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Old 12-28-2003, 09:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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[How To] Installing a Floyd Rose

Installing a Floyd Rose by George Mangos aka El_Jalepeno

Alrighty, many people are curious what is involved in the installation of a Floyd Rose. I am going to be brief and to the point. Your installation may not be exact to this, but it should be pretty damn close.

The most important thing to remember is that sometimes wood can be replaced, other times it can not.

You can plug a hole and redrill it for the pivot screws, but you can't just add wood if you rout the fingerboard sloppy for the nut.

Before getting started, remove the strings as well as the pickups or pickguard to keep them out of the way. If you have a drill press, you can keep the pups in place. I don't. I use a portable drill press since I only need it for two holes.

Nut Installation
Remove the old nut by gently tapping the small edge of a tiny eye glass repair screw driver under the nut to pry it loose. Careful not to dig into the wood.

Once the nut is removed, clamp two pieces of wood on the fret board to form a table top. I use a flat aproximate 6x3 piece on top about 3/4 inch thick, and I use a piece of crown molding on the bottom what has a curve to better fit the back of the neck. Line up the edge of the top board with the edge of the neck slot. This is your nut jig. BE CAREFUL NOT TO LET YOUR ROUTER TIP OFF THE LEDGE, OR YOU COULD LOOSE A SERIOUS CHUNK OF THE FRETBOARD!!!



Use a small router with a bit that has a ball bearing on it to keep it flush against the board, and hence a straight line for the nut. You can buy them at Stew Mac or maybe your local hardware store.

Pass the router several times taking off about 1/8 at a time. Frequently line up your nut and check the height. If you go to low, which does happen sometimes, you can shim the nut with a piece of sandpaper underneath it.



Line up the nut, and drill the holes to mount it. If you have a drill press, install the nut with the countersink hole in the back of the neck, and bolt the nut from the back. I don't have a drill press, so I buy nuts that have a countersink in them and screw them from the top. Either way is fine, and I have not had any problems with the screwdowns from the top. If you screw up a hole, fill it with wood glue and a toothpick and pay attention next time :irked:



You see guitars that have a little chrome bar behind the nut. This is a string retainer and is used to keep the strings below the nut. This way the strings are flat against the nut and won't go sharp when you tighten the locking nut. If you have a slanted headstock, you shouldn't need the retaining bar.



Bridge Installation
The bridge should drop into just about any trem hole already there with little need for modification. If you are attempting to install a Floyd on an LP or something else that doesn't have the hole, you have a lot of work ahead of you, and you have my sympathy.

If you are interested in your Floyd "floating", follow the instructions below, but before you setup the Floyd, trace it completely on your guitar and route a rectangle for the main bridge piece, and another for the block screws section. Stew Mac sells templates for this [img]images/smilies/icon_thumb.gif[/img]

Line the bridge edge up with the existing screw holes from the previous bridge if available. This is your pivot edge.



Take a string and pull it taught against the outside slot on the nut, and the outside saddle. Do both sides to align the bridge evenly. You don't want to have your 6th hanging off at the 15th fret, do ya?

Once the bridge is aligned, you need to figure where the holes for the pivot screws are going to go. Now here you really need to focus and pay attention. Trace the outline of your bridge on the guitar with a pencil, then carefully measure the bushings and drawing to find where you will put your pilot holes for the pivot screws.

You've heard measure twice, cut once? Don't do it half assed the first time. If you do screw up the holes. Fill them with wooden dowel available at the hardware store and redrill. :brickwall Once you find the right spots, drill!



Start off with a small bit, and gradually move up. I used 6 bits from start to finish before my hole was big enough for the bushing [img]images/smilies/icon_mrgreen.gif[/img] If you have access to a drill press, use it! As mentioned, I don;t have a need, so I bought me a small portable one from Home Depot for around $15. You connect your drill and it provides a nice stand. As you can see it works just fine [img]images/smilies/icon_thumb.gif[/img]

Once your holes are drilled, work up a glob of spit and spit in each new hole. This is to provide a lube to help the bushings go in easier. Gently tap the bushings into place using a piece of wood ontop of the bushing so you don;t damage it with your gorilla hands and ther hammer. If you are felling too much resistance, stop, and make sure the hole is big enough. If not careful, you could put a nasty split in the wood. Then you really are ****ed.



Screw in the pivot screws, lay down the Floyd, and check your alignment with a string the same as you did before. If you screwed up anywhere, fill the hole and redrill. Hopefully, you can move on.



Put the electronics back on if you removed them, check to make sure you hooked everything up right before putting on strings because you may have crossed wires...

As you can see, you DO NOT need to route the body to accomodate the bridge...


Guitar Setup
String up the guitar, put the springs on the back and check the action. I use three springs, but you can use two or 5. Whatever wets your whistle. I noticed the clearance for the springs was just a hair off, so I routed just a little bit of the spring cavity to compensate.



You probably need to shim the neck just a little to even things out again. Keep the strings loose. Unbolt the neck, and drop a sliver of guitar pick in there near the front.



I actually cut this one in half, and the preliminary setup was fine. I may need to adjust once more as the new setup breaks in, but then we should be good to leave it the hell alone and not risk screwing anything up [img]images/smilies/icon_thumb.gif[/img]



Disclaimer: I am not responsible if you screw up your guitar. The info is offered "as is". No warranty is expressed, implied, or available in any other manner. Capiche?

