Hardware Installation

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Trade Secrets! Issue 109 March 18, 2010
Are you supposed to slot Tune-o-matic bridge saddles?
Customers often ask how and why they should put slots in the saddles of their new Tune-o-matic bridge. Erick Coleman provides the answers in this issue of Trade Secrets.
Trade Secrets! Issue 214 April 10, 2014
Banjo setup tips
How do you set the tension on a banjo head? If you're more familiar with guitars than banjos, Dan Erlewine has a few quick tips for you.
Product Instructions I-5270
Benedetto Archtop Tailpiece Installation Instructions
Installation instructions for the Benedetto Archtop Tailpiece.
Product Instructions I-4173
Benedetto Fingerrest
How to install a Benedetto Fingerrest.
Trade Secrets! Issue 25 April 12, 2007
Better tone with a lighter Tune-o-matic bridge and tailpiece
This week, Erick Coleman steps into the ring for Round Two in the Battle for Better Tone: his secret weapons area lightweight Tune-o-matic bridge and tailpiece.
Product Instructions I-5167
Compensated Saddles for Telecaster
Installation instructions for Compensated Saddles for Telecaster.
Trade Secrets! Issue 96 September 17, 2009
Custom-shaping a replacement pickguard for a 1990s Gibson
Erick Coleman's got a busted-up pickguard, and off-the-shelf replacements don't fit. He shows how to make and use a custom-shape template for a new guard.
Trade Secrets! Issue 184 February 14, 2013
Do-it-yourself banjo bridge lifter
Dave Collins at Herb David Guitar Studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan shows an easy-to-make tool for swapping banjo bridges.
Product Instructions I-0280
Dual Rim Rod Set for Banjo
Installation and adjustment instructions for a Dual Rim Rod Set for Banjo.
Trade Secrets! Issue 74 November 13, 2008
eBay mandolin: fret work and using JB Weld to rebuild a truss rod nut
Dan Erlewine's customer got a deal on eBay. Whether it was a good or a bad deal depends on how much it takes to make it playable. Dan fixes fret buzz and a warped neck, then rebuilds the truss rod nut using JB Weld repair epoxy.
Product Instructions I-1709
Guitar Screw Rescue Kit Instructions
How to use the Guitar Screw Rescue Kit to remove small damaged screws.
Product Instructions I-2070
Guitar Tuner Drill Jig Instructions
Tuner installation instructions using the Guitar Tuner Drill Jig.
Trade Secrets! Issue 216 May 08, 2014
Homemade bushing puller to protect the peghead
Dan Erlewine needs to pull the tuner grommets/bushings from the peghead of this old Gibson. The lacquer is already damaged, and pulling the bushings can yank finish off too. Dan rigs a jig that holds the finish down while the bushing comes up.
Trade Secrets! Issue 65 July 10, 2008
How not to mess up a soldering job
Erick Coleman shows how easy it is to do a pro-quality soldering job.
Trade Secrets! Issue 192 June 06, 2013
How to fit a Les Paul pickup ring to the curved top
Don't ruin your pickup rings by skipping this step! Dan Erlewine nibbles, files, scrapes and sands to create a curve that matches the top of his Les Paul.
Trade Secrets! Issue 145 August 04, 2011
How to install a Strat tremolo and get it right
Erick Coleman has a quick tip that will save you a lot of trouble.
Product Instructions I-0463
Humbucking Pickup Cover
Directions for installing a cover on a humbucking pickup.
Trade Secrets! Issue 10 December 28, 2006
Installing an endpin jack
Ever have trouble installing an endpin jack? Did you chip the guitar's finish, or drill the hole out-of-square? Did you goof up on a customer's guitar? You'll want to read this week's Trade Secret from Dan Erlewine.
Trade Secrets! Issue 185 February 28, 2013
Is this bridge saddle in the right place?
The free Fret Position Calculator at stewmac.com does the math, but can I trust its numbers for placing a Martin bridge? I tested the computer against my "stone age" method. — Dan Erlewine
Trade Secrets! Issue 48 November 15, 2007
Making a Les Paul clone look more vintage
Erick Coleman's finished tweaking a budget-priced Les Paul copy. It plays great, but one last thing's needed: making it look more like Jimmy Page's 1970s original.
Trade Secrets! Issue 17 February 15, 2007
Making new tuners look vintage
This week, Erick Coleman shows how to add 50 years in 30 minutes: he makes a new set of tuners look like they've been around since the 1950s!
Product Instructions I-5008
Mandolin Tuner Drill Jig Instructions
Tuner installation instructions using the Mandolin Tuner Drill Jig.
Product Instructions I-5869
Mounting Instructions for Mandolin Pickguard
How to mount a mandolin pickguard.
