Hipshot B/G Bender And D Toggle On A Fender Squier 50's Custom Vibe Tele

I've been wanting to get into installing a B bender on one of my guitars for a while now. In fact I bought a Hipshot a few years ago and sold it without installing it on anything for a few reasons. First I wasn't crazy about hacking up one of my guitars. Second it just seemed like too much work! Third, I had heard that the Hipshots were not too stable, didn't hold tune and were vastly inferior to the built in strap benders that required the guitar to be routed out professionally. Well after finding a Hipshot on ebay for $130 new with a B/G bender and D toggle I decided to put it on a Fender Squier Classic Vibe 50's telecaster guitar.

To solve the stability issues I added two holes to the top plate, counter sunk, to have oval head wood screws mount flush. I also had the two end plate holes counter sunk to make those screws mount flush for a neat appearance. All 4 screws are 1" long #6 oval head wood screws and the pilot hole was drilled with a 3/32" drill (use 7/64" for hard wood and 3/32" for soft wood). These happen to be the same screws that came with a spare tele bridge I had laying around. With these extra screws the Hipshot is rock solid and very accurate on pulls and returns over many hours of playing with one exception. The adjustment screws tend to back themselves out a bit over time and I plan on beefing up those holding springs a bit. Perhaps nylock adjustment screws would stay put better. You can see in the pics below that I machined slots into the back of the stock 3 barrel bridge plate so that the strings could pass straight to the Hipshot without touching any part of the bridge plate. This essentially eliminates the extra rubbing and wear point of having the strings pass under a hole in the back of the bridge ala the suggested Hipshot installation instructions. I did hook the provided Hipshot springs over the B, G and E strings as well. The strings stay firmly in place on the bridge barrels and all seem to have identical tone and sustain despite the fact that the ones feeding the Hipshot don't have as steep an angle coming off the barrels and also don't feed through the guitar.

I lubed everything, nut, bridge, springs, levers with Tri-Flow and they work free as can be! See the steel guitar lubrication link on my home page for details on Tri-Flow and the pinpoint lubricator I used. Sound samples and detailed pics are provided below. The guitar was plugged into a cheapo delay box, then a Boss RV-5 and then into a Fender Vibro Champ amp and mic'ed with a Sennheiser. See my Zoom R24 home recording page for the mic and recording process details.

Here's a song with all the guitar parts played on the tele and all the steel guitar parts played on an 8 string Excel frypan lap steel set up with the E13th tuning:

Listen To Frypan Boogie!

Pictures! Click on them to see full sized pics.

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