How to Attach Ashtray Covers to Your Guitar

Written by floyd drake iii
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How to Attach Ashtray Covers to Your Guitar
Most modern Stratocasters do not feature a bridge ashtray cover. (Rayes/Photodisc/Getty Images)

In the guitar world, an ashtray refers to a cover that is placed over the bridge. Early Fender Telecasters, Stratocasters and basses are the best known guitars that feature ashtray covers. The modern trend is to leave the cover off. The original ashtray cover belongs to early Telecasters and was horseshoe shaped, which made it look like an ashtray. It covered the bridge and the first pickup. Some Fender Stratocasters and basses featured a smaller cover that only covered the bridge. Other guitar manufacturers have used ashtray covers, but it generally is regarded as a Fender trademark.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Small Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Ashtray cover
  • Drill
  • Drill bit set
  • Small Phillips-head screws

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  1. 1

    Examine the guitar bridge to see if it can be fitted with an ashtray cover. Although Gibson used ashtray covers on a few select models with a tremolo bar set up, Fender-type guitars are the ones with the ashtrays. Fender Telecasters are fitted with an extended metal piece for the bridge mount, and the guitars designed to have ashtray covers have a lip on the edges of this piece. Stratocasters that are meant to be fitted with an ashtray cover also have this lip.

  2. 2

    Acquire an ashtray cover to fit the bridge. Snap the ashtray cover to the guitar. Ashtray covers for Fender Telecaster, Esquire and Stratocaster-type guitars snap on fairly easily, and no tools are required. The cover snaps directly to the lip that surrounds the bridge.

  3. 3

    Mount the ashtray fitting to Fender and Fender-type basses. Fender basses have an ashtray cover that mounts to the bass with two Phillips-head screws, one on the top and bottom of the bridge. Most Fender basses have the holes to mount the cover. If not, holes need to be drilled to mount the cover to the guitar.

Tips and warnings

  • New replica ashtray covers are designed to fit older bridges and will not fit modern ones. If you own a guitar model with the newer-style bridge, it needs to be replaced with the older style to accommodate an ashtray cover.

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