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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:07 pm 
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Koa
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I've got this Yamaha guitar in with a lifting bridge. It's one of their FPX models from 20 or so years ago, with the string through bridge. There are two bolts holding it on the guitar otherwise the bridge probably would have popped a long time ago. As an added complication the bridge is finished and so much less forgiving for working on. Any suggestions on how to get those pearl dots out without mangling the bridge in the process, should I just drill them out and replace with new?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:13 pm 
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I always carefully removed them with a sharp Exacto blade....

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These users thanked the author Chris Pile for the post: Conor_Searl (Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:16 pm)
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:16 pm 
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Koa
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Score around the pearl and then gently try and lever them out?

Chris Pile wrote:
I always carefully removed them with a sharp Exacto blade....


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:19 pm 
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Koa
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As a follow up...

Anyone have any experience with what's on the end of what I assumed were bolts? The shaft looks threaded, and what I thought were bolts feel round to my fingers, (could be a very small bolt though), or maybe more like some sort of rivet?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:21 pm 
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The ones I've done were bolts, around #4 size

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:59 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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This will get them there genuine imitation pearl dots off in one felled swoop, too. :)

https://youtu.be/t5Q4iUBXNEM

Since this is an import use a metric hatchet.

Seriously pick and pry and score but not in that order as the others have said. Sometimes you can take your nuts off (the ones on the bridge plate.... sheesh...) and push the bolts up with a block of wood inside the guitar and push the pearl out. If the holes have not been relieved though and the threads are bitting this doesn't work.

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These users thanked the author Hesh for the post: Conor_Searl (Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:55 pm)
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:25 pm 
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Quote:
Score around the pearl and then gently try and lever them out?


I would look for the widest gap between the dot and the wood (if there is one), and using the point try to gently persuade the dot to pop out. Start vertical, and then lever down. Don't go too deep with the point, or you'll risk breaking it off. Just work around the dot, eventually it will yield. If it's a cheap plastic dot, you'll probably put a mark in the plastic. Make it nice later, or get another one to replace it.

Good luck!

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These users thanked the author Chris Pile for the post: Conor_Searl (Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:33 pm)
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:43 pm 
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Speaking only for myself, I think any prying on those dots from around the edge is likelier to mar the bridge than not. If the problem was mine, I'd drill out the center of the dot and use the drill bit to pry the dot out. I'd put a divot in the center of the dot with a burr in a Dremel tool, to positively locate the drill bit. Dots are cheap and readily available. The dots may very well be a stiff interference fit and have no interest in being picked out of their holes and any prying around the edge, i.e., forcing something between the dot and the bridge, will leave a mark all by itself. the only gap there will be that made by the prybar.

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These users thanked the author phavriluk for the post: Conor_Searl (Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:52 pm)
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:57 pm 
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Koa
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Hesh wrote:
This will get them there genuine imitation pearl dots off in one felled swoop, too. :)

https://youtu.be/t5Q4iUBXNEM


Hahaha, I'm so confused! Is this something you guys actually do? I'd say obviously not, but it worked really well so maybe?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:34 pm 
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For old Gibsons with these type dots I will take the bridge off with the screws installed. I remove the nuts on the inside first. Once it's off some *very* gentle taps with a rubber hammer on the screws will make the dots pop out along with the screws. If they're tight I'll lightly heat up the area around the top with a wet cloth and a soldering iron.

In my experience trying to pry them off always either results in a chipped or gouged bridge.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:06 pm 
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Conor_Searl wrote:
Hesh wrote:
This will get them there genuine imitation pearl dots off in one felled swoop, too. :)

https://youtu.be/t5Q4iUBXNEM


Hahaha, I'm so confused! Is this something you guys actually do? I'd say obviously not, but it worked really well so maybe?


I've done it once (after I saw the video) but on a guitar that I was going to retop anyway. It worked too! I wouldn't try it on a good top, I'd be afraid I might mess it up.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:23 pm 
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I’ve done a few of these by tapping around the edge of the dot with a small punch. This (usually) breaks any glue bond and “tips” the dot so that a small pick can lift it out. Of course, YMMV.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:39 am 
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Conor_Searl wrote:
Hesh wrote:
This will get them there genuine imitation pearl dots off in one felled swoop, too. :)

https://youtu.be/t5Q4iUBXNEM


Hahaha, I'm so confused! Is this something you guys actually do? I'd say obviously not, but it worked really well so maybe?


LOL No this was set-up to be funny. Dave did it in one try and absolutely nailed it though with zero top damage his hatchet aim and technique was worthy of a staring role on Game of Thrones.

On a serious note we do at times when appropriate for the instrument whack a bridge off using the special chisel shown. It's been bent at an angle to not dig into the top, the leading edge has been rounded a bit and it's kept very high polished to also not harm finish that it may lay on for a brief second while positioning for the blow. This method works well with bridges that are nearly off and/or have been glued on with CA on say a poly finished guitar.

It's also a lot of fun. We've considered building a fixture to hold guitars on the floor and letting me get my Big Bertha golf driver out and go at it too. That might be funny when I smash the body of the guitar beyond recognition. Divots and Lutherie are not generally comparable. :)

PS: No guitars were actually harmed during the filming of this video. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:30 am 
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If the dots are genuine MOP then I heat them with my soldering iron a bit and they pop right out with a dental pick. If they are celluloid i drill a small hole in the center and pop them out and replace with new.

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These users thanked the author B. Howard for the post: Pmaj7 (Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:24 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:41 am 
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Mr. Howards solution is legit.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:52 pm 
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Koa
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Thanks everyone, I tried and tried to get them out without ruining the dots, but in the end they were plastic and $.70 to replace so I drilled them and popped them out. Super easy. Not sure why I insist on working so hard on saving insignificant things sometimes. Incidentally it was a 5mm socket that worked to remove the bolts from inside.

The bridge is off now, and just needs to be prepped for re-glue.



These users thanked the author Conor_Searl for the post: DanKirkland (Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:57 pm)
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:54 pm 
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Koa
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Any tips on keeping glue squeeze out out of the holes when doing bridge reglues? Usually I just drill out the glue and then ream the bridge pin holes. With this bridge as its string through and the only holes are for the two bolts and the pickup, I was hoping to use the bolts as locating pins (or at least use the holes that way) but I'm concerned about gluing in place whatever is used as a locating pin.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:28 pm 
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Yes - StewMac sells these nylon pins that mimic the shape of bridge pins. Helps you locate the bridge correctly before gluing, and afterwards you can pull them out, run a little warm water over them to clean them, and then save them in a baggie for the next time.

Never mind - that won't work on this. My bad. Forgot it was a string through bridge. Wax the bolts with Chapstick?

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These users thanked the author Chris Pile for the post: Conor_Searl (Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:44 pm)
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:41 pm 
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If you are good at figuring out which way the runout in the top is going the you can take the bridge of cold. I use a 1in chisel and tap around the perimeter to get it started and ad progressively more oomf to the wacks taking care of grain runout.

But anyway... Also when I glue a bridge back up like that I don't bother putting the bolts back in place.



These users thanked the author jfmckenna for the post: Conor_Searl (Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:07 pm)
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:07 pm 
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Koa
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jfmckenna wrote:
But anyway... Also when I glue a bridge back up like that I don't bother putting the bolts back in place.


Ever?

This bridge is string through, wouldn't it make sense since they were there in the first place to just role with the initial designs intention?


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