How to Remove Tele Ferrules

Written by matt mckay
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Removal of Tele ferrules for replacement or refinishing is a relatively easy task. Fender Telecasters and similar models use metal string ferrules to help seat the ball end of strings in the underside of the body, and they are seated in drilled, tapered holes by friction. String ferrules do not normally wear out but are a common upgrade when a different metal finish is desired or when the owner wishes to replace older hardware with new. Replacement Tele string ferrules can be found at most local or online music shops that carry replacement guitar parts.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • String peg winder
  • 2 bath towels
  • Screwdriver, Phillips or flat head
  • Small rubber mallet
  • Wood dowel, approximately 1/2 inch in diameter and 1 inch long

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  1. 1

    Remove all strings from the guitar. A string peg winder facilitates faster string removal.

  2. 2

    Spread a towel on a table or workbench to form a padded surface, and lay the guitar on it string side up.

  3. 3

    Roll another bath towel and place it under the guitar neck heel, where the neck joins the body. This raises the guitar body slightly to allow the Tele ferrule to be pushed out.

  4. 4

    Insert a Phillips or flathead screwdriver into the bridge string hole on the top side of the guitar. Choose a screwdriver size that fits snugly into the hole, not too loose or too tight.

  5. 5

    Tap the screwdriver gently with a rubber mallet several times, and tip the guitar up to view the ferrule. If it has not exited the body, tap several more times and repeat until the ferrule is removed.

  6. 6

    Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all ferrules have been removed.

  7. 7

    Flip the guitar over to gain access to ferrule holes for replacement.

  8. 8

    Insert replacement Tele ferrules into the holes one at a time by hand, placing a wooden dowel over each and tapping lightly with the rubber mallet to seat the ferrules into the holes.

Tips and warnings

  • Remove one ferrule at a time, and set it in a safe place. Ferrules are fairly small and can be easily lost.
  • Always "dry-fit" new ferrules by placing them onto the lip of the existing hole and pressing lightly. If the ferrule looks too big or will not insert easily by tapping with the dowel and mallet, the hole taper may need to be widened. Drilling should be entrusted to a guitar repair professional.
  • If the Tele ferrule is the correct fit but installation is a bit tight, lubricating the connection by rubbing bar soap around the side of the ferrule may help.
  • Avoid using glue when inserting replacement ferrules, as they will be difficult to remove later. Removing glued Tele ferrules may cause paint or wood damage.
  • Don't use pliers to remove ferrules from the underside. Ferrule lips are short, and it will be difficult to grip them with pliers without causing paint or wood damage.
  • If ferrules cannot be removed by gentle tapping, consult a guitar repair technician for advice or allow the technician to do the repair. Forcing removal of tight ferrules can cause paint or wood damage.

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