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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:13 pm 
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So recently I've had several restoration jobs where I was able to reuse the original bridge but the bridge-pin holes are a bit worn and are a sloppy fit for the pin. Normally if I run into this issue I take a plane shaving and carefully glue it into the hole. That works fine but is a pain. I could plug them but would prefer not to do that, it's even more of a pain. I'm hoping someone here has an easier way that I just haven't thought of. What do you do?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:48 pm 
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Wood shaving..... or oversize pins.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:56 pm 
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Thanks Brian, guess there's no magic bullet.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:08 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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I have seen a few Cowboy fixes...... Masking tape around the pins actually works pretty well.

Just use Elmer's white glue to keep em in? Sadly that's more common than you think. wow7-eyes

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:08 pm 
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B. Howard wrote:
I have seen a few Cowboy fixes...... Masking tape around the pins actually works pretty well.

Just use Elmer's white glue to keep em in? Sadly that's more common than you think. wow7-eyes
I got a good laugh there but can't say I'm surprised, I've had some strange things show up in the shop but, hey, whatever keeps the guitar playing.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:28 pm 
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It's often the case that if the pin holes are worn oversized topside (bridge) the string balls have chewed away at the bridge plate too. A .060" maple bridge cap drilled out with a 3/16" drill bit and then properly reamed with a 5 or 3 degree pin reamer until the pins are just proud of seated snugs things up nicely.

We've plugged pin holes many times in tops with the bridge off. We make plugs with spruce the same thickness as the top and then a second layer glued on to this of the same material and thickness as the bridge plate. The idea is that a two piece, carefully installed plug won't interfere with the serviceability and possible removal of a bridge plate some day. The two piece plug will separate with the bridge plate with heat and of course we use serviceable glues for this too.

I don't think I'ver ever done anything to snug up the bridge pin holes themselves. I'm chuckling here remembering the first time I installed Tomastick strings on a guitar and how the red cloth windings take up so very much space that the pins no longer fit. You could try some $25 strings too :)

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These users thanked the author Hesh for the post: SteveSmith (Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:38 pm)
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:52 pm 
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The one on my bench right now is a parlor from the '30s and it's pretty typical. I made 1/4" spruce plugs with correct grain orientation to plug the chewed out pin holes. After the holes were plugged then the spruce bridge plate got a 0.1" Black Locust cap large enough so the string ball ends will have something tougher than the spruce to bear on. Some additional repair under the bridge with some spruce veneer and I was able to scrape it level and glue the bridge back on. Interesting bridge, uses fret material for the saddle. Bridge is a fairly soft wood and the holes are pretty worn. I'll cut up some shavings to make them smaller. The StewMac plastic tapered bridge locating pins make good cauls. I was just hoping someone had an easier way.

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These users thanked the author SteveSmith for the post: Hesh (Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:08 pm)
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:08 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Yeah lots of guitars from this period used fret wire as a saddle because it's what they had. Not exactly something that can be compensated...:)

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These users thanked the author Hesh for the post: SteveSmith (Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:48 pm)
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:57 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Those Martin Marquis strings have big fat threaded winding too. You could save a bunch of bucks on those over the Tomastik :D



These users thanked the author jfmckenna for the post: Hesh (Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:48 am)
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:45 pm 
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So usually a small piece of shaving slid into and glued in the pin hole does the job but these holes were super worn and basically needed relining. I cut some 0.010" poplar shavings and finally figured out if I dipped them in the HHG glue water I could wrap them around an old pin, put some hide glue in the pin hole then slide the shaving in. The StewMac plastic locating pins made good cauls. Wetting the shaving made all the difference.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:30 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:26 pm 
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olmorton71 wrote:
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I have had that tool for a long time and it works well for repairing chewed up bridge plates. Unfortunately it is not help when the entire pin hole is oversized from decades of use.

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