Tricks of the trade

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by DrBeGood, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. jskeen

    jskeen Squier-holic

    Feb 9, 2016
    I've got a quick one. If you are trying to adjust the saddle height set screws, but the correct size allen wrench won't go in far enough to hold, Try to find that one wrapped string end that jumped across the room and hid the last time you restrung something, (or the one you stuck into the drywall over the workbench just for the purpose, if you are like me). Dip one end into some oil, solvent, alcohol, or cleaning solution, and then insert it into the hex socket on the set screw, and roll it back and forth between your fingers a few times. This will clean out the dirt, rust, dna samples, or whatever is plugging the socket up, so that your wrench will seat fully, and you can finally get that pesky saddle level and at the right height. If it's extra stuck, dip the string bit a little deeper, so that the excess will run down the screw and lube the threads a little. If that don't work, you may have to take the saddle off and go all Spanish inquisition on it with a lighter. If that don't work, the saddle will be removed from the guitar already, and therefore easier to throw across the shop before you go find a spare set of saddles to swap on :)
  2. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    Great tip, thanks.

    Thanks, good one !
  3. squierbilly

    squierbilly Dr. Squier

    Apr 21, 2013
    sunny phoenix
    I dont really work on guitars much
    (i have so many i just find another guitar) :rolleyes:
    But when i do,, i prefer to relieve tension,,
    with Dos Equis XX
    source (1).gif

    Actually i relieve string tension to save the hardware and tools from stripping,, slipping or galling..
    it takes more time but is worth it in the long run..
    Dont get in a hurry,, take your time.. :)
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
    strat_strummer likes this.
  4. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Squier-holic

    Nov 24, 2018
    Grouse hunting
    LOL and this is why its the best hang out on the web...:D
    squierbilly likes this.
  5. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    Loose Tune-O-Matic (Gibson like) bridge or tail piece bushings.

    If they are just a little loose but don't heavily rock sideways, dab the holes sidewall with wood glue on a tooth pick, and slip the bushing in there. Leave it to cure overnight with the bridge installed on posts, to make sure they're aligned correctly. Solid as new. I did that a few times.

    Shims or tape don't work that well. But if you're onto the shim thing, make some with your favorite beer can. Roll a strip of aluminum can on a pencil, so it's a tight fit on the bushing before inserting it in the hole. One or two thick, depending.

    Oh yeah, make sure the ground wire is touching the bushing !
    Davis Sharp likes this.
  6. Shaytan

    Shaytan Squier-Meister

    Apr 10, 2018
    Lisbon, Portugal
    I don't know if someone has already mentioned it, but my luthier taught me a pretty neat one - surface rust on screw heads and hardware can be removed using that blue side of the two color old-school rubbers. It's just abrasive enough to do the trick; I suppose it could also work to polish frets, although I'm not sure if it's overly abrasive for that.

    Speaking of polishing frets, according to the YouTuber Phillip McKnight, that's the one trick to make them last longer. The usual oxidation they suffer creates an abrasive surface that will lead to more wear, so he says. That also makes sense regarding old, rusty strings, which I've decided to stop being a cheapskate and start avoiding to keep.
  7. mofojar

    mofojar Squier-Nut

    May 9, 2019
    Calgary, Alberta
    Talking about fret corrosion and how to help them last longer, I've taken to using the leather polishing method in this article:

    You use a silver polishing cloth to shine up the frets, then use a piece of leather belt glued to a piece of hardwood to polish the surface. This creates more smoothness in the metal at a microscopic level, which in turn prevents corrosion from setting in.
    corn and Shaytan like this.
  8. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Dr. Squier

    Jan 7, 2016
    Maryland, USA
    I'm sure that the UK/Canadian/Australian/NZ members understood you, but in the US, a "rubber" is a condom. The thing you're talking about is an eraser. :)
    jtees4, Shaytan, drewcp and 1 other person like this.
  9. drneilmb

    drneilmb Squier Talker

    Jun 8, 2019
    Iowa, USA
    When you solder on an electronic component and you trim off the extra leads (tip #1!), save the cut off ends. Those little pieces make the best wires for jumpering a short connection: they're stiff but bendable and heavily engineered to take solder very well.


    Here, the two pots are joined by a short length of lead that I had just cut off of the big ol' capacitor (and the cases are grounded by a piece of an old G string).


    Here the bridge pickup is jumpered into the tone circuit using another short piece of component lead.
    drewcp and strat_strummer like this.
  10. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Squier-holic

    Nov 24, 2018
    Grouse hunting
    I use the cut off ends for my ground wires between pots. Works great and clean...
    drneilmb likes this.
  11. jtees4

    jtees4 Squier-Meister

    Jun 7, 2012

    YES, I have done the super glue and baking soda thing on about 3 or 4 guitars and it works great! In fact, I have an SG that needs it, so one of these days soon.
  12. jtees4

    jtees4 Squier-Meister

    Jun 7, 2012
    As a USA person, thank you for that! I almost made a big mistake ;)
    Davis Sharp likes this.
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