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Bridge Pins

GUEST,Orson Trap 03 Feb 14 - 05:01 AM
bubblyrat 03 Feb 14 - 06:02 AM
alex s 03 Feb 14 - 06:07 AM
banjoman 03 Feb 14 - 06:32 AM
Will Fly 03 Feb 14 - 07:18 AM
Backwoodsman 03 Feb 14 - 08:00 AM
Backwoodsman 03 Feb 14 - 08:06 AM
Murray MacLeod 03 Feb 14 - 08:10 AM
Will Fly 03 Feb 14 - 09:07 AM
Will Fly 03 Feb 14 - 09:10 AM
Backwoodsman 03 Feb 14 - 10:12 AM
Will Fly 03 Feb 14 - 11:35 AM
Backwoodsman 03 Feb 14 - 12:31 PM
alex s 03 Feb 14 - 01:29 PM
Backwoodsman 03 Feb 14 - 02:28 PM
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Subject: Bridge Pins
From: GUEST,Orson Trap
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 05:01 AM

Just bought a used Sigma 000M 1st Guitar. A previous owner had pushed the bridge pins in too far. Wanting to fit a new set of strings I had to use pliers to remove the pins, most of the pins then broke. What a 'dogs job' I am having trying to get replacements.
Looked on ebay and most suppliers seem to think that all pins are standard (I used to think so too until this). Some give dimensions but they don't match mine. Any body else out there had this problem?
I have had acoustic guitars for 30 + years and changed countless sets of strings, but never experienced this 'problem' before.


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Subject: RE: Bridge Pins
From: bubblyrat
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 06:02 AM

I always use solid brass pins ;they improve both tone and volume , and don't break ! As to size, I always thought that there was an industry standard ? All the guitars that I have used /owned (Martin,Avalon,Taylor,Suzuki, Guild,Yamaha ,Washburn) appear to have had the same pins / hole sizes ; where are Sigma guitars made ??


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Subject: RE: Bridge Pins
From: alex s
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 06:07 AM

I had this problem - I bought several sets of ebony pins, but they don't fit all my guitars. StewMac may be worth asking as they deal with all kinds of guitar problems.


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Subject: RE: Bridge Pins
From: banjoman
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 06:32 AM

I bought a set of oversize bridge pins a couple of years ago on eBay.
May be worth a look.


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Subject: RE: Bridge Pins
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 07:18 AM

I just wondered how the bridge pins could have been pushed in "too far", as the string ends themselves will form a natural barrier to them being too far in.

Pliers are not a good option because, as you've found out, the pins can get broken - I've done it myself. A better option is to use a tuner roller of the sort which has a slot in the handle. The slot fits under the head of the pin, which can then be levered up gently.

As to pin sizes, there is no standard, and there are variations in width, so you may have to take it in to a shop and see what fits practically.


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Subject: RE: Bridge Pins
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 08:00 AM

Another good way to remove pins is to reach in through the soundhole and push them up from the bottom with a finger. If they're in so tight that it hurts your finger, use a small coin on the pad of your finger. Works like a charm.

I never use pin-pullers or pliers, I pull them out with my fingers and, if they're tight, I use the above method. It's important never to push the pins down hard in the hole when stringing up, all they need is a very gentle finger pressure.

Another trick is to slacken the string right off, remove it from the tuner post, and push the string down into the hole. This moves the winding on the ball-end down past the pin, and relieves the pressure on the pin.


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Subject: RE: Bridge Pins
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 08:06 AM

There are many sizes of pin, for a Sigma (which used to be a cheap range sponsored by Martin, but are now nothing to do with Martin) I'd think they may be size 2A, which are 0.220" diameter beneath the skirt, and 5-deg taper, but that's only my guess. You need to check whether they're slotted or solid - again, my guess is slotted.


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Subject: RE: Bridge Pins
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 08:10 AM

There are basically two types of bridge pin, those with a 3 degree taper and those with a 5 degree taper.

Ideally, the hole in the bridge should be reamed out to suit the taper of the pin ... it has long been a bone of contention that Martin do not do this operation ....they drill the holes to 3/16" parallel ...and then fit the tapered pins , the result being that the ball end of the string has a vastly increased propensity to chew the underside of the bridge plate, with consequent tuning stability problems.

Even more ideally, the bridge should be slotted so that the ball end of the string rests firmly against the underside of the bridge plate instead of being sandwiched between the pin and the edge of the hole in the bridgeplate.

For an alternate view of how strings should be fitted , Google "alternate string anchoring".


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Subject: RE: Bridge Pins
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 09:07 AM

The new guitar I've commissioned from my friendly downtown (down village, actually) will have a Lowden-style bridge. No pesky pins to fiddle with.


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Subject: RE: Bridge Pins
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 09:10 AM

Backwoodsman - forgot to say - your method of removing pins from underneath is also excellent, but perhaps a little difficult if you're in a live gig situation and you need to change a string quickly, as it probably means slackening off all or some of the strings to get your hand inside.

And if a coin slips...


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Subject: RE: Bridge Pins
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 10:12 AM

I haven't broken a string playing out for at least twenty years Will - I change 'em regularly! But yes, I agree, it would be a tricky operation under the circumstances you describe.

Not trying to be a Clever-Shit, but I'm very careful when stringing up to seat the ball-ends carefully, and not to force the pins in hard. Plus I've slotted the bridges on my Martins so I use solid pins. I also rub a candle over the shafts of the pins now and again, which helps when removing them.

There's a lot of good info on the internet from people like Frank Ford, John Arnold, Bryan Kimsey, et al.

Re: the Pinless bridge, my Lowden has one and it's nice not to have to faff with pins, but other snags present themselves - such as always having an envelope or piece of card handy to prevent the ball-ends taking chunks out of the finish when stringing/un-stringing! Otherwise they're great (providing they're glued properly!). :-)


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Subject: RE: Bridge Pins
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 11:35 AM

always having an envelope or piece of card handy to prevent the ball-ends taking chunks out of the finish when stringing/un-stringing!

Ah - I'll bear that in mind!


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Subject: RE: Bridge Pins
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 12:31 PM

Just lay it on the top behind the bridge. Don't ask how I know this! :-)


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Subject: RE: Bridge Pins
From: alex s
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 01:29 PM

I use Frogtape masking tape on my Lowden - no faffing about trying to hold the card (which Lowden recommend in their advice section, the card, that is)and leaves no marks


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Subject: RE: Bridge Pins
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 02:28 PM

Why do you need to hold the card? I lay the guitar on my workbench and lay the card on the guitar. Job done, no faffing.


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