Friday, July 9, 2010


This is Part 12 of the never-ending guitar project I started a while back. I couldn't think of a descent way to securely mount this custom tail piece without drilling holes through it for screws. I countersunk the holes so the screw heads would sit down flush with the surface of the star.

Here's the back view of the star. The reason the holes are arranged so strangely was so I could avoid the string slots.

This is how silver screws will look in the holes.

Alternately I could use brass screws. The silver-colored screws are less noticeable, but the brass screws seem fancier.

Now I've got some decisions to make. The hardware pieces are temporarily arranged on the body just to get an idea of the final appearance. Here's what the star tail piece would look like.

I'm still not entirely convinced I like the star tail piece. Here is the alternative standard tail piece.

I also have one of these single coil pickups in my box of parts. It's an option. The pickups above look better to me but they would
PROS of the star tail piece would be: it adds character and memorability to the appearance of the guitar.
CONS would be: it's probably gaudy, and there will be a steep angle where the strings come out if it and over the bridge.

PROS of the standard tail piece would be: it's non-gaudy appearance, and it's height. When the strings come out of it they require less of an angle to get over the bridge. The steeper the angle the more chance there is for strings to break. That may not be a horrible problem if I do some filing to lessen sharpness.
CONS would be: it's plain and bland and boring, and possesses a forgettable lack of character.

I'm curious if anyone has any opinions on this highly important matter.


  1. I vote alternative tailpiece. Gives it a smooth, classic look. The star makes the entire line look out of balance.

  2. actually, i think the star looks boring as well. it's too plain looking. if you were me, you'd make a custom shaped tail that fit into the curve at the end such that it was subtle and not that noticeable. this would look cleaner and show off the beauty of the wood.

  3. Thanks guys. I'm starting to lean your direction. In my imagination I saw something much more cool. In real life it's not looking the same as I thought it would. If I don't use it on this one I can always make a more star-suitable guitar later, so I didn't completely waste my time.

  4. do whatever would make it play better..sounds like it might make it harder with the star..

    what color are you going with? you could use stains...and a couple stripes stains in different colors...or swirls...

    looks so awesome!

  5. Thanks MMM,
    At first I liked the star idea; it seemed like something I'd see on some 70s rocker's guitar, but when I show it to people I get nothing but reactions of dislike and even seething hatred. Now I'm almost ashamed of it! ha ha

    I am thinking for the finish I will stain the edges pretty dark, and then fade to more amber color until it's clear in the center. If you google John Entwistle's Thunderbird bass you'll see what I'm wishing for.


  7. I agree..I'd use the alternate choice.

    Say, are you going to give this guitar a name?

    Perhaps you could have a contest?

    K.W.MONSTER would be a branding natural!!

  8. I guess I'll use the plain ol' regular tail piece.

    I didn't name it yet but that would be fun to have a name plate up on the head.


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