In the early hours of this morning I woke up with a start; I’d forgotten about the earth strap. This is the connection, from the strings, bridge, etc, that eventually connects to the shield of the output jack, earthing the whole kit and caboodle.
On the Shaftesbury (and for all I know proper Les Paul’s too) this was done with a wire running from inside the stop tailpiece stud into the control cavity.
As part of my remodelling exercise, there isn’t going to be a stop tailpiece, and I had filled in these stud holes. I was going to have to find another way of getting a connection through to either the Bigsby or the bridge. Getting to the Bigsby would have meant drilling out through the top so I decided to aim for the bridge stud holes. I did it by eye and, thankfully it ended up absolutely spot on, exiting about 5mm from the base of the hole, right in the centre.
Thankfully I realised all of this before the paint went on, I don’t think I could have been so nonchalant if there was going to be the potential for ruining hours of hard graft on the finish.