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Guitar bridge pin problems

Jory Nash 19 Jun 99 - 02:28 AM
legal eagle 19 Jun 99 - 02:44 AM
O'Boyle 19 Jun 99 - 05:38 AM
Art Thieme 19 Jun 99 - 03:27 PM
Mudjack 19 Jun 99 - 03:58 PM
Chet W. 19 Jun 99 - 04:39 PM
Jory Nash 19 Jun 99 - 05:54 PM
Rick Fielding 19 Jun 99 - 09:20 PM
Dave Swan 19 Jun 99 - 09:44 PM
catspaw49 19 Jun 99 - 10:26 PM
Roger in Baltimore 19 Jun 99 - 10:33 PM
Rick Fielding 20 Jun 99 - 12:39 AM
Jory Nash 20 Jun 99 - 02:25 AM
Ted from Australia 20 Jun 99 - 06:11 AM
Bert 20 Jun 99 - 10:00 AM
catspaw49 20 Jun 99 - 10:11 AM
Roger in Baltimore 20 Jun 99 - 11:33 AM
Chet W. 20 Jun 99 - 11:34 AM
Jory Nash 20 Jun 99 - 05:39 PM
Art Thieme 21 Jun 99 - 12:10 AM
Richard Bridge 21 Jun 99 - 01:47 PM
Mark Roffe 22 Jun 99 - 01:20 AM
Rick Fielding 22 Jun 99 - 01:50 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 22 Jun 99 - 05:20 AM
Bert 22 Jun 99 - 09:00 AM
Art Thieme 22 Jun 99 - 09:23 AM
catspaw49 22 Jun 99 - 09:30 AM
Bert 22 Jun 99 - 12:41 PM
Chet W. 22 Jun 99 - 09:49 PM
Mark Roffe 23 Jun 99 - 05:28 PM
mountain tyme 27 Jun 99 - 10:37 PM
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Subject: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Jory Nash
Date: 19 Jun 99 - 02:28 AM

About 8 months ago I replaced the bridge pins on my Martin guitar. I went with the more expensive rosewood pins. Three times since then, including while on stage tonight at a show one of the pins has popped out (at a show in Connecticut last fall I watched the pin arc across the damn room after it popped out!). I'm having terrible difficulty getting the ball of the string to sit nicely under several of the bridge pins. In ten years previous I have never had this happen. Anybody else have this problem? Anybody have any suggestions as to why it's happening and how to correct? Thanks, Jory Nash


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: legal eagle
Date: 19 Jun 99 - 02:44 AM

I suspect that the grooves in the sides of the pins are too small so the string is held by fricion rather than the ball end. After a bit of vibration - twang. Just like a bow and arrow really!

You could try carefully enlarging those grooves with a sharp object.

Or you can get ebony pins with no grooves quite cheap (about GBP 10 over here)and practice on them.

I prefer bone pins for brightness and sustain but several friends who had quiet or muffled guitars have found brass ones useful and they look good too.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: O'Boyle
Date: 19 Jun 99 - 05:38 AM

I had never had any problems with pins until last Wednesday. I broke a string, no big deal, but when I went to pull out the pin, the knob popped off leaving the rest of the pin still stuck in the hole. I had to loosen the strings to pop the pin out from the inside, then use the chord jack to shove the knobless pin back in when I finished with the string. Live and learn.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Art Thieme
Date: 19 Jun 99 - 03:27 PM

I suspect your rosewood pins, like the ebony ones, don't have a groove down the length of the pin. Those non-grooved pins never worked for me. I went back to the old plastic ones and they worked fine. Had to be replaced every so often when they'd get badly chewed up.

Art


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Mudjack
Date: 19 Jun 99 - 03:58 PM

Art has the best solution to a quick and sure way.
There should be a feel of friction when seating ito place. if If not, maybe they are are not large enough for the hole and need a bit of shimming like wrapping a thin peice of paper around them as you put into place. Masking tape can do it, bottom line is you'll want them buggers to seat NOW with no Muss N' Fuss. I would stick to the plastic ones. Art gets me second.
Mj


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Chet W.
Date: 19 Jun 99 - 04:39 PM

Depending on how you're set for tools, cutting the grooves is pretty easy. Put one pin in a vise or clamp and either use a small carving chisel or gouge or, if you keep a steady hand, use one of the Dremel type rotary tools with a small woodcutting burr (I get great ones for free from my dentist, still plenty sharp for wood). But you might try first watching how you install the string; Stick the ball in the hole and hold the pin loose in the hole and pull the string until you feel the ball touch the bridgeplate, and then push the pin all the way in. If the pins fit the holes well and the bridgeplate is in good shape, there really shouldn't be a lot of stress on the pin, groove or no groove. Most of the times when I've seen one pop out it's been because it was too small for the hole (or the wrong taper) or the ball was not firmly in contact with the bridgeplate. If you have any further probems, get a qualified technician to look at it. Brass pins, by the way, will make the guitar sound brighter (more higher overtones) because you will have added mass to the bridge. Bone is nice but expensive. I'd stick with wood.

