First Post! Low tuned Baritone Questions

Skinny88

New member
Messages
4
Hey guys,

Been lurking and researching a guitar build for a while. Been playing with warmoths guitar builders for the past few years and think its about time I start it up.

The goal is to build a hardtail Baritone strat, tuned to drop F# and if you guys could help me with a few answers to some questions it would be greatly appreciated.

To anyone who has a string through guitar body and likes to tune low, what is the largest string gauge that you've fit through a ferrule and body of a guitar?
Using string tension calculators I'd be going for a 74 for the low F# and if the ferrule/hole is too small perhaps i can ask warmoth to or rout the hole a little thicker myself and put in bass body ferrules.

Has anyone here managed to find some decent locking tuners that can accomodate said 74 string? Google hasn't been much help and warmoth informed me they don't stock any tuners capable of handling that thickness.

Thanx guys
 

The_GuitAar

Active member
Messages
34
Skinny88 said:
Hey guys,

Been lurking and researching a guitar build for a while. Been playing with warmoths guitar builders for the past few years and think its about time I start it up.

The goal is to build a hardtail Baritone strat, tuned to drop F# and if you guys could help me with a few answers to some questions it would be greatly appreciated.

To anyone who has a string through guitar body and likes to tune low, what is the largest string gauge that you've fit through a ferrule and body of a guitar?
Using string tension calculators I'd be going for a 74 for the low F# and if the ferrule/hole is too small perhaps i can ask warmoth to or rout the hole a little thicker myself and put in bass body ferrules.

Has anyone here managed to find some decent locking tuners that can accomodate said 74 string? Google hasn't been much help and warmoth informed me they don't stock any tuners capable of handling that thickness.

Thanx guys

You sure you're not just playing an anorexic bass? lol :icon_biggrin:

Look, maybe with a 25.5 you'd need a 74 but don't count on needing it with a baritone neck, those are specifically made to give you more tension with lower gauges. Here's my recommendation, most tuning pegs use the same size diameter hole for the strings to go through, so start with a smaller 60 gauge to see if that fits your fancy. If not:

Keep in mind

Once you start going THICCC you need to know that:

[list type=decimal]
[*]The ferrel (like you said) might not fit it.
[*]The tension could twist the neck if there's too much on one side (Rare, but if you're trying to do lite/heavy config with 70's it could happen. Especially with softer woods)
[*]You will need to make sure you know how to cut bridge saddles. The break over on the saddles might not be wide enough to fit this string
[*]You will need to know how to widen nut slots to accommodate the larger string size (For any strings above 11 gauge set most likely. Don't quote me!)
[*]Lastly you will need to make sure the screws you are using to put the tuners in the wood aren't cheap. If they are you risk straight up sheering the head of the screw off. (Looking at YOU planet waves trim locking tuners you pieces of sh*t)
[/list]

With all that out of the way you COULD probably take a drill bit and widen the post. Just be careful and do as little at a time as you can to hold onto as much structural integrity as you can.

Or: You can drill out the first hole and fit a bass tuner in it lol. (Not recommended though)
 

Rick

Senior member
Messages
4,342
Go to the hips hot and gotoh websites and look at the diagrams.  If they don’t say call or write them.  The manufacturer will tell you.
 

Skinny88

New member
Messages
4
Thanx for the feedback guys  :headbang:

The_GuitAar said:
You sure you're not just playing an anorexic bass? lol :icon_biggrin:

Look, maybe with a 25.5 you'd need a 74 but don't count on needing it with a baritone neck, those are specifically made to give you more tension with lower gauges. Here's my recommendation, most tuning pegs use the same size diameter hole for the strings to go through, so start with a smaller 60 gauge to see if that fits your fancy. If not:

Keep in mind

Once you start going THICCC you need to know that:

[list type=decimal]
[*]The ferrel (like you said) might not fit it.
[*]The tension could twist the neck if there's too much on one side (Rare, but if you're trying to do lite/heavy config with 70's it could happen. Especially with softer woods)
[*]You will need to make sure you know how to cut bridge saddles. The break over on the saddles might not be wide enough to fit this string
[*]You will need to know how to widen nut slots to accommodate the larger string size (For any strings above 11 gauge set most likely. Don't quote me!)
[*]Lastly you will need to make sure the screws you are using to put the tuners in the wood aren't cheap. If they are you risk straight up sheering the head of the screw off. (Looking at YOU planet waves trim locking tuners you pieces of sh*t)
[/list]

With all that out of the way you COULD probably take a drill bit and widen the post. Just be careful and do as little at a time as you can to hold onto as much structural integrity as you can.

