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Discussion Starter #1
I've been working on my old Tokai strat.

There's a bar across the strings, above the nut, serving (I guess) roughly the same purpose as a string tree.

The problem is that this bar is just too tight to the headstock, and the strings feel very stiff.

I found that I could make the guitar a LOT more comfortable by lifting that bar about 1/16" higher, using spacer washers underneath.

The problem I have now is that the extra 1/16th means the original screws don't bite deep enough into the wood to hold the bar in place reliably.

So I'm looking for a slightly longer screw.

I figured Home Depot would have this, or Canadian Tire, but I checked both and they do not. Lots and lots of bigger sizes, but none like this.

Best I can figure, the current screws are #4 panheads (Philips) that are 5/8" long. It's possible they are #3, or perhaps some metric equivalent, but I think they're #4's.

I believe I am looking for 11/16" or maybe 3/4" length, and since screws are so cheap I was just going to grab an assortment and figure out which one worked.

No such luck though...

Where can I buy something like this? Is there a type of store that carries small sized wood screws?

tokai_02_headstock.jpg number4woodscrew.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Lee Valley has the right screw, but only in brass with a slot head.

I'm looking for silver color (steel I guess?) in a phillips head.
 

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Would it be reasonable/possible to drill out the bar, enlarge the pilot hole and use #6 screws.

Screws of # 6 size should be easier to find.

Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Would it be reasonable/possible to drill out the bar, enlarge the pilot hole and use #6 screws. Screws of # 6 size should be easier to find.
You're right about easier to find. I saw lots of #6's in various sizes.

There are a pair of metal cylinders ("posts"?) holding the bar up off the headstock, and the screws need to pass through those as well. It's already pretty tight. I suppose I could consider drilling those out too, but I was hoping I could find the right screw instead.
 

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Won't do much for the slot/phillips thing, but you could always paint the brass head silver. You may want new posts anyway if the screws are going to be longer otherwise the shorter posts will be rattling around, no?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Won't do much for the slot/phillips thing, but you could always paint the brass head silver. You may want new posts anyway if the screws are going to be longer otherwise the shorter posts will be rattling around, no?
I stacked the existing post on top of a 1/16" thick washer to make it taller. Nothing is rattling.

I could certainly use bigger posts if I could find them, but I'm having enough trouble just finding a screw (aren't we all, har har).
 

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Spaenaur
 

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Discussion Starter #13
A couple of pictures are worth a couple of thousand words?

I would certainly replace the "posts" if I could find suitable replacements. I'm starting to think I might have to make them, or have them custom made.

In the stock config, the guitar feels very tight and stiff. When I lift that bar by 1/16" with the extra washers, it becomes much more natural and pleasant to play.

The problem is that there's not enough screw left over to bite the wood and keep the bar firmly in place.

I've considered gluing it in, or filling the holes and drilling fresh ones, but I don't think it will solve the "not enough threads in the wood" problem.

I've looked through the catalogs recommended above and it seems like these screws are extraordinarily rare. I did find a few #4 x 3/4" options at Spaeneur, mostly in brass, but I think there's one in zinc plated steel. I'm not actually sure that 3/4" will work without poking out the back of the headstock - I'll need to take some better measurements. If the current screw is 5/8" and I want to add a 1/16" washer, I really need 11/16", but good luck finding that. 3/4" is already rare enough. I suppose I could file off the point, or cut it with a hacksaw.

I'd be willing to entertain other ideas. Although I'd rather not alter the guitar in a permanent way, I'm considering drilling right THROUGH the headstock and replacing those wood screws with bolts (nuts on the back of the headstock). It seems like nuts and bolts in this size are easier to find than wood screws.

Also considered shifting the bar further up the headstock, but the position of the low-E tuner might make that approach problematic.

I'm also wondering if I could get away with staggered height tuning machines and go without the bar entirely.

20180213_084722.jpg 20180213_084616.jpg
 
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