Making Improvements to an Exisiting Modification on a Washburn WI-66V
This Washburn WI-66V was brought to us because the owner wanted to improve upon a modification that had previously been done. This guitar came with a vintage style tremolo system that had been replaced.
The new setup involved a string-through design and a tune-o-matic bridge that had been installed into a plug where the old bridge had been. This left an awkward gap in the the body that we would need to fill in as the owner wanted to switch to a string-through hard tail system, in which the strings need to come up from underneath the bridge.
The spring cavity had also been partially filled with different pieces of wood as part of the previous modification. We will be removing these and filling the cavity with a mahogany plug to match the body wood.
We start by removing the plugs that had been added to the spring cavity with our drill press, this will remove a large portion of the wood fairly quickly for us.
We remove any wood remnants and clean up the shape of the cavity with a router. Here, he have completed the length of the cavity where the springs would normally be installed. We will now rout the rear portion where the tone block would be.
We also rout out the top of the guitar to a uniform shape where the new bridge will be. We will be using ebony to fill this cavity and provide a solid base for the new bridge.
Here, he have made our mahogany plug for the rear cavity and are fitting in place. Once we are sure that it fits properly, we will glue it in.
Once the glue has dried, we use our router to remove an excess wood from the plug. This will allow the spring cavity cover to be used to cover the block, which minimizes the work needed to complete the repair.
We use the tape in the bridge cavity we made to make a simple template for plug. Here, we have attached it to the piece of ebony we will be using the fill the cavity. Once it has been cut and properly shaped, we will glue it in place as well.
We then start the process of drilling the new holes for the strings and ferrules. You can see a few spots here where the router dug in a bit too much earlier but, since these are minor and will be hidden by the cavity cover, we will leave them as they are. It should be noted the owner had decided that the holes and string ferrules from the previous modification would be left in place and simply not used in the future, minimizing the time and cost of the repair even more.
Once we had completer the repair, we reinstalled all of the parts and restrung the guitar. While the spring cavity cover is still being used to cover the mahogany plug, it also allows the strings to be installed through the original access hole. Admittedly, we were not actively attempting to achieve this but it worked out in our favor.
Here, we have the new bridge installed on the guitar on the ebony plug we made earlier. While this is still an obvious modification to the original, it looks much cleaner, and provides a more solid base for the new bridge system as well. If you have some mods that you want improved, or if you have a totally stock instrument that you want to add some changes to, head over to our Contact Us page, and let us know what you have in mind!