Custom Trem Blocking Using Oven Bake Clay

Discussion in 'Squier Stratocasters' started by Chipa66, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. Chipa66

    Chipa66 Squier Talker

    Age:
    53
    5
    Mar 26, 2019
    Oregon USA
    Had some Sculpey oven-bake clay sitting around so I decided to give it a shot. Haven’t had a chance to test the tone yet but will update the thread when I do. Hopefully the pictures in the link speak for themselves regarding the process.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/kAwEPkPLYPAG9dHh8
     
    Robb, Davis Sharp, daan and 2 others like this.
  2. IronSchef

    IronSchef Dr. Squier

    Age:
    57
    Jun 18, 2012
    Flew here on my Dragonfly
    that is pretty slick - and u end up w a nice custom fit. It will be interesting to see how you feel that hardened clay affects (or doesn't affect) the tone/sustain. I hard-tailed one Strat w/ a wood block, and it sure seemed to improve sustain
     
    Brocephus likes this.
  3. Chipa66

    Chipa66 Squier Talker

    Age:
    53
    5
    Mar 26, 2019
    Oregon USA
    Yes it will be interesting to hear. I’m considering sanding down the flat side just a hair and spraying the whole thing with a light coat of Plasti-Dip to provide just a bit of protection and to soften the contact areas between the clay block and guitar/trem assembly. The nice thing about Plasti-Dip is that it dries very quickly and can be peeled off if needed
     
  4. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz Squier-holic

    Age:
    54
    Nov 29, 2017
    Newnan ,Ga.
    No a bad idea .

    But is it sustainable :eek::eek::D
     
  5. daan

    daan Squier-holic

    Oct 21, 2013
    Twin Cities
    I would have never thought of using Clay, what a great idea!
     
    Davis Sharp likes this.
  6. lost sailor

    lost sailor Squier-Meister

    Sounds to me like it will eventually dry up and crumble away
     
  7. Brocephus

    Brocephus Squier-Meister

    Age:
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    291
    Jul 3, 2017
    Georgia
    LOL, I was thinking the OP was talking about replacing a steel,zinc, or brass a "tremolo block", with one made of clay !! ( I read the title, then read the replies, without clicking on the OP's photo link). I think we may need to upgrade/clarify the terminology here, there seems to be two "trem blocks "!
    But, while it obviously won't be the trainwreck i was thinking it would be, I agree with lost sailor's above post, that it will probably dry up, and crumble away. At the very least, I'm thinking just a little normal shrinkage will render it useless, and I question how well dried clay will transmit vibration. I would think a solid wood block, as IronSchef mentions above, would be better at enhancing sustain (assuming that's a consideration).
    Another point that occurs to me, is that a trem block kinda needs to be forced into place, and under a little pressure, to effectively get the ideal blocking action required. Pressing some damp clay into place, and letting it dry, can't do this, and again, the tiniest bit of shrinkage messes everything up.
    That's just my drive-by take on it. :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
    JurnyWannaBe and Guitarmageddon like this.
  8. Ace38

    Ace38 Squier-holic

    Age:
    48
    Jul 19, 2016
    Tulsa, OK.
    It bakes in the oven to a very hard finish, essentially its ceramics. I don't think the "dry up and flake away" complaint will be an issue.
     
    JurnyWannaBe likes this.
  9. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Dr. Squier

    Jan 7, 2016
    Maryland, USA
    Cool idea, but many questions:
    Do you bake block in the body or by itself?
    Does it shrink when it loses moisture?
    If it shrinks, do you make it larger than the slot and file it down?

    Keep us updated.
     
    strat_strummer likes this.
  10. Chipa66

    Chipa66 Squier Talker

    Age:
    53
    5
    Mar 26, 2019
    Oregon USA
    I baked the block by itself and there was no perceptible shrinkage. In fact, it was a very tight fit and I’ll likely shave a small bit off of the side that contacts the guitar body. I saw a video from someone that suggested that there be just enough clearance so that the string tension holds the block in place instead of pure friction from forcing the block in on its own.

    If anything, I’ve ended up with a nice template piece to cut some wood blocks from. I’ll keep everyone posted.
     
    Davis Sharp and JurnyWannaBe like this.
  11. brians

    brians Squier-Nut

    Age:
    49
    986
    Oct 1, 2017
    South Africa
    I get what you are doing, but it does beg the question ( to me anyway ) why ?
    Is there a particular purpose for clay in this application.
    I did check the photos so I'm up to speed with what you are doing.

    Sent from my HUAWEI VNS-L22 using Tapatalk
     
  12. Chipa66

    Chipa66 Squier Talker

    Age:
    53
    5
    Mar 26, 2019
    Oregon USA
    I guess the short answer is that it was quick, free and easy. I figured it was worth a try and I like to experiment with things like this.

    Oh, and I’m assuming you’re asking why I would use clay instead of wood and not why I would choose to block the trem. That of course, is another topic on its own.
     
    brians and Brocephus like this.
  13. Brocephus

    Brocephus Squier-Meister

    Age:
    55
    291
    Jul 3, 2017
    Georgia
    Fair enough, can't hurt to experiment, and see what pans out. You never know.
    And BTW, just in case it sounded like some of us were busting your balls here, that wasn't the case at all. Just casually conversatin' and playing devil's advocate, it's all good !
     
    lost sailor likes this.
  14. brians

    brians Squier-Nut

    Age:
    49
    986
    Oct 1, 2017
    South Africa
    Yes that was my question. Clay vs wood

    Sent from my HUAWEI VNS-L22 using Tapatalk
     
  15. Chipa66

    Chipa66 Squier Talker

    Age:
    53
    5
    Mar 26, 2019
    Oregon USA
    No worries, I’m not taking any feedback personally. Open discussion and exchange of ideas is why we’re all here.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
    lost sailor likes this.
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