent

    Nov 21, 2008
    Springfield Oregon
    Thanks for the answer. You must love a challenge and project like me. :) Have fun, that's what it is all about having fun.
     
    Carbohydrates likes this.
  13. swivel

    swivel Synchromatic

    985
    May 13, 2018
    PNW
    The Sorkin Bowtie bridge may work for you if you don't mind the base being metal.
    Height looks to be about .65" on mine but you could notch the bridge ends so the round adjustment nuts are up into the bridge, allowing it to be .56" Or you could remove those nuts and determine what washers you need to get the action you want. I liked this bridge.
    [​IMG]
     
    Carbohydrates likes this.
  14. Carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates Gretschie

    189
    Feb 24, 2010
    DFW area, TX
    It really does look like a good option. I know the Sorkin only comes with a 4/2 "wound third" style compensation, and that the 3/3 unwound Bigsby bridge does not drop onto this base. I also know that TruArc or Dbridge should be able to make something that would fit the Sorkin base, but that's even more money thrown at this concept. Probably worth it, though.

    I think what I should probably do is just go ahead and commit to the B7 with my current bridge, assess the issues that arise, and try to solve them specifically from that point rather than trying to predict the issues and solutions.
     
  15. swivel

    swivel Synchromatic

    985
    May 13, 2018
    PNW
    FYI: The Sorkin seemed to work fine for me with a plain G string. My bridge is not pinned though, so I have some latitude on location/angle. It's a cheap option to try. Ebay.
     
  16. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    I think tru arc or conpton make low rider bridges too. I have a wound G component that I got for roundsounds, moved to flats with unwound G and it still intonates fine.
     
    emitex likes this.
  17. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019 at 8:19 PM
    BorderRadio, new6659 and Henry like this.
  18. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    BTW: that's a Bigsby bridge on there. The post spacing didn't match the posts on the base, so I removed the posts from the base, filled the holes with a mixture of rosewood sanding dust and wood glue, and drilled new holes with a post spacing to match the Bigsby bridge. This was tricky and almost didn't work, given that the bridge base was so thin after I'd sanded it that there wasn't much wood left to support the posts. I pulled it off, but just barely. If I were to do it again, I'd leave the posts as is, and buy a Guild-spec Bigsby bridge. The Guild-spec bridge has a wider post spacing. It doesn't match the spacing on the rosewood base either, but it's easy to widen the post holes on the bridge using a round file. That's what I did on my G3900.

    IMG_20191130_202515.jpg
     
    new6659 likes this.
  19. Carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates Gretschie

    189
    Feb 24, 2010
    DFW area, TX
    Oh man, I had a brilliant idea. It's so simple! All it calls for is... a piece that does not exist! Hear me out!

    First, this is the guitar, a G5220 that has been converted to a wraparound bridge. I would like to add a Bigsby as non-invasively as possible. I had figured on sucking it up and drilling it for a B7, because the neck set angle is too shallow for a B3.

    [​IMG]

    This, however, is the Towner Tension Bar II.

    [​IMG]

    It was designed to apply pressure to trapeze tailpiece guitars to increase the break angle.

    [​IMG]

    Now WHAT IF somebody made a version of this that fits onto tailpiece studs, under the wraparound bridge itself? I feel like I could have such a thing made. It would allow the tension bar to be attached directly to the bridge, allowing the use of a B3 instead of a B7, which would not only look better, since V-cut Gretsch B3s exist and are appropriate for Jets, but it would be massively less invasive because no extra holes would need to be drilled into the top!

    Guys, what do you think? Does this have merit? If so, can somebody made this thing for me?
     
  20. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    This actually looks like a cool choice for a bigsby too. Towner does make a tension bar to be installed where the stop tailpiece is. Many members here have paired it with a B3 on pro jets.
     
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