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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to replace my Standard DL Trem with a Gotoh GE 1996t Trem, and would also like to replace the anchors and studs with the Gotoh supplied ones, mainly for the locking stud feature. I know the Gotoh anchors are slightly larger than the DL version. What is the best size drill to use to enlarge the holes, to get the optimum snug fit, but not risk splitting the wood?

Also, is any type of glue recommended? I've read about a method of using water-thin Super Glue to soak the inside walls of a hole in wood and letting it fully cure before installing a screw, or whatever. This strengthens the wood on the walls of a hole for a stronger hold with a screw, so I was thinking of doing this to make the walls of the hole stronger before I press the anchors in. Or I was thinking of using a regular wood glue when pressing them in, to act as a lubricant as well as strengthen the wall, and fill the gaps between the spines on the anchor. I don't really want to "glue" the anchors in, if, for some reason, they ever need to come out. I just want to strengthen the basswood around the anchors so they stay nice and tight.
 

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First things first, the existing studs/posts are adequate, there is no need to replace them. The inserts that gotoh provide are large to the point you'd slightly be digging into the face of your guitar closest to your bridge humbucker.

Second, if you do this it absolutely has to be done with a drill press. It is imperative that they are perfectly square. If they aren't your bridge will never stay in tune.

Third, since they are a larger diameter they set your bridge back slightly toward the bottom of the body. This will cause the Allen screws for your saddle blocks to come in contact with the edge of the cavity. Since this is the case the cavity will have to be routed a little further back. All of this is doable, but it is an awful lot of work when your existing studs will work just fine. When it comes to the size of the drill bit... I can't be of any help. After realizing all of these things I just told you, I decided to just keep the existing studs and I have no tuning stability problems.

No glue of any type is necessary if the hole is drilled to the proper size. Basswood is softish... But I have 30+ year old Ibanez guitars made of basswood with no trem post insert issues. I understand that it can happen, and have seen posts about them egging out over time. But personally I wouldn't worry about it if you wind up doing it.
 

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Gotoh anchors have an 11.3mm diameter. If you decide to install them, using a slightly smaller drill bit is recommended, so that the splines on the anchors bite into the wood when you press them in (I imagine this is how it's done at the factory). Thus, no need for glue.
 

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11 mm is slightly smaller than 7/16ths (7/16th is .4375" and 11mm is .4331") I would say a 27/64th drill bit would be the size to stop at (.4219") that is a machinist drill bit number 64 according to my drill chart. It can't hurt to at least try the original studs/posts for a little while, make sure you lubricate them with some lip balm (aka chapstick). If they cause you a problem then I would think it at that point it would be worth upgrading to the gotoh posts/inserts. If you do wind up doing it, when you hammer those inserts in use a wooden punch... Like a 1/2" thick dowel or something similar. The inserts are aluminum and are very easily damaged.
 

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I also wouldn't replace the studs/inserts unless you have to. Too many chances to introduce problems when removing the old ones, drilling for new ones, or installing the new ones. The old ones should work just fine. Upgrading to studs with anchors, to me, doesn't offer enough of an improvement to take the risks. If you've got a drill press and experience, that would be different. And no offense intended, but if you're asking what size drill bit to use I'm inferring you're not that experienced with this type of work. Too much can go wrong, for too little gain. I'd leave it be and just enjoy the kick-arse new bridge!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Believe me, I've been going round and round with myself concerning the risk/reward calculations about whether to use the existing studs/anchors, or replace them with the larger, locking Gotohs. The only thing driving the push to replace, is that I've read so many comments about the improvement that locking studs provide. But I will start with using the existing ones, but maybe with a twist;

I found this listing on Ebay; Schaller Original Floyd Rose Chrome Studs Posts Anchors Tremolo 10mm Fine Thread | eBay

These German made Schaller anchors are the same OD (10mm) as the Standard DL's. I ordered a set and will use them in one of two ways. If the threads on the Schaller studs are a match for the DL anchors, I'll just drop them in. I know the thread on my DL studs is M6 - .5. It's a very fine thread, even finer than the standard "fine" thread for an M6 (which is .75). I can't tell from the pics on the listing whether the Schaller is .75 or .5. If the threads match, then it's a simple drop-in. Or, if the Schaller studs seem much better overall than the DL's, but the threads don't match, I will pull the DL anchors, and put in the Schaller anchors, without having to enlarge the holes in the body. I'm thinking the fit, finish, and metal composition of the German Schallers will be a step up from the DL's, and might be worth the effort. I'm well aware of the range of techniques that have been suggested for removing anchors, and for sure, I'll use the most careful method.

