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HELP: electric acoustic guitar string bridge pins are stuck!

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HELP: electric acoustic guitar string bridge pins are stuck!

Postby seriousnewbie » Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:18 am

I have tried pretty much everything google and YouTube told me, and it won't work. I have tried to push the string down, which I can't do on the lower 2 strings, E and A. On the top 3 strings, I can push the strings down but it doesn't do anything. I have gone up from under the sound hole and tried to push them up, and it hasn't worked either. This I my first time replacing my strings, so I am sorry if my answer is super simple and am wasting your time. So far the only one I have been able to get up, is the D string bridge pin, the rest won't budge!
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Re: HELP: electric acoustic guitar string bridge pins are stuck!

Postby zenguitar » Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:44 am

It won't help you remove them this time, but the main reason bridge pins are hard to pull out is because they've been forced in too tight. The bridge pin doesn't lock the string in place, it's the ball end on the string that does that. All the bridge pin has to do is block the ball end from passing through. So when you do finally re-string, resist the temptation to force the pin in tight.

In the past I have demonstrated this by removing a bridge pin from a well set-up tuned guitar, played a song, and then replaced the bridge pin.

But to solve your problem you will need to apply force carefully. You either push it out from inside, or pull it out from outside.

Working from outside is easier, but risks breaking the pin in the hole. You use a pair of needle nosed pliers to grip the pin and lever it out. But you will need to use some padding to protect the bridge from damage, and you might want to pad the jaws of the pliers to protect the bridge pin. If it breaks, the only option is to carefully drill it out.

Working from inside makes it far less likely to break the pin. But it is fiddly and you have to work by touch. Your fingertips are far too soft to apply decent force, you will hurt long before the pin gives in. First try a small coin between your fingertip and the bridge pin, that will allow you to apply more force with less pain. If that doesn't work, I would try using a small hammer to try and tap it out. And if that doesn't work, a medium hammer.

And if the thought of doing any of that scares you; find an experience local guitarist or guitar teacher and pay them to do it for you.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: HELP: electric acoustic guitar string bridge pins are stuck!

Postby seriousnewbie » Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:52 am

zenguitar wrote:Working from inside makes it far less likely to break the pin. But it is fiddly and you have to work by touch. Your fingertips are far too soft to apply decent force, you will hurt long before the pin gives in. First try a small coin between your fingertip and the bridge pin, that will allow you to apply more force with less pain. If that doesn't work, I would try using a small hammer to try and tap it out. And if that doesn't work, a medium hammer.

alright, I just tried the coin, I'll try the small hammer, if I have one. The only hammer I know that I have lying around is too big. I am not the one that did the string change last time, a local guitar store did.

(sorry, I really messed up the quote thing :headbang: :lol: -- I fixed it for you -- HR
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Re: HELP: electric acoustic guitar string bridge pins are stuck!

Postby zenguitar » Wed Nov 11, 2020 3:01 am

seriousnewbie wrote: I am not the one that did the string change last time, a local guitar store did.

I think the lesson to take away is that you need to think twice about trusting that local guitar store. Far too often jobs like changing strings are given to the least experienced and least knowledgeable staff. But we all have to learn, and the problem is that they are left to do it unsupervised and without instruction. However, it's just as likely that the person in charge of them is equally lacking in training.

Good luck.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: HELP: electric acoustic guitar string bridge pins are stuck!

Postby seriousnewbie » Wed Nov 11, 2020 3:04 am

zenguitar wrote:
seriousnewbie wrote: I am not the one that did the string change last time, a local guitar store did.

I think the lesson to take away is that you need to think twice about trusting that local guitar store. Far too often jobs like changing strings are given to the least experienced and least knowledgeable staff. But we all have to learn, and the problem is that they are left to do it unsupervised and without instruction. However, it's just as likely that the person in charge of them is equally lacking in training.

Good luck.

Andy :beamup:


I'll keep that in mind, thanks for the tip. Although, I guess its just that one employee, because I trust that store with everything, if I have a question, I simply ask them, they always have the answer. They are simply great people, so that's interesting.
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Re: HELP: electric acoustic guitar string bridge pins are stuck!

Postby zenguitar » Wed Nov 11, 2020 3:29 am

To give you a broader context. My luthiery teacher originally specialised in making lutes (the word luthier actually means 'lute maker') and as part of his training he had access to renaissance lutes in a national collection and was able to have them X-rayed to learn more about their construction and history.

