Here's the rough pawn shop Strat ready to head back out. The major issues was that the posts holding the bridge were blown out and wrecking the action. Once the bridge area was repaired (along with the neck pocket), I went through with the setup. The bridge was fairly rusty, to the point I needed to use vise grips to remove the saddle height adjustment screws before replacing them with new ones. A new output jack finished it off (check the video from the daily vlog below).
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Here is that banged up pawn shop American Strat with the leaning bridge post issue. I ended up clamping the broken pieces around the stud insert back together. With the insert removed, I flooded the area with thin superglue. The breaks even extended into the spring claw cavity in the rear of the guitar. Other weird breaks were found around the neck pocket. The thin web between the end of the pocket and the neck pickup cavity was broken along with cracks in the neck mounting holes. Yikes!
Something was odd about this American Strat as it didn't feel quite right. The action was super high action and looking a the bridge gave clues to it's cause. The bridge was pitched towards the neck, yet the spring claw was tightened to the point that the front of the bridge block was touching the body (ie maxed out).
Sighting across the front of the bridge shows that the treble bridge post is leaning and pulling the bridge forward into the pickup cavity. My suspensions were confirmed when I pulled the bridge (pictured below). The bridge insert had blown out the body and was not holding the bridge in place. The damaged wood will have to be repaired in order to get the action low again.
Ah, more on the heavily modified 1970s Gibson EB-3. A combination of a low neck angle and poor design of the original 2 point bridge made it the ideal candidate for a modern upgrade. As you can see from the photo above, the two maple wedges were an attempt to keep the bridge from leaning forward. But leaning issues aside, the action could not be lowered any further. In comes a Hipshot 2 point Supertone bridge to help out. It has a lower profile and it's machined with far greater tolerances to maximize sustain and allow for proper action and intonation. I agree that it does change the vintage vibe of the bass, but if you value playabilty over vintage-correctness, this is the way to go.
Adjust Bridge Posture :: 2002 Gibson L5-CES [8.0 lbs]
A beautiful Gibson Custom, Art & Historic Division L-5 archtop with a Florentine cutaway in for a bridge adjustment and setup. The bridge foot was initially fit so that it was leaning towards the neck. I refit the foot so that it would stand back up straight and allow the string pressure to be more perpendicular to the top. Strung with Thomastik flats.