Installing Ferrules ...........painlessly........


Hero Member
This was actually something I got off the stew mac web site, but it worked so well for me when I built my hardtail that I thought I should mention it.  alot of guy's were writing in about sanding out the holes etc......nonsense.......

Stick the tip of a clean, hot soldering Iron (unused is even better) into the ferrule for a few seconds, 15-20 should be fine, pick up the ferrule with a needle nose pliers place above the ferrule holes on the finished body, and with a blunt object  (a philips screw driver would work, but I used a Hex key that fit in the ferrule, as some are softer metal and a philips may imprint it)  push the ferrule into its seat and the finish should warm and give way and it will sink down into its seat like a warm knife in butter.   walla!!!!  move on to the next one, if ya did it right, you will probably never do it any other way again, I won't.

Word of caution: it doesn't take long to heat the ferrule;.. so easy on the amount of heat you apply, you don't want to boil the finish around the seat just warm it enough for the ferrule to sink into its resting place.

I didn't have to do any sanding or anything at all, just warm and seat.

You may want to skip this procedure with nitro, as its way more flammable than poly.........
I'd be slightly concerned about the paint bubbling up when doing this.  How many times have you tried this?
Hey Jay, I've only had one opportunity so far and it turned out great....though I agree, you wouldn't want to heat it too much, because you could do just that, bubble the finish, mine came off like a charm, the ferrules paused then with a bit more pressure the finish softened and the ferrules slid gently into their seated position, Im anxious to try it again and will probably use the same Hardtail on my next build as well as ferrules, so I guess I'll find out how swell or not so swell this tip I said I got it off the Stew Mac web site, so I figured it had to be pretty legit, and it worked well for me, but then again, I didn't mind going at my $600 body with a 15/64th's drill bit to ream out the string through holes there may be a bit of balls and gamble involved...........I definantly don't recomend anyone  that dosn't feel comfortable with the Idea to try it..........hahaahahahah :laughing7:
I used the old rolled up sandpaper trick for my ferrule holes, it worked fine.

For my next project I might have to give this a try.  :icon_smile:
Yeah honestly, I thought about it and it is a great tip if you have great quality controll such as Warmoth, where you know the parts are pretty darn well matched to the holes, but it would be a bummer to heat up the ferrule only to find once ya got it to the hole that it was a bit too large and some wood had to come off, so maybe its best if a guy checks the ferrules first to make sure there mighty close to start with, that way if its more than finish thats keeping things snug then the sand paper would obviously be the better way?????????
It was fun though, watching the ferrules sink down and having the finish mold itself around them ..............hahahahaahahahh  :laughing7:
Did you do this with chrome ferrules?

I'm curious what would happen to the finish on a black or gold ferrule.

Definitely worth an investigation - thatnks for the tip!  :eek:ccasion14:

all the best,

Nope .did it with Gold ferrules, I don't think Stew Mac would recomend it if it was too extreme, though I do realize some people may use poor judgement in the heating process and possibly bake the obviously something to be carefull about if you do it.
Its not like your cooking the ferrules, 15 seconds would be adequate with a 35 watt solder I wouldn't see how it would affect the finish of the metal ferrule itself?????????    though I certainly understand the concern for the body finish. So definantly not something everyone should try.

I think the key here is the same as any building / assembly process, if it seems above a guys capabilities or your unsure of them or the process your using, do not try it........seems like the best rule for guitar building / assembly............. :)
This is a great idea as was the threaded inserts that was in another post they are like anything else that one would attempt use some common sence. I worked as a motorcycle mechanic for many years and the process for both suggestions I used many times over while working on engines mainly when putting in roller bearings (ferrules) and putting in helicoils (threaded inserts) when the female threads were stripped. I honestly didn't think about transferring over to guitar building (the heating of the ferrules). If the ferrules didn't fit I would first check to see if there was some sort of blockage in the holes or if they were drilled too small for the latter I would put a little soap on the ferrule place a small piece of nylon bar over the ferrule and lightly strike it with a small dead blow hammer again use some common sence for if the holes were extremely small you would buckle the ferrule and possiblely do damage the finish on the guitar. I believe I will try your suggestion next time it seems a little easier.
Just a word of caution, be carefull using the hammer tap in method, if there is any finish lipped around the hole or even if the furrel is just a tad bit snug, you will end up cracking the poly (finish) around the seat and it is not an easy fix, at least not one that would go unnoticed........ :sad1:
ok, well i just got my body today and i held my ferrules up to the holes.  i got these ferrules:,_parts/Electric_guitar:_Ferrules/Guitar_String_Ferrules.html
(the 0196 ones...)
they don't fit in at all as they are, which i don't think they are supposed to.  am i wrong?  if not, i'm gonna try this technique of heating up the ferrules and sliding them in.
Wrong ferrules for the std. holes drilled by Warmoth, 3/8" and the holes drilled are for 5/16". You could drill the holes out more to fit, but simpler to order the right size, the 0173 series if ordering from StewMac. If ordering items like this from someone else other Warmoth, always check the mechanical drawings or notes on the webpage which will indicate size, spacing, etc.
I have used this method several times and it works well. One thing that helps prevent the finish from melting is to intall the ferrule into every other hole and then go back and do the others. This gives the wood between the ferrules a little time to cool. I've done gold, black, and chrome and didn't have any discoloring. Just make sure you use and new unused solder iron tip and don't over do it with the heat.