Product Instructions I-4330
National-Style Biscuit Bridge
Installation instructions for a National-style Biscuit Bridge.
Trade Secrets! Issue 27 April 26, 2007
Plugging old tuner holes on the back of the peghead
When installing new tuners leaves old screwholes showing on the back of your peghead, here a 1-2-3 step method for making them disappear.
Trade Secrets! Issue 181 January 03, 2013
Repairing a broken-off tuner screw
In this Trade Secrets video, Dan Erlewine extracts and replaces a broken screw in a Fender peghead.
Trade Secrets! Issue 14 January 25, 2007
Replacing damaged tuner knobs
This week, Dan's got a 1957 Les Paul Junior in his shop. It hasn't been out of the case in 25 years, and the tuners are unusable. Here's how to put new knobs on old tuners.
Product Instructions I-1530
Resonator Guitar Spider Bridge & Cone
Installation instructions for a Spider Bridge and cone.
Product Instructions I-1119
Router Template for Recessed Floyd Rose Tremolo
Instructions for routing a top recess for use with Floyd Rose-style tremolos.
Product Instructions I-1118
Router Template Set for Floyd Rose Tremolo
Instructions for using a router template to rout a guitar for a Floyd Rose-style tremolos.
Product Instructions I-1110
Router Templates for Traditional Strat Tremolo
Instructions for routing for a traditional Strat-style tremolo bridge.
Trade Secrets! Issue 143 July 07, 2011
Rugged and road-ready: replacing skimpy parts
Erick Coleman finds that a 1970s Hondo is really well built, but the parts weren't road-ready. A couple of fixes, and this guitar's ready to tour the world!
Trade Secrets! Issue 53 January 24, 2008
Setting up a banjo's 5th string: nut, capos and peg
Todd Sams shows how he sets up a banjo 5th string using railroad spikes, a block of wood, and a camless clamp.
Product Instructions I-0271
Single Rim Rod Set for Banjo
Installation and adjustment instructions for a Single Rim Rod Set for Banjo.
Product Instructions I-3898
Slotted Peghead Drill Jig
How to use the Slotted Peghead Drill Jig to install classical and steel string tuners.
Product Instructions I-1954
String Mounting Instructions for Locking Guitar Tuning Machines
Instructions for stringing Locking guitar Tuning Machines.
Product Instructions I-4321
Tele Jack Installation Tool Instructions
How to install or remove a Tele jack retainer clip with the Tele Jack Installation Tool.
Trade Secrets! Issue 22 March 22, 2007
Tricks for installing humbuckers
This week Dan shares two tips for installing humbucking pickups, including a simple jig you can make yourself. Also, he repairs a broken pickup ring that his customer thinks is worth $10,000!
Trade Secrets! Issue 147 September 01, 2011
Tune-o-matic swap: going from Nashville to Kalamazoo
Taking a Les Paul from Nashville to Kalamazoo by way of the Tune-o-matic Bridge: Erick Coleman swaps the factory Nashville bridge for a 1950s-style ABR-1 Tune-o-matic.
Product Instructions I-0460
Tuner Bushing Press Instructions
An overview of how to install and remove tuner bushings with the Tuner Bushing Press.
Trade Secrets! Issue 138 April 28, 2011
Unusual transplant: 12-string guitar tuners save a mandolin
Erick Coleman can't find tuners to fit a Martin mandolin -- so he modifies 12-string tuners to do the job!
Trade Secrets! Issue 255 January 28, 2016
Upgrading control pots: choosing the right pots and knobs
Lots of low-cost guitars play great, even though the manufacturers cut costs on hardware and electronics. Swapping out your control pots is an easy mod with big results. Erick Coleman shows you how to avoid trouble…
Trade Secrets! Issue 90 June 25, 2009
Vintage retainer wire: searching Nashville for one little guitar part!
Dan and Leon Rhodes need a retainer spring for a vintage Gibson bridge. Visiting repair shops in Nashville, they find out how to make their own.
Product Instructions I-6050
Waverly Mandolin Machines
Tips for installing Waverly mandolin tuning machines.
Trade Secrets! Issue 56 March 06, 2008
Waverly upgrade: replacing the factory tuners on your Martin
Erick Coleman responds to a question in the online lutherie forums: What's involved in replacing Martin factory tuners with a new set of Waverly machines?
Trade Secrets! Issue 55 February 21, 2008
Where's the best spot for your strap button?
Dan Erlewine raises a simple question that comes up often in any repair shop. Is there a best spot for your strap button?
Product Instructions I-5071
Wilkinson Compensated Tele Saddles
How to install Wilkinson Compensated Tele saddles.