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Removing Bridge Studs From Body


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Hey there,

I've got a guitar I've stripped down and now I have a problem. There are four metal studs for the bridge assembly in the wooden body. They don't screw out or anything of the sort. So, I ask how to I remove these without taking chunks of wood with them? I need them gone so I can flatten out the front of the body before I add a flamed veneer.

Thanks

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Studs from a Gibson-style tune-o-matic bridge and tailpiece?

Basically, I find a sort of long bolt that threads into the studs. (Bring the pieces of the bridge you took out of the studs to the hardware store and find something that matches)

Then I get a short piece of pipe or a large ratchet socket or something that is larger than the stud. (We're going to use this as a "tube" and the stud is going to pull up through this tube.) If the head of the bolt is not large than the top of whatever you're using for a tube, thread a large fender washer on it to keep the bolt from going through the tube. If you don't have anything handy, a piece of wood or two with a large hole drilled through it can function.

Then you screw the bolt, through that tube, into the stud. When the bolt gets threaded down all the way so the head of it, (or the washer) is on the top of whatever you're using for a tube, keep turning. Since the bolt can't go down any farther, as you keep turning, you'll pull the bushing up through your "tube" instead.

A couple caveats - if you're using a socket, or a piece of pipe, you'll probably want something to cushion the face of the guitar and spread the force out a bit. A piece of softwood with a hole in it, or a couple layers of stiff leather or craft foam or whatever. If your guitar is made out of particularly soft wood, you could dent it without care.

Shouldn't matter in your case since you're refinishing, but also, if the finish appears to be attached to the stud or going over it a bit, it's a good idea to score around the stud so the finish doesn't chip when you're pulling the stud out.

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I just use the inserts from the bridge itself -- you don't need much pressure to remove the bushings. And I use a clawhammer. Screw the inserts in part way (you don't want them to wiggle about).

Place something soft down to protect the surface of the wood -- then place a block of wood high enough to give you leverage with the clawhammer.

Then gently lift the bushing out.

Assuming the bushings weren't glued in (a factory guitar won't have glued in bushings), that's really all it takes.

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Mickguard's method works well too, however, in softer woods, I've had the holes go slightly oblong on me, and pressing them back in, they don't fit quite as tight as before. I don't like to use the original studs as I've chipped the plating on them before. The method I outlined above seems a little complex, but it's really only complex in it's description. (I should make a drawing or a video or something...) but it's not too much of a hassle if you've got all the bits sitting around the shop. (I do - I use a fender washer from my parts drawer, bolts I had lying around, and a large and long socket wrench.)

That said, either method should work well. I like mine better, but nothings wrong with Mick's method. If you're prying it out, I like to work around the stud, rather than continue pulling it from multiple directions, so it goes more straight up as it comes out.

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Well, I haven't had an issue with chipping the plating, but you're right, it's a risk -- although a bit of masking tape would prevent that.

By using the block of wood, the clawhammer's movement essentially becomes vertical, so I haven't had a problem with stretching the hole either. But again, it's true, that's a potential risk.

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Well, I haven't had an issue with chipping the plating, but you're right, it's a risk -- although a bit of masking tape would prevent that.

By using the block of wood, the clawhammer's movement essentially becomes vertical, so I haven't had a problem with stretching the hole either. But again, it's true, that's a potential risk.

I have a small (10" or so) crowbar that I find is easier to use than a claw hammer. I used it to remove tailpiece bushings using your method, very successfully.

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