[/ QUOTE ]

Last edited by El_jalepeno; 04-20-2006 at 04:58 PM..
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Old 12-29-2003, 04:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: [How To] Installing a Floyd Rose

Thanks EJ, we'll sticky this one.
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Old 12-29-2003, 06:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: [How To] Installing a Floyd Rose

wow dude thanks for that !

on a different note that white strat looks amazing ! i love it
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Old 12-29-2003, 08:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: [How To] Installing a Floyd Rose

Thanks for taking the time for putting this together EJ. Extremely valuable info.

You know, it makes me wonder why guitar manufacturers are still bothering to install standard tremolos that aren't worth a damn in the first place instead of just making guitars come standard with Floyd Rose tremolos. I'm sure that some accountant at these companies has influenced that decision to use cheap shitty hardward that will save the company a few fucking pennies on each guitar that's made! Should I tell you how I really feel?!
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Old 12-29-2003, 10:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: [How To] Installing a Floyd Rose

Raven...same as in the UK, car manufacturers STILL put radio/tape players instead of cd players in the cheaper models...there's always an upgrade price! [img]images/smilies/chucks.gif[/img]
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Old 12-29-2003, 10:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: [How To] Installing a Floyd Rose

By the way EJ...awesome work but I wouldn't dare do anything like that-not confident enough taking the bloody strings off!
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Old 12-29-2003, 01:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: [How To] Installing a Floyd Rose

Thanks a lot folks [img]images/smilies/icon_thumb.gif[/img] Glad the info will be put to good use [img]images/smilies/icon_jam.gif[/img]
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Old 03-19-2004, 07:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: [How To] Installing a Floyd Rose

Hey,

i was wondering if you could add a little more detail about the removal of a "standard" strat nut (the plastic variety), and the attatchment of a floyd-rose locking nut

i am expecting delivery of a floyd rose in the next few weeks and was confused slightly as to exactly how much wood has to be routed from the fretboard to create enough space to accomodate the new nut (and if i even rout the fretboard itself)

as you can see - i'm pretty confused [img]images/smilies/dunno.gif[/img] [img]images/smilies/icon_confused.gif[/img]

any reply will be greatly appreciated, thanks a lot

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Old 03-19-2004, 09:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: [How To] Installing a Floyd Rose

Well, the nuts are only glued in, and if you use a small screwdriver, like the kind for fixing eye glasses, you should be able to gently tap the screwdriver under the nut to pry it off. You can buy a set of small screwdrivers at most home repair stores for a couple of dollars. You also want to be careful to keep the flat piece of the screwdriver fairly level against the neck where the nut was glued so you don't gouge the wood.

Once the nut is removed, you should have a small slot where the nut was sitting. This is your baseline for routing. Make sure you use an adjustable base with the router as well as the jig described above for holding the router in place and level with the fretboard. Trying to just eye it will most likely result in disaster. Route the thin piece of wood that was behind the nut slot so that it is level with the bottom of the slot. Check the height of the locking nut on the shelf you now have. Lower the router just a hair, and route the shelf just a little lower, again checking the height of the nut on the shelf. The measurement you are looking for is approximately .010" from the two E strings resting in the nut and above the first fret. This is a ballpark standard. You mileage may vary. Be VERY careful not to cut the length of the fingerboard as you will shorten the length of the fingerboard and throw alot of shit out of whack that is not easily recoverable unless you just got a fat paycheck.

That should do it. Let me know if you have any other questions. [img]images/smilies/icon_thumb.gif[/img]
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Old 03-19-2004, 10:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: [How To] Installing a Floyd Rose

Talk about helpful, dude you deserve a raise! Talk to wip in accounting [img]images/smilies/whistling2.gif[/img]
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Old 03-20-2004, 12:11 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: [How To] Installing a Floyd Rose

my bad, sorry, i was forgetting the actual "standard" for strats

it is actually for a (rather crude) strat copy, which i am modifying until i can afford a new guitar.

the nut is the same style as http://www.fretnotguitarrepair.com/i...omivorynut.jpg
(but on an electric of course) [if helpful - i could supply a pic]

is it possible to still install the locking nut, or will i have troubles due to lack of wood?

sorry for all this spamming [img]images/smilies/icon_redface.gif[/img], thanks a lot

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Old 03-20-2004, 08:16 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: [How To] Installing a Floyd Rose

Send me a picture via PM just to make sure, but you should be OK.
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Old 04-10-2004, 10:30 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: [How To] Installing a Floyd Rose

I have a question about installing the locking nut. Will the trust rod be in the way or cause a problem with installing it....and when i put the screws in the hold the nut in place...will the trust rod be in the way?...I'm thinking of installing a floyd rose on my fender strat replica...thanks [img]images/smilies/icon_thumb.gif[/img]
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Old 04-10-2004, 10:38 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: [How To] Installing a Floyd Rose

On a Strat replica, you should be able to clear the nut. Also, there is sometimes a "bullet" over the truss rod screww that you can take off to gain more room if necessary [img]images/smilies/icon_thumb.gif[/img]
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Old 04-10-2004, 10:52 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: [How To] Installing a Floyd Rose

THANKS!!..i was just nervous about it,lol...but youre right, i have clearence....and whats a "bullet"..is it the part that is stiking out of the neck that looks like part of the trust rod?
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