Put a Floyd Rose on a Stratocaster





Introduction: Put a Floyd Rose on a Stratocaster

I wanted to put a Floyd Rose tremolo system on my Fender Stratocaster, so I did. I decided to document how I did it because I could never find a how-to anywhere else. Enjoy!

Step 1: Materials


Floyd Rose

Drill Press with a range of bits

Dremel tool with sanding and cutting bits


Allen wrenches

Step 2: Taking Apart the Guitar

The first thing you need to do is take apart the guitar. This is one of the things I love about stratocasters. Screw the neck off, then undo all of the screws in the body. Take everything out. I kept my parts organized by putting them into bags organized by type of screw and what they held in. New screw, new bag. You wont be able to take any of the electronics out unless you want to re-solder them.

Step 3: Measuring the Holes for the Floyd Rose

Next you need to measure the holes for the posts. A floyd rose works by leaning on the posts when you push down the wammy bar, so putting these in correctly is very important.
First, you want to measure the diameter of the posts.

Step 4: Drilling the Holes

Once you measure the holes, you need to drill them. I suggest using a drill press for this because you need to make sure they are perfectly straight. Once you have these, you will need to cut out parts of the pickguard to make room for the posts and the bridge.

Step 5: Putting in the Posts and Testing

Once you have everything cut out, you need to make sure it all fits. If you measured correctly, the posts should be able to slide in, but still be snug, and not move or fall out. Put the bridge in and make sure it is parallel to the direction of the strings. This is very important and will make or break your guitar. 

Step 6: Measuring the Nut

Next you need to put the nut in. Measure the depth of the nut, because that is what really matters in this case. Sand down the neck until it is deep enough that the string slots are just above the line of the neck. There are five holes in the nut piece: three of them, in a row, hold the screws for the locking tuners. The other two, slightly smaller holes, are for the screws that hold the nut to the neck. Carefully drill where the holes are, with a slightly smaller bit than the screws so they are guaranteed to stay in. Then screw it in to make sure that it fits.  

Step 7: Putting It Back Together

Do just that: put everything back where it goes! Screw the nut in and set the bridge down. When you put in the springs for the bridge, you also need to put strings in to balance it out. To put the strings in, you cut off the ball at the end, slide it between the block in the bridge and the slot, and tighten that screw as far as it will go, and then farther. Then bring them up to the tuning mechanisms and string as normal. Once you get your guitar in tune, slightly lower it, because when you put the locking screws on, it raises the pitch slightly. Then tune your guitar with the bridge screws, not the tuning pegs. This is very important because you will break the strings or move the nut if you tune with the pegs. 

Step 8: Finished!

You're done! Screw in your wammy bar, and dive bomb to your heart's content!

Step 9: Repairs and Adjusting

There are many things that could go wrong in this kind of system, but the biggest problem i encountered had to do with the nut. In this case, the hole for the screw was stripped, thus rendering the whole system useless for those two strings. So, instead of buying a whole new nut, i found a slightly longer screw, and put it into the wood under the nut. The only problem with this is that it may interfere with your truss rod, so you need to be very careful about the lenght of the screw. I ended up cutting it to the proper size.



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Was there any extra routing that had to be done to the back cavity, or was it left the way it was with the initial tremolo?

Luckily, I didn't have to do any routing. Stratocaster routes and Floyd bridges are usually the same size, so the only woodworking I had to do was for the posts and the nut. As long as your guitar came with a block tremolo, like a Floyd or a Strat, you should be good.

Hello. Thanks for posting this. I've been working on making a frankenstrat replica and just got done installing the post holes for it. Now i have a few questions. Did the metal of your locking nut overhang on either side of the nut routing and also when i installed the high e string it played fine when it was open but when i tried to play frets, it would buzz and some of them won't change pitch and would go to the pitch of a higher fret. I didn't shim my neck so maybe that's the prolem but i'm not sure.

Ok thanks, and thank u for the tutorial before I even saw this tutorial I don't know what the Floyd rose was called but now I know and if I ever get a strat or ibanez that will be the first thing I put on

really better to just buy one already factory installed Ibanez sells some great budget guitars with a licenced Floyd on them, as do other brands. look in Musicians friend, Guitar Fetish and Rondo guitar for the best deals.

Do you think you could do this to a standard Gibson or a les Paul?

Better to go to Guitar Fetish. com and buy a Douglas already with a Trem on it. and its only around $400.00, looks great and a great guitar.

I have seen floyd rose bridge kits made for a les paul on ebay. no modification needed, but they arent cheap.

You could, but it would require a lot more machining, including making a space for the bridge, which Gibsons don't usually have. I would recommend taking it to a professional for that kind of work. If you really want to do it yourself you would have to go to a machine shop and learn how to use some of the more advanced things there.

Slow way the hell down people!!! This is NOT the instructable for most Floyd Rose installations!!

This insttuctable is for a "dry" install! (meaning the "rose" will only function the same as the strat install!!!!)

I don't know why anybody would be so "FOOLISH" as to go through all this trouble to do the same thing the last bridge did!

BUT, the author was correct in saying that you don't have to install it the "right" way, and by right way,

I meant it's intentional use....
to dive as well as rise!!


I've been building Guitars for 35 plus years and this author has some good points but he misses ALLl the major points!!

so take it for what its worth... it'll get you started in the right direction, if you have any mechanical aptitude whatsoever, you'll do 10 times better than this post.