I have in the shop a '97 USA Strat. The customer wants to 'block' the trem block because of tuning issues. That would be the second part of my question.

Upon, taking off the rusty old strings, and cleaning the frets and fingerboard, I noticed some discoloration while sighting down the neck. While cleaning, I noticed some succint, sharp ridges that appear like some finish has chipped off of the sides of the frets and looks brassish in color.

Me thinking, nickle silver is nickle silver, am now curious about the composition of these frets?


After doing an internet search of trem-blocking methods, I would like to hear further from you fellow forum members on your methods, please!

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Sorry Paul and Thomas,

My apologies for my trite reply - but this blocking thing has all the hallmarks of EC's tech wedging a bit of wood in to lock up the trem for tuning and bending stability and later having this rudimentary fix declared as a breakthrough in tone transfer.  But, I've been wrong before and would hate to change that proclivity.

Right up there with shielding and star-earthing Strat control cavities.   Nice little earner for us guys but the equivalent of snake oil for the punters.

Please accept my prattling and disregard them, I'll try not to do it again - its just been that sort of week. 


Hey, no sweat, buddy . I know and understand your position. And thanks for throwing me a fish so I could add this reply:

I don't play strats (or tele's) as their designs are archaic and, well, EVERYBODY else plays them. There's no 'uniqueness factor' when every wanker you see has one in their hands. My personal preference are guitars made of mahogany with humbuckers.

My solution came as a fix for a customer's request. He didn't like my original (and admittedly, sarcastic) solution of "Why don't you just buy a hardtail Strat?".

If anything, I blame the scores of manufacturers who perpetuate the marketing of such a problematic design. ESPECIALLY Fender.

To me, it's abject stupidity to buy a trem equipped guitar ONLY to have it's design re-engineered to conform to some faux ideal. I too blame the "hack" forums for all this snake oil BS.

It's been my experience that maybe 2 out of 10 Strat owners actually use their 'standard' trem's.

So.... other than marketing hype, WHY are there so many trem equipped Strats/clones out there and why is there such an prejudice against hard tails? Oh ya..... buyer ignorance. It's rampant ;)

But then again, it's exactly like you said: too many players trying to sound like their idols by buying 'artist' models instead of actually learning how to play....and especially learning how to pull the sounds and music out of the instrument. I still maintain that it's ALL in the hands, not the gear :)

Kindest personal regards & have a good one, my friend. :)

Let me respond....To start with, it is strange how I conrtibuted (and others followed) to the de-railment of the original topic....(which was quickly solved).

Forward!...... to the Trem-block....

I had a very good and successfull journey. After re-stringing and intonation-saddle work, I then tightened the spring-claw and with the bridge flattened to the top, I fabricated a nice tapered block from some Teak stock that I had on hand.


I spent a lot of time with MR. belt sander in tweaking the final-fit.


I strung with 10-46 and VOILA!  Nice-spanking Strat-Tone....with NO tuning issues.


My customer is happy and that,truly, is what it is about

Thanks for the happy ending update, Rod. Regardless of my opinion, the customer's wishes are the paramount goal.

Good job, man :)


Yr too kind , I should just learn to take a deep breath and keep my own counsel. R.


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