The lute is not as strong structurally as the guitar. That resulted in the soundboard of the lute flexing out of shape over time. This meant that a lute player would periodically need to remove the soundboard and braces, iron the soundboard flat again, replace the braces, and re-fit the soundboard to the instrument. And every time the soundboard was removed and replaced a little material was lost from around it's edge, and another strip of purfling was required to fill the gap.

And that gives us two lessons to learn. The first is that the fancy multiple strip bindings on early/mid 20th century guitars signal quality because they refer back to renaissance lutes; the better the lute was, the more times it was worth removing the front and braces to iron it flat.

The second lesson to learn is that guitarists get it easy maintaining their instruments compared to lute players.

[/end of history lesson]

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Re: HELP: electric acoustic guitar string bridge pins are stuck!

Postby DC-Choppah » Wed Nov 11, 2020 4:51 am

I use my teeth when the pins get stuck! :bouncy:

Use your front teeth under the head of the pin and pull the pin out.
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Re: HELP: electric acoustic guitar string bridge pins are stuck!

Postby seriousnewbie » Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:03 am

DC-Choppah wrote:I use my teeth when the pins get stuck! :bouncy:

Use your front teeth under the head of the pin and pull the pin out.


uumm, the bridge on my acoustic guitar doesnt really allow me to do that.
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Re: HELP: electric acoustic guitar string bridge pins are stuck!

Postby DC-Choppah » Wed Nov 11, 2020 6:18 am

My string winder/cutter has a bridge pin puller on one end too. You use it as shown here:

https://www.stewmac.com/luthier-tools-a ... inder.html

https://www.stewmac.com/luthier-tools-a ... uller.html
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Re: HELP: electric acoustic guitar string bridge pins are stuck!

Postby CS70 » Wed Nov 11, 2020 10:10 am

seriousnewbie wrote:I have tried pretty much everything google and YouTube told me, and it won't work. I have tried to push the string down, which I can't do on the lower 2 strings, E and A. On the top 3 strings, I can push the strings down but it doesn't do anything. I have gone up from under the sound hole and tried to push them up, and it hasn't worked either. This I my first time replacing my strings, so I am sorry if my answer is super simple and am wasting your time. So far the only one I have been able to get up, is the D string bridge pin, the rest won't budge!

A trick I've used in a pinch. Tailors and seamstresses have these metal things they put on their fingers when sewing - to be able to push needles with their fingers. No idea what's the name in English - google translate tells me "thimble".

They work a charm when pushing pins on the inside as well and they cost next to nothing.

Italian moms _always_ have these at home. :)

Image
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Re: HELP: electric acoustic guitar string bridge pins are stuck!

Postby CS70 » Wed Nov 11, 2020 10:11 am

zenguitar wrote:To give you a broader context.

...

Marvelous! :thumbup:
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Re: HELP: electric acoustic guitar string bridge pins are stuck!

Postby blinddrew » Wed Nov 11, 2020 11:39 am

In a pinch you can use a stainless steel fork, but you may end up marking the bridge a bit so finding something to spread the load is worthwhile.
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Re: HELP: electric acoustic guitar string bridge pins are stuck!

Postby ef37a » Wed Nov 11, 2020 12:28 pm

A broad, ~8mm bladed tool with a notch ini it, set at an angle to the shaft of the type upholsterers use to remove tacks might work but you would need a small machine shop to make one!

Actually my eng' brain is working on an extracting tool. PM me if you ever get really stuck Andy!

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Re: HELP: electric acoustic guitar string bridge pins are stuck!

Postby shufflebeat » Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:41 pm

CS70 wrote:Italian moms _always_ have these at home. :)

Image

Also English skiffle fans.
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Re: HELP: electric acoustic guitar string bridge pins are stuck!

Postby zenguitar » Wed Nov 11, 2020 3:05 pm

ef37a wrote:A broad, ~8mm bladed tool with a notch ini it, set at an angle to the shaft of the type upholsterers use to remove tacks might work but you would need a small machine shop to make one!

Actually my eng' brain is working on an extracting tool. PM me if you ever get really stuck Andy!

Dave.

That upholsterers tool makes sense. But there are already commercial bridge pin pullers...

https://www.stewmac.com/luthier-tools-a ... r-2-0.html

And there are others.

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