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help guitar question

olddude 20 Aug 09 - 04:39 PM
Peace 20 Aug 09 - 04:42 PM
Richard Bridge 20 Aug 09 - 05:09 PM
olddude 20 Aug 09 - 05:33 PM
Melissa 20 Aug 09 - 05:43 PM
Jeri 20 Aug 09 - 06:01 PM
Uncle Phil 20 Aug 09 - 09:09 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 20 Aug 09 - 09:34 PM
Backwoodsman 21 Aug 09 - 02:54 AM
Bernard 21 Aug 09 - 11:38 AM
olddude 21 Aug 09 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,Ray 21 Aug 09 - 12:29 PM
BTMP 21 Aug 09 - 12:31 PM
olddude 21 Aug 09 - 03:34 PM
Songbob 21 Aug 09 - 04:27 PM
catspaw49 21 Aug 09 - 05:50 PM
Songster Bob 22 Aug 09 - 12:35 PM
olddude 22 Aug 09 - 12:55 PM
olddude 22 Aug 09 - 12:56 PM
olddude 22 Aug 09 - 01:08 PM
Bernard 22 Aug 09 - 02:35 PM
olddude 22 Aug 09 - 03:07 PM
Songster Bob 22 Aug 09 - 11:46 PM
olddude 23 Aug 09 - 02:12 PM
GUEST,john hare 24 Aug 09 - 10:52 AM
Bernard 24 Aug 09 - 12:22 PM
Songbob 24 Aug 09 - 02:31 PM
olddude 24 Aug 09 - 10:32 PM
olddude 25 Aug 09 - 08:00 AM
Songbob 25 Aug 09 - 12:14 PM
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Subject: help guitar question
From: olddude
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 04:39 PM

the end pins on my old alvaraz are cutting into the bridge pretty good. the hole that the strings go in are quite worn. Is there something I can do without replacing the bridge, don't have a lot of money right now

thanks in advance
Dan


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: Peace
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 04:42 PM

Darned good question for which I have no answer.


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 05:09 PM

The slots for the strings are not a concern. The potential worry is the inner bridge plate. Is it all splintery when you take the strings off and feel up the hole?

If so you can either have the inner bridge plate changed (expensive) or with a bit of googling you can find a geezer who sells brass facing plates for inner bridge plates. In theory they are supposed to be fitted to good condition inner bridge plates, but if you remove the strings and the splinters, then you can wipe the inner bridge plate smooth with say araldite and then fit the brass strip.

Caution: the location of the peg-holes is critical, and some guitars have very tight X-bracing that may make SEVERAL dummy fits and trims of the brass plate necessary.


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: olddude
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 05:33 PM

Thank you Richard my friend
the inside doesn't look splintered, Just where the string hit the bridge they are cutting into the wood on the bridge really good from what I can see
the high e and b strings


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: Melissa
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 05:43 PM

I noticed about ten years ago that the holes for my big strings were looking chewed..decided it must be from pulling the string to get it snug against the pin--string gnawing like a file.

Since that time, I've paid a little more attention to how I peg the strings (I don't even know if I did any of the damage..it was used when I got it) and nothing dire has happened as a result of leaving it alone and hoping for the best.

I figured that as long as the pin could sit straight in the hole, the damage might not be as dreadful as it looked.
If the pin starts seating itself at an angle, that's when I intend to see about getting it fixed.


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: Jeri
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 06:01 PM

OK, I'm talking outta my butt here.

Violinists/fiddle player often have a hard rubber tube on a string where it passes over the bridge, or a tiny piece of rawhide on the groove in the bridge. I don't know whether it would work on a guitar or whether it would damp the tone, and even if you try it, I don't know how you'd know if it were effective in preventing further damage.

If no luthiers or cognoscenti show up, maybe you can take it to a local luthier for a free diagnosis and estimate.


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: Uncle Phil
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 09:09 PM

The tube or the rawhide probably won't work assuming the strings fit snugly in the groves and because, as Jeri correctly speculated, it would damp the tone. However, the problem may be easy to fix by shimming the slots with a sliver of wood or filling the slot with a mixture of sawdust and glue, and refiling it. I second the suggestion of taking it to a good luthier for an estimate.
- Phil


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 09:34 PM

Most bridge pins have a slot or groove that the string fits through. If the wear is enough that the bridge pins are noticeably loose, a set of unslotted pins is a quick and inexpensive fix. Or you can just rotate your slotted pins 180° so that they act as if they were unslotted.