Chet W.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Jory Nash
Date: 19 Jun 99 - 05:54 PM

Thanks, mudcatters for the fine suggestions. The rosewood pins are in fact grooved, but I know realize they might be a little too small for the holes. Since the problem never occured until I replaced the plastic pins with these crazy (nice looking but more expensive too!) rosewood ones, I'm going to take yer advice and switch back to plastic pins. I've got one more show tonight (no time to get to any local guitar shop) so give a little prayer for me that the pins will hold in place one more night. Cheers, Jory Nash


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 19 Jun 99 - 09:20 PM

Just remember Jory, if one one of your bridge pins hits a customer and kills them, you can be held liable, will be tried, sent to prison, executed, and possibly never make parole. That can be detrimental to the career of a promising young singer-songwriter. Repair that equipment!
rick


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Dave Swan
Date: 19 Jun 99 - 09:44 PM

Rick,

I've never lost a guitar part onstage (I guess I'd have to own a guitar before that could happen) but I have had the horrifying experience, while singing, of watching a wee gobbet of spit escape my chops, catch the stage lights, sparkle and twinkle through the air, and land on a poor soul in the first row.

Given the strict Canadian sanctions concerning premature bridge pin ejection, I'm afraid to ask what penalty covers unauthorized salivary ejecta. All the same, I eagerly await your response.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Jun 99 - 10:26 PM

Dave, in Canada, it is my understanding that such an occurrence as yours can be ignored if the offender kneels in prayer. The prayer must begin, "Oh Lord, Thou art the God of my salivation." I'm sure you could sisal up to the almighty that way...........sisal is still ripping me!!!!!

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 19 Jun 99 - 10:33 PM

Jory,

If perhaps you have the accident Rick envisions and you do go to prison, Catspaw has agreed to enter as an alleged folk song collector (a la Alan Lomax). If you sing and play well enough, the Governor might pardon you. So practice, practice, practice.

Big RiB


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 20 Jun 99 - 12:39 AM

Actually Dave, in Canada, being godless commie, back-bacon eating Castro-worshipers we pray in private for ANY kind of salavation, so when a folk-singer spits on someone, they consider themselves blessed. For premature ejection we all visit Viagra Falls for the weekend.

Catspaw. Your Dulcimer is beautiful.
Roger. Jory is young and cute. Let's not wish incarceration on him. Lomax is 114 years years old and might not make it in time.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Jory Nash
Date: 20 Jun 99 - 02:25 AM

Happy to report that I return home from tonight's show without a repeat of my airborne bridge pin horror. Probably because I finger picked most of the show and rested my hand lightly against the bridge, muting most of the excess vibration. So, thankfully, no potential lawsuits from injured audience members. But here's a thought: if a flying bridge pin hits an audience member. are they obligated to give it back to the offending musician? Have a great summer folks. I'm off to work at a children's camp this tuesday morning and I won't be emerging from the north Ontar-i-o forest until mid August (just in time for the Eaglewood Folk Festival!). Jory Nash


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Ted from Australia
Date: 20 Jun 99 - 06:11 AM

A bit late but, chamfer the bottom of those expensive pins on the groove side so that the ball does not push (Pull?) directly up on the bottom of the pin. Regards , Ted,


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Bert
Date: 20 Jun 99 - 10:00 AM

I usually put a little kink in the end of the string and then I can turn the string so that the ball hooks under the bridge.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Jun 99 - 10:11 AM

Bert if you have a ball hooked under a bridge, I guarantee it'll kink your string!

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 20 Jun 99 - 11:33 AM

Jory,

Enjoy your summer! If you don't already know this song, you should learn it. THE BLACKFLY SONG

Enjoy the song!

Big RiB


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Chet W.
Date: 20 Jun 99 - 11:34 AM

Let's say your bridgepin hits me in the eye, bounces to the other eye, and as a result I am permanently blinded. I have absolutely no recourse but I do not have to give your pin back. But, if you hit someone with a support group, even lightly, say goodbye to all worldly possessions for as long as you live. The guitar would probably have to be given up on the spot. I was in Canada, in Quebec City, last summer, and had a great time.

Chet W.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Jory Nash
Date: 20 Jun 99 - 05:39 PM

Hey Big Roger in Baltimore! The Blackfly Song is one of my childhood faves. There's a great short animated cartoon that uses the Blackfly Song as it's soundtrack. I think it was a Canadian National Film Board production.