FYI; I do have a very nice somewhat older Craftsman drill press, (pre China), and have been known to do some pretty tricky DIY monkey business in my garage (along with some pretty traumatic fails). The reason I asked about the drill size is to get feedback from others about about pressing anchors into the basswood, and how much to undersize the hole for the anchors so everything will turn out hunky-dorey. If/when I start the process, I'll start with some test holes, and trial installs in some softer wood like doug fir or pine, maybe to simulate the behavior of the basswood, which I have no experience with so far
 

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Sounds like a plan. I used to have a Korean RG that I put a gotoh on, kept the original anchors in and that was the TRS trem... (The DL and the TRS look identical...) My js100 parts build didn't come with anchors in it. It was just a neck and a body. I put those same Schaller anchors in my js100 and they have been great. A friend of mine bought the RG about 4 years ago. I have heard no complaints from him about tuning stability.
 

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Mm, the benefits of using locking studs may vary with different guitars. I have two first year Edge axes, which don't have have them, but they and the anchors are longer and further set into the body. No problems with tuning or ovalling in 35 years, and I don't think I've seen any other guitars from the period which have problems with the anchors being worked loose. Like pickets holding up your plants - longer ones driven deeper into the ground will less likely get worked loose.

Conversely, I used to have a MIK RG, which came with a TRS II, and after 5 or so years, this started to happen.


So, it depends. But, we say all this stuff so all the options are on the table.
 

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Believe me, I've been going round and round with myself concerning the risk/reward calculations about whether to use the existing studs/anchors, or replace them with the larger, locking Gotohs. The only thing driving the push to replace, is that I've read so many comments about the improvement that locking studs provide. But I will start with using the existing ones, but maybe with a twist;

I found this listing on Ebay; Schaller Original Floyd Rose Chrome Studs Posts Anchors Tremolo 10mm Fine Thread | eBay

These German made Schaller anchors are the same OD (10mm) as the Standard DL's. I ordered a set and will use them in one of two ways. If the threads on the Schaller studs are a match for the DL anchors, I'll just drop them in. I know the thread on my DL studs is M6 - .5. It's a very fine thread, even finer than the standard "fine" thread for an M6 (which is .75). I can't tell from the pics on the listing whether the Schaller is .75 or .5. If the threads match, then it's a simple drop-in. Or, if the Schaller studs seem much better overall than the DL's, but the threads don't match, I will pull the DL anchors, and put in the Schaller anchors, without having to enlarge the holes in the body. I'm thinking the fit, finish, and metal composition of the German Schallers will be a step up from the DL's, and might be worth the effort. I'm well aware of the range of techniques that have been suggested for removing anchors, and for sure, I'll use the most careful method.

FYI; I do have a very nice somewhat older Craftsman drill press, (pre China), and have been known to do some pretty tricky DIY monkey business in my garage (along with some pretty traumatic fails). The reason I asked about the drill size is to get feedback from others about about pressing anchors into the basswood, and how much to undersize the hole for the anchors so everything will turn out hunky-dorey. If/when I start the process, I'll start with some test holes, and trial installs in some softer wood like doug fir or pine, maybe to simulate the behavior of the basswood, which I have no experience with so far
Sorry to have underestimated your knowledge + experience! You were looking for a level of precision to which I can't speak, and I mistakenly inferred that you had no idea what you were doing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey Ruscio; No Problem!! No offense taken; And to update anyone reading this thread, I did receive the parts I ordered. The Schaller studs are the same threads as the Original DL studs and anchors, so they dropped right in to the existing anchors, so I won't even have to pull the DL anchors, much less drill out the holes for the Gotoh's. So all my back and forth about what drill size, and what method, have been for naught. Oh well.....
 
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