Or: You can drill out the first hole and fit a bass tuner in it lol. (Not recommended though)

Yeah its pretty much in Bass vi territorry haha

You'd be surpirsed really, slapping on a 74 and tuning to F#1 apparently brings the guitar to the same tension as my 7 string with a modified set of 8's, with that low string around 18/19 lbs.
But you're right. could always start at 60 and work my way up if needs be. This is new territory after being an yngwie petrucci wannabe for 17 years.

Thanx for the heads up about the screws and the bridge saddles. I'll check out some videos etc and get myself clued up.

rick2 said:
Go to the hips hot and gotoh websites and look at the diagrams.  If they don’t say call or write them.  The manufacturer will tell you.

Just checked Hipshot and they can enlarge the holes up to gauge 90 on special order, thanx for making the suggestion  :icon_thumright:

BroccoliRob said:
maybe just build a bass vi

Actually never considered that an option... Has anyone here done it before? I'm about to scour the forum
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,232
The user Amigarobbo if I recall has built a bass VI and there are others. A search should bring up the posts and build threads.
 

DieterDeux

Active member
Messages
69
This won't completely answer any of your questions but may be slightly useful. Just built a baritone tuned to A. Using .062 on the lowest string I had to drill out the Fender locking tuner a touch to get it to work. Did a lot of internet searching for locking tuners that would work with no clear answers. Some claimed a particular set would work and others would say the same set needed drilling. In the end I went with Fender and needed to drill but it was a pretty easy task. I'd just order tuners you like and expect to drill your bottom two tuners.
Can't help you on the ferrule front.
 

Skinny88

New member
Messages
4
stratamania said:
The user Amigarobbo if I recall has built a bass VI and there are others. A search should bring up the posts and build threads.

Checked some threads out and maybe for a future build with lower tunings. Think Baritone is the right option for me right now. But thankyou for the advice man.

DieterDeux said:
This won't completely answer any of your questions but may be slightly useful. Just built a baritone tuned to A. Using .062 on the lowest string I had to drill out the Fender locking tuner a touch to get it to work. Did a lot of internet searching for locking tuners that would work with no clear answers. Some claimed a particular set would work and others would say the same set needed drilling. In the end I went with Fender and needed to drill but it was a pretty easy task. I'd just order tuners you like and expect to drill your bottom two tuners.
Can't help you on the ferrule front.

Ah nice man how does it play? Is there any other hurdles I might run into that i should know about?

I've found that hipshot do fender style locking tuners that they will enlarge to fit gauge 90 so hopeully I can avoid the drilling. Warmoth informed me that the through body string holes should be plenty big enough for a 74 but you've got me thinking if I couldn't just slightly drill out the Ferrule instead...

Thanx for the advice dude. I'm gunna spend the weekend looking at string ball ends lol  :icon_thumright:
 

DieterDeux

Active member
Messages
69
Yeah, drilling out the ferrule was my first thought but that makes me nervous. You're depending on that edge to hold on to the string ball end without slipping. There may be a little room to spare and keep a strong hold, but I don't know. If Warmoth thinks you can get away without drilling, you should be good. You can always test the string in the ferrule before you install it and make your decision then.

My baritone plays great! Love it! You can see it here https://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=32950.0. It was my first full build, but nothing really caught me too off guard. I'd say I was able to get it to about 95% of where I want it to be on my own. At some point I'll take it to a tech to take it the rest of the way, but it's totally playable and comfortable now.
 