Luckily, this year the blackflies don't seem to be so bad (not much rain this spring, and very warm weather) but the mosquitos are out pretty good, and the horseflies and deerflies seem to be having their national convention just outside of my north Ontario cabin. Ah well, I'm pretty skinny, with not too much blood to go around.

Yours musically, Jory Nash


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Art Thieme
Date: 21 Jun 99 - 12:10 AM

First, there's a vas deferens between hooking your ball under the bridge and not doing that. ;-)

Second, When I converted my Martin D-76 to a 9-string guitar by drilling 3 holes down the center of the tuning stock and inserting a planetary, straight-through gear into each hole, I'd put the ball ends of 2 strings into each of the first 3 bridge pin holes. Those suckers (the bridge pins) never, ever came loose. Yeah, "it's tight like that".

Art


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Jun 99 - 01:47 PM

Not nice to Martins.

The member of the audience does indeed have to give the pin back. It is your property, and although there has been delivery there was no donative intent. But you might not win a lawsuit, de minimis non curat lex.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Mark Roffe
Date: 22 Jun 99 - 01:20 AM

My '50's Gibson LG-2 is having what sounds like the same problem repaired right now. I had tried making bigger bridge pins, tried wrapping masking tape around them, tried wrapping & gluing light sandpaper around them...all to no avail. Finally a good repairman figured out the problem. The holes in the bridge plate (under the bridge) had become too large. The repair is to either replace the bridge plate (easy if it pops out without too much trouble), or add a thin 2nd bridge plate under the original one (if the original one is too firmly glued in).

The damned things can hit you in the eye when they do their missile thing.

Halfblind Mark Roffe


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Jun 99 - 01:50 AM

Art. Many years ago I added a 7th string(octave G )to a Martin 0018. The flack I got!! I tried to explain to folks that the guitar was my working tool and I liked the sound of it, but I think it just offended folks that I'd butchered a Martin. Years later when I added 2 strings (octave D and G) to a Takimine nobody said a word. I've put a light tortoise-shell DOUBLE pickguard on my old 0-18 and I currently get some raised eyebrows, but Josh White was my all time guitar hero and I tell folks it's a tribute to him. Most say "who's Josh White?" Guess I'm just a born "tinkerer".


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 22 Jun 99 - 05:20 AM

Actually Jory. If you can manage to be executed; perhaps Lomax will have a chance to collect you. Who knows. Maybe old John himself will collect you.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Bert
Date: 22 Jun 99 - 09:00 AM

Of course if nothing works and push comes to shove you could always fit a tailpiece.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Art Thieme
Date: 22 Jun 99 - 09:23 AM

Bert---There's nothin' like a good "tail piece"!! ;-)

Art


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Jun 99 - 09:30 AM

Better on an f-hole isn't it Art? :+)

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Bert
Date: 22 Jun 99 - 12:41 PM

Ha, bloody Ha!

Can't say anything when you guys are around can I.

Bert;-)


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Chet W.
Date: 22 Jun 99 - 09:49 PM

Jory, think of it, if you're dead your songs will be folk music, maybe. There seems to be a lot of innuendo here lately. Leave those f-holes alone. What you do with your tailpiece is your business. Looking for a really good head for my banjo. And I think I choked the frog on my fiddle bow.

Chet


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: Mark Roffe
Date: 23 Jun 99 - 05:28 PM

Depending on what's wrong, this may help: remove the ball end from an old string and thread the new string through it. This will give you two balls at the bridge end, which may keep the string from pulling up and popping out the pins. Ready for wisecracks,
Bark Woof


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge pin problems
From: mountain tyme
Date: 27 Jun 99 - 10:37 PM

Mark is more than right. ALWAYS thread an extra ball end or two onto a new string before installing it! This allows a flat larger contact surface against the bridge plate giving more (the added weight helps) and balanced sound. (the wedge effect of the round ball, over time, enlarges the bridge plate slot or splits it) and adding two or three extra balls on a string shims it so that the string winding does not touch the saddle notch and destroy it or the sound.) The bridge pins should never touch the string or ball ends. Any pressure exerted at this point will in time split the bridge and all the while give poor sound. The bridge pins are only pretty trim and serve no other purpose. They should be able to be removed and installed at will without altering the tuning. If they are loose swell them with hot water and rub them with a fiddle bow to make them sticky. Good for the bow too. Those of us who have vintage acoustics protect the bridge plate while greatly enhancing the sound by adding an additional bridge plate of metal (usually brass to slow corrosion.) The metal plate touches only the bridge plate and the ball end. Never the pins. Vendors offer these for under $10. Just ask a vintage collector where.


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