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 21 Aug 09 - 02:54 AM

The best fix is to slot the holes properly (i.e. with a bridge-slotting saw, and all the way down the hole) so that the strings sit in the slot nicely, get some unslotted pins, and make sure the holes are reamed at the correct angle so the pins sit down to the collar and don't wobble. Unslotted holes and slotted pins are a major cause of bridge-plate wear. As Richard rightly says, the bridgeplate may be chewed up, if it is and it's bad enough it would be a good idea to have it replaced, although a Plate-Mate is also a fix used by some (even though many claim it 'hurts the tone' of the guitar, I'm not convinced of that - I put one in a new Martin J-40 and it actually sounded better).


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: Bernard
Date: 21 Aug 09 - 11:38 AM

It shouldn't really matter... the only purpose of the pin is to deflect the ball-end of the string. As long as the hole isn't so sloppy as to allow the ball-end AND the bridge pin up the hole, all should be well.

The correct way to fit a string is to push the ball-end down the hole with the bridge pin until the pin slips past (at the 'bottom' of the hole). Once there is tenison on the string, the pin will stay put - and so will the string.


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: olddude
Date: 21 Aug 09 - 11:50 AM

Bernard, ahhhh
I can see that mine are right at the top ... I can see the twist near the ball end of the string .... I am not seating them deep enough
thank you. the end pins are sloppy I will replace


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 21 Aug 09 - 12:29 PM

Just to expand on what Bernard has said; bridge pins aren't supposed to hold the string, they simply stop it coming out of the notch in the bridge-plate. Many people make the mistake of pushing (and in one shop I remember hammering) in the pins. The general rule is that if you need some sort of device to get them out, you've put them in to tight.

The correct technique to get them out is to release the string from the head of the guitar and push it further in the bridge hole. The pin should simply pull out with fingers.

If the bridge has been planed down at some time (say to lower the action rather than re-setting the neck) or the bridge-plate is wearing thin, you can get a situation where the windings of the strings protrude out of the hole. They can sometimes end up over the saddle. The solution to this is simple; just save some ball-ends from an old set of strings and thread them onto the offenders.
Ray


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: BTMP
Date: 21 Aug 09 - 12:31 PM

Another sign that the pin and string ball aren't seated properly is that you may hear a buzz when the string is played. This buzz is produced by the short span of string just above the ball and where it is pinned by the bridge pin. A quick inspection inside the guitar will reveal this problem. The ball needs to be pulled up and pinned at the closest point above the ball.


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: olddude
Date: 21 Aug 09 - 03:34 PM

folks thank you for your kindness. I can clearly see that the pins are whipped and the strings are pulling to the top instead of being in the plate where they belong.   I can see the twists on the string next to the ball. That is why it is chewing into the bridge so much I think


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: Songbob
Date: 21 Aug 09 - 04:27 PM

If the windings above the balls are showing, the bridge may be too thin (was planed) or the underside (the plate) holes are getting over-sized. The balls should prevent this, but if the bridge / plate holes are worn, allowing the string to come up that high, you have a problem. A plate replacement is not cheap, but you can possibly do a little "additive woodworking" to help.

Use a hardwood, like maple, and fashion a popsicle stick of it. Make it just longer than the distance from string-hole one to string-hole six (too long and you hit top braces). Make sure it will fit and cover up the front edge of the chewed-up internal holes, and then glue it in place carefully. The addition of this small amount of wood will not terribly affect the tone, and the new edge will hold the string-balls down.

You could even do two strips*, one for the back-side of the plate holes, too, or even glue the strip ACROSS the string holes and then re-drill (using a drill smaller than the holes, of course -- we're trying to make 'em smaller, after all). If you choose this approach, clamp a piece of junk wood where the drill will come through, or else you'll chew up the wood where the drill point comes out, and end up with a sloppy string hole, which is just what you don't want.


Bob Clayton


* If you don't think this will work, my old 1964 D-28-with-the-replacement-top has ONLY two such strips (maybe a little thicker, but still...) AS THE ENTIRE BRIDGE PLATE, and it works just fine. People who've heard or played that guitar can attest to that.


