Floyd Rose Rebuilding
A Floyd Rose bridge needs to be smooth like butter, in order to work as expected
A customer brought a guitar with a Floyd Rose that needed some extra work. The three bass strings could not be tuned, using the fine tuners on the Floyd, so the customer always released the locking nut to tune the guitar. That's not how a Floyd Rose system should be used.
If you are having the same issue, perhaps this blog post will be of some help to you.
First let's see what was wrong with the fine tuners.
In the picture, above, you can see how all the fine tuners are raised, all the way up. However, the rear screws of the saddles on the bass side are stuck in the lower position. That's because the hinges of those saddles are not moving. They are filled with dried up particles that seized all the moving parts together.
The only thing to do, to clean them thoroughly, is to remove them all and disassemble all the parts that can be disassembled; all the screws and string retainer blocks. Since this is a used Floyd Rose bridge, all the saddles have individual string wear, each from a different string gauge. Keep track of where each saddle goes.
What happens next is part chemistry, part physics - in other words, quackery. We put all the parts in a container and soak them in a bath of WD-40, overnight.
BTW, did you know that WD-40 stands for Water Displacement, 40th formula. That's right, it took them 40 attempts to get it right. And who is they? Well, it appears that there's a dispute about who the inventor was. You can read about that on the internet.
OK, now what?
After soaking all the parts overnight it's time to give them some exercise. Those hinges are seized stiff, so it takes some elbow grease (and WD-40). The best method I can think of is to clamp one end of the saddle into a small vise and to use one of the string retainer screws at the other end, to extend the other end of the saddle. Don't use too much force. Start wiggling it like a tooth and you'll be able to feel that it it coming looser and looser.
However, if that thing still doesn't want to move, you might want to heat it us, either with a hair dryer, heat gun, soldering iron, or if you really know what you're doing, a blow torch (don't tell anyone I told you that).
If none of that does the trick and the damn thing still doesn't budge, throw the damn thing into the garbage as soon as possible and buy replacement saddles.
I did a lot more work than is shown in these photos. I used a brass wire brush to clean all the surfaces and a toothpick to clean all the corners. You can also use a toothbrush and more WD-40.
It might not be cost effective for a tech to spend so much time doing this for every customer, but this customer wanted me to do it, so I did it.
I also feel better not to throw away parts that can be fixed and I like to keep parts original, if possible.
Hope this helped you out.