Cagey

Senior member
Messages
24,425
The_GuitAar said:
  • Lastly you will need to make sure the screws you are using to put the tuners in the wood aren't cheap. If they are you risk straight up sheering the head of the screw off. (Looking at YOU planet waves trim locking tuners you pieces of sh*t)

LOL! I'm not a fan of Planet Waves' tuners either (for a different reason), but overall they're fairly nice tuners and they work well for some folks. But, the when it comes to twisting the heads off those little screws, it's probably not their fault. Nobody's really without sin on that front. The screws are just awfully tiny and just don't have much structural integrity. What often happens is the installer wants to get that last 1/4 turn on the screw to make sure it's tight, then without warning it's DAMMIT! It also happens if the wood is very hard/dense and doesn't want to give to let the screw cut its own threads. Sometimes, it can even result in split headstocks. Pilot hole is too small by a tiny smidge, or they haven't been waxed and there's too much friction. They don't need to be torqued to within an inch of their lives - they're not being used as fasteners. They're just for "anti-rotation". Some tuners don't even use screws, they just use little pegs (see Sperzel, Ping, et al)

So, for good results, whether you think you need it or not, you should always apply wax to the screw threads before running it in. Bee's wax works best, but candles/crayons/etc. get used a lot as well. If you haven't done it before, it seems a bit counterintuitive, but trust me - this trick is as old as woodworking. Enough wax to last you 500 years will only cost about $3, so there's no excuse  :laughing7:

 

The_GuitAar

Active member
Messages
34
Cagey said:
The_GuitAar said:
  • Lastly you will need to make sure the screws you are using to put the tuners in the wood aren't cheap. If they are you risk straight up sheering the head of the screw off. (Looking at YOU planet waves trim locking tuners you pieces of sh*t)

LOL! I'm not a fan of Planet Waves' tuners either (for a different reason), but overall they're fairly nice tuners and they work well for some folks. But, the when it comes to twisting the heads off those little screws, it's probably not their fault. Nobody's really without sin on that front. The screws are just awfully tiny and just don't have much structural integrity. What often happens is the installer wants to get that last 1/4 turn on the screw to make sure it's tight, then without warning it's DAMMIT! It also happens if the wood is very hard/dense and doesn't want to give to let the screw cut its own threads. Sometimes, it can even result in split headstocks. Pilot hole is too small by a tiny smidge, or they haven't been waxed and there's too much friction. They don't need to be torqued to within an inch of their lives - they're not being used as fasteners. They're just for "anti-rotation". Some tuners don't even use screws, they just use little pegs (see Sperzel, Ping, et al)

So, for good results, whether you think you need it or not, you should always apply wax to the screw threads before running it in. Bee's wax works best, but candles/crayons/etc. get used a lot as well. If you haven't done it before, it seems a bit counterintuitive, but trust me - this trick is as old as woodworking. Enough wax to last you 500 years will only cost about $3, so there's no excuse  :laughing7:

Man where were you when i got those things from amazon. Yea that last 1/4 turn is murder. Right now I am going to put in brass inserts into a pilot hole and use machine screws to go into the inserts. Overkill? YUP, but it feels nice to work on things lol
 

Cagey

Senior member
Messages
24,425
Brass inserts and machine screws to keep tuners from twisting? I'm certainly a fan of inserts and have done jillions of them, but I think the last place I'd even try to install them would be in the headstock for that purpose.  Unless you're on a deserted island with absolutely nothing to do and you're bored out of your skull... nah, not even then. You're gonna turn it into a tar baby.

StewMac sells a little kit for repairing that sort of thing that works well enough. There's a hollow tube with a serrated edge on one end. You chuck it into a drill motor and run it in reverse over the broken screw, and it'll remove it. Be careful not to drill too deep or it'll ruin your day. Then, you plug the hole with a bit of dowel & glue, cut it off flush witha razor or something, then drill a new pilot hole for the screw. It's not pretty, but it'll be hidden under the tuner body anyway, so no biggie. Only you and the spider in the corner will know it's been done.

iu


I know who your are and I saw what you did!

You really don't need the whole criminally over-priced kit. You just need the screw extractor, and if you're a clever little rascal you can probably make one of your own with a bit of brass tube and some files.

Good luck on your repair!
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,232
Indeed you don't want to use threaded inserts in a headstock, you probably will make it far worse.

Always wax screws etc as already said. But sometimes unexpected things can go wrong and the kit that Cagey linked to I had to use when a drill bit snapped in a headstock. You can find this unexpected adventure documented at the link below with various photos etc.

https://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=30781.msg437654#msg437654
 

The_GuitAar

Active member
Messages
34
stratamania said:
Indeed you don't want to use threaded inserts in a headstock, you probably will make it far worse.