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Aug 09 - 05:50 PM

Hi Dan.....Read Bob's post again...........Okay, once more...........Got it? Sorta' huh?    Okay then.......Go ahead, read it again if you want. I got time..........................................Are you all set? Good....Do it. It works. I've used it on several older guitars where the plate was still fine and it does just great. I originally heard about that from Dan Erlewine at Stew-Mac about 12 years ago in a newslwtter they used to do with more tech and less sales. I live about 40 miles from Stew-Mac and they are great folks.

To avoid the splintering problem you can cut a pine 2x4 chunk to fit below when you drill. Just wedge it in place....****CAREFULLY***......if you have a question call me.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: Songster Bob
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 12:35 PM

Stewmac or Dan Erlewine may even have descriptions and photos online somewhere -- they used to publish how-to books and articles on various subjects, usually for purchase, but sometimes in publications for free. My Stewmac catalogues used to have short articles of this type. I haven't noticed any recently, but a perusal of their website may have just what you need.

Good luck.

Bob


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: olddude
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 12:55 PM

Bob
many many thanks ... looking at it really close. It is very clear the bridge plate is whipped for sure. This is going to save me a lot of money. I just don't have the bucks to have it professionally done right now. Going to give er a try this weekend


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: olddude
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 12:56 PM

I have some Mahogany and some Hard Maple and probably a piece of rosewood big enough ... what would be your suggestion?


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: olddude
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 01:08 PM

And these are the instructions I found ... Spaw, does this work?

bridge plate overlay


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: Bernard
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 02:35 PM

Hmmm... very interesting!

How on earth does someone let an instrument get that bad?! Or is it down to poor desibn/build quality?

My Yamaha FG160 6-string and FG260 12-string guitars are approaching forty years old, and are as good as the day I bought them... but I'm the only one who has ever changed the strings...!


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: olddude
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 03:07 PM

From what I saw on that website the way the position the plate makes such a difference and someone left that one in a heated car from what the guy wrote. Mine the holes just chipped out ... I bought it used so I don't know what the other guy did to wear it so


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: Songster Bob
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 11:46 PM

"Mahogany and some Hard Maple and probably a piece of rosewood..."

My choice would be the maple or mahogany -- whichever one is closest to the size you need, or you can even go by the grain direction (lengthwise is much better than crossways, and get as close to quarter-sawn as you can get).

I would avoid the rosewood, simply because it's harder to glue well, due to the oils in the wood. I know modern glues can do it, but why add a complication?

Bob


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: olddude
Date: 23 Aug 09 - 02:12 PM

gotcha Thanks so much Bob


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: GUEST,john hare
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 10:52 AM

im not much of a reader so i havent gone through your ansers and may be repeatin advice but since the break angle over the bridge is the important bit you may find that if you place a wooden bead over the string before fitting then slip it through hole and fit peg the string will then lock under the table plate via the bead.


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: Bernard
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 12:22 PM

Could work, and would save a lot of hassle...


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: Songbob
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 02:31 PM

If the bead is small enough to go through the hole, it won't help -- it'll just tend to pull up through, even when wedged by the pin. I suppose you could get just the right size bead, or even use a string ball (good luck fitting one on the sixth string), and the difference would be that the string is held further down, but you still have the problem of the chewed-up plate holes.

Sorry, that isn't the real answer. It's just a stop-gap, easier than a new plate or the suggestion above, but you're out of luck if you lose or break a bead (and how much tension could such a small wooden bead withstand, anyway?).

Bob


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: olddude
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 10:32 PM

Well I used a piece of mahogany ... It isn't the prettiest job you will ever see but it sure worked well. The plate was quite chipped out ..

thanks folks saved me lots of money ...
awesome help


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: olddude
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 08:00 AM

One thing I can tell to others that may need to do this. It had to my ear absolutely no effect on the sound. The guitar sounds just a beautiful only now the strings stay where they should be. I also took your suggestion and made the grain of the wood go in the proper direction. I also used the elmers wood glue. I figured at least it can be heated and taken off in the future should the need arise instead of things like crazy glue which one should never use


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Subject: RE: help guitar question
From: Songbob
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 12:14 PM

"crazy glue which one should never use "

Amen!

Not on guitars, usually, though there is a technique for holding frets in that uses super-glue. It comes off if you hold a soldering iron on the wire fret for a short time, but that is a specialized method for holding frets when the slot in the fingerboard wood is screwed up.

Bob


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