Friction Point 3: the bridge screws
Many of Fender’s current trem systems work on knife edge pivots with one screw at each side of the bridge. This was also Leo Fender’s preferred arrangement during his latter years at G&L. Obviously a knife edge ensures minimal physical contact, and these trems generally have a very free and smooth action. But what if your bridge has six regular screws?
Fender counter-sunk the screw holes on the underside of their bridge plates to create knife edges, but some cheaper replica bridges won’t have this feature. If yours doesn’t, you may be able to countersink the holes yourself. You could also try removing the four centre screws. This may appear reckless, but SRV got away with it using 12 and 13 gauge strings – so two screws with a set of 9s or 10s should be okay.
If you want to keep the original looks, you may decide to drill the four centre screw holes in the bridge plate over-size; then the screws can be reinstated without making physical contact with the bridge. This mod is not recommended for collectable guitars! Once again, use a dab of Vaseline or Nut Sauce under the screw heads.
4. Critical But Stable - Tremolo Workshop