Always wax screws etc as already said. But sometimes unexpected things can go wrong and the kit that Cagey linked to I had to use when a drill bit snapped in a headstock. You can find this unexpected adventure documented at the link below with various photos etc.

https://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=30781.msg437654#msg437654

Note to self, get a new bit and steel hardened screws because a painted rear of headstock isn't going to like a plain dowel shoved into it lol. Honestly was trying to find a way to properly align them, I like that low tac tap method.

Side Note (Sorry for hijacking your post op):
How the hell did you get the fret ends looking that good? I have done my own fret dressing and def got it comfy (almost as comfy as a USA ESP custom) but that fret work looks superb.
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,232
The_GuitAar said:
Side Note (Sorry for hijacking your post op):
How the hell did you get the fret ends looking that good? I have done my own fret dressing and def got it comfy (almost as comfy as a USA ESP custom) but that fret work looks superb.

Thanks for noticing the fretwork and fret ends. It is rather good if I say so myself. That neck was ordered without any bevel and I was going for something approaching hemi-semispherical or sometimes called hot dog fret ends. I do the ends by using a file to bevel the edges in a few facets which starts the round over in one plane rather than just a straight bevel. I then use a Gurian Quarter-round Fret File (finest edge to avoid chatter) and this is used to create the roundness on the other plane. Then I do any needed levelling with a diamond fret leveler, then a Z file for crowning. I also use a separate ibanez crowning file to help blend in the round over of the ends. The really fine detail on the ends is done with diamond needle files. Then the rest is working through the grits from around 400 - 12000 grit. I use a combination of micromesh and micromesh pads. I think that is about it other than a lot of work, skill and patience. Wear gloves and use an Opti Visor also.

Next time which I can't say when it might be I will try to document it. The next neck I have to do has smaller 6150s rather than 6100s and came already beveled out of the showcase so that one will not get the same treatment on the ends.
 

The_GuitAar

Active member
Messages
34
stratamania said:
The_GuitAar said:
Side Note (Sorry for hijacking your post op):
How the hell did you get the fret ends looking that good? I have done my own fret dressing and def got it comfy (almost as comfy as a USA ESP custom) but that fret work looks superb.

Thanks for noticing the fretwork and fret ends. It is rather good if I say so myself. That neck was ordered without any bevel and I was going for something approaching hemi-semispherical or sometimes called hot dog fret ends. I do the ends by using a file to bevel the edges in a few facets which starts the round over in one plane rather than just a straight bevel. I then use a Gurian Quarter-round Fret File (finest edge to avoid chatter) and this is used to create the roundness on the other plane. Then I do any needed levelling with a diamond fret leveler, then a Z file for crowning. I also use a separate ibanez crowning file to help blend in the round over of the ends. The really fine detail on the ends is done with diamond needle files. Then the rest is working through the grits from around 400 - 12000 grit. I use a combination of micromesh and micromesh pads. I think that is about it other than a lot of work, skill and patience. Wear gloves and use an Opti Visor also.

Next time which I can't say when it might be I will try to document it. The next neck I have to do has smaller 6150s rather than 6100s and came already beveled out of the showcase so that one will not get the same treatment on the ends.

Absolutely do a video on it. Fret end dressing is super tricky for me to get down. I can knock the edges down by wrapping my finger in sand paper and running it up and down the ends to "naturally" knock them down. It gets the job done pretty well since it's basically putting 20 years of playing against the metal, but it's not to the level that my perfection gremlin self enjoys. Just enough to not complain about the dressing lol
 

Skinny88

New member
Messages
4
The_GuitAar said:
Side Note (Sorry for hijacking your post op):

Haha it's all good. It's never a waste hearing good advice for things I might not even know about.
Thanx everyone, I pretty much have everything planned, just gotta wait for the funds to roll in and start the build  :party07:
 

amigarobbo

Senior member
Messages
944
stratamania said:
The user Amigarobbo if I recall has built a bass VI and there are others. A search should bring up the posts and build threads.

I don't know about the string through thingies, but here's Newtone Bass VI Strings on split head tuners, the phat one is .100, but that is on a bass VI scale so the tapering might be a problem on some short arsed baritone scale.

img_7110.jpg
 
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