How To Install Spikes

1. Draw a line with a pencil using the 5th string as a guide. Draw the line using the inside edge of the string (that which is closest to the inside of the fingerboard.) This will be your vertical guide.

2. Measure .286 inches up from the fret you want (ie. .286 up from the 7th fret toward the direction of the 6th). This is about 1/3 of the way up from the fret; 1/4" would be .250". This will be your horizontal axis.

3. Put a dot here. This is where you will drill your hole using a dremel tool bit. We actually use dental drill bits. The number of them says SSW-FG 699. The bit should be slightly smaller than the shaft of the spike. We have measured the one we use and it measures out at .024".

4. We use model railroad spikes; H/0 gauge which are considered "mediums."

5. Do not just pound the spikes into the fingerboard as you can split it.

6. If you drill the hole too big, put a very small drop of super glue on the tip of the spike and hold the spike in for a bit until it sets.

7. The head of the spike should face towards the outer edge of the fingerboard, not towards the center. 

These directions are provided as a courtesy only. We accept no responsibility for customer installation of spikes or any possibly damage to the instrument that might occur during this process.


  • Fran

    i JUST BOUGHT A CALICO AND HAD SPIKES AT 7, 9, 10. They also put one at the fifth fret. Is that normal. Also they seem to be too deep. I can’t get the string under the spikes.

  • jeff

    prob put it too close to string.or maybe not put in deep enough

  • larry goodwin

    I have spikes installed as you show. The problem I have is trying to play the note where the spike is installed(not engaged).
    I run into to the spike, have very little room
    between the spike and the fret, and end up
    with a compromised note. Any suggestions???

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