Getting bridge screw holes in the right place

I'm fitting a vintage style strat bridge to a body with no pre-drilled holes. The theory is to measure the neck pocket width, mark the halfway point, then follow the line to the bridge hole and mark the halfway point there. Any tips on how best to do this? 
The other method that occurred to me is to hook the bridge up to the trem claw and actually re-string the guitar, but without screwing the bridge down, and getting it lined up like that to get the pencil marks for the holes in the right place. 
Any wisdom appreciated. I paid a fair whack for the body and don't want to screw it up! 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 44805
    Measuring the pocket isn't accurate enough - the lengths are too small relative to the length of the neck.

    I've done it like this...

    Fit the neck and make sure it's centred correctly in the pocket.

    Using a long straight-edge laid alongside the sides of the neck, extend these lines to the bridge position and mark them on the body - use masking tape if you don't want to draw on the body itself.

    Next, measure from the nut to the bridge side of the 12th fret crown (it should be 324-325mm normally), then measure the same distance from there to the bridge position and mark it on the body. This is the position of the top E saddle at furthest forward.

    The position of the screw hole line should be about 6-7mm forward of this, but check on your bridge. Mark that line across the body, making sure it's at right angles. Remember that the screws sit at the *saddle* side of the bridge holes in use, not in the middle.

    Lay the bridge on the body, so it's centred between the two neck extension lines and the screw holes are over the marked line. Mark through the holes, and those are the positions.

    It's critical to get the holes as close as possible to being in a perfect straight line or the bridge may bind as it pivots. I would centre-punch the holes and then use a fine pilot drill first to make sure it doesn't wander, then go up in sizes until you get to the one you need.

    Ideally you need a bench/pillar drill, but if you don't have one, set up a mirror so you can see the reflection of the drill where the bit goes into the wood - it's much easier to see if it's vertical when you compare it to its own reflection.

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