Understanding Guitar Machine and Wood Guitar Screw Thread Basics for Guitar Parts used on vintage guitars like the Fender Telecaster....
Modern Vintage Guitar offers many new guitar screws needed for an Electric Guitar builds or replacement parts.
Aged Screws have been a welcome addition for our vintage style builders. Providing the finishing touch to projects with aged hardware. Most of our "Original AGED RELIC Hardware includes matching aged screws.
Machine style screw thread are used on Non-Wood attachments of the guitar.
Parts such as Switch & Pickup mounts, String Saddles, Jack Mounts and Knob set Screws commonly use machine screw threads. Practically every other Part used have Wood style Guitar Screws.
Popular machine screw thread names are ISO, UTS, UNC, UNF and UNEF,
What do these identifiers mean?
The two most common thread identifiers are ISO (International Organization for Standardization) Metric and UTS (Unified Thread Standard) American/Canadian. Additional designations are determined by TPI (Threads per Inch)
UN(C) - Coarse Thread
UN(F) - Fine Thread
UN(EF) - Extra Fine
There are older types of thread identifiers also still in use such as:
USS - Coarse Thread - United States Standard,
developed by the Navy
SAE- Fine Thread - Society of Automotive Engineers
Pitch of the thread is the other identifier. Pitch combined with TPI is unique to each thread style. TPI and Pitch differences are why a UTS nut won't screw onto an ISO thread of the approximate same size.
Modern import guitars and some American made guitars use ISO Metric style screw threads.
If replacing parts on an older or Vintage Guitar, check carefully before replacing. A quick look at the existing Screws will reveal if the Guitar Thread used is Coarse, Fine or Extra Fine.
Guitars produced in the '70's and '80's can have both ISO and UTS style Screw threads on the same guitar.
Manufacturers of Wood Screws use a Number System for sizing Screws.
This system standardizes Head size, Thread width, Shank diameter and TPI.
The link below will not only give all dimensions of each size, but the notes at the bottom of the chart offer great tips on working with wood screw threads. Wood Screw Size Chart
Here are the Style and sizes of traditional Guitar screws used on Telecasters, Stratocasters and other Vintage guitars.
When examining a Vintage Telecaster the big surprise is that most of the hardware mounted to wood was attached with Sheet Metal screws. The original Screws were Chrome plate on Magnetic Steel and on later versions were predominately Nickel Plating on Stainless Steel, not regular steel as most of today's screws. Here are some of the Screws sizes used on early Telecasters.
Wood (Sheet Metal) Screws
Note: #3 gauge screws have been used in place of #2 and #4 screws and sometimes are a better fit
Note: Ashtray Style Bridge ( #6 x 1" ) Screws won't fit on some Modern Style Telecaster bridges, so we offer 5 Longer 7/8" versions of the #4 Screws for this application.
Note: Early Telecaster Jack mounts were spring metal with cups. No Screws
We offer at various time Aged Relic Screws when we have overruns for our "Original" AGED RELIC Hardware or upon request of builders.
The finishes are not intended to match a specific piece of hardware, but are generic in nature. Some are very lightly age and others have a nice Rat Rod Rust-o-Relic appearance.
The hardest to age are the Black Nickel. Generally looking dull or faded.
The Oval style Phillips Screw head is the most common type found on electric Guitars. Here's what they look like.
This diagram illustrates the complexity of creating a simple screw head.