DIY complete conversion guide

Update: To ensure proper location: A "full sized" template guide is now included with the plastic conversion kits at no extra charge. Also included are 3 pickup cavities wood filler's. 

This will serve as a guide to do a conversion by yourself. This will be a complete guide from start to finish. First things first. Knowing your tools. Your most important tool will be the router. Being confident is the key when using this power tool. Always have safety glasses when using the router.

Tool/supply List:
Tape measure
Ruler (metal)
Painters tape
Caliper (Digital) if possiable
Exacto knife
Pointed markers

First step/With the old tremolo on, mark your center line. Use the 3rd. and 4th. saddle to help you locate it. (Remember you always have to keep that center line on the guitar until you are done your conversion). Use tape and mark it with a fine marker or pencil. When that is done. Strip down the whole guitar.

After you have taken all the hardware off. You must tape the entire guitar. I suggest blue panter's tape. It works the best.

(Note the center line)

Marking and routing for the tremolo cavity. Usings your frets as a guide to determin the distance. From the 12th."fret wire", were it begin's (not in the middle of the fret or after)/(this includes the zero fret) should be 15 1/2 inches.The width at the flat edge is 95mm. Use the center mark and divide 95mm. That will get you your center. Using a compass only gets you a pallpark shape of the cavity. It's more oval shaped than a half circle. That part is up to you to draw. Open the compass to 65mm. Put the point on center and pencil the surrounding area. (1/2 circle). Try to get more of an oval shape. The diagram below shows how the cavity should be routed out.

As for the lower cavity being routed out. That is your option to do so. The best way is to draw an outline of it. In doing this you will need to route freehand. This is were it gets tricky.




After the tremolo system has been installed. It's time to install the bridge. The way I do it is putting the bridge directly on the guitar. With the 2 E strings install them and you will be able to line them up as in the picture bleow. You will need to use your center mark to help you line it up as well. Double check your position of the bridge before you mark it for your posts.

Finding out how far to put the bridge is pretty simple. Since there is a zero fret that is were you would start your measurement. Find out the distance from the zero fretwire to the 13th. fret wire. Using that distance go from the 13th. fretwire down to the body. Useing the distance you found before will put your bridge in the correct spot. So going from 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13th. fretwire.
After finding the distance. Drill out for the posts. When drilling (keep the drill straight). After that is done then you will need to route out a small channel between both posts. This type of bridge seen in the picture need's to sit under the body. Only a small amount.

After that is achived you will need to route your cavities that you gluded in place for the pickups to be screwed in the body. Note:you only need to go a small amount for the depth. If you go to deep you can use small washers to get the right height. 

25 Feb 2010,  

Now for the electronics.

Here you can see that I made a switch plate as the same shape as the lower half of the cavity.
Covered it with copper foil tape. Look closely and you can see the wooden dowels that I glued in the cavity to hold the switch plate in place.

After that is complete you can install your pickups.

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