I need a set of extra long bridge pins. We're working on a 70's Gibson J-50 that has had some strange repairs done. Primarily, it's had a weird, decades old neck reset that included a tongue shim. Of course, this aimed the fretboard over half an inch above the top and necessitated the repairman making a really tall bridge. Underneath that, there's also a bridge plate cap that's on top of the old plate. All of this added mass means, among other things, that the bridge pins barely poke out enough to hold a ball end in place.
Of course, we could (should) reset the neck and remove all that excess timber but it's not the right time for this owner. And overall, it's semi playable. So the band-aid we're searching for is extra long bridge pins - ideally with a shaft over a full inch. The longest I've found are around .960
So, does anyone make or know of a maker of custom bridge pins that could make a set? Nothing exotic or super pricy material wise - wood would be great.
Your photo shows that you could seat the existing pins about 1/8" deeper.
That's a badly staged photo on my part, Howard. Even with the pins seated all the way down they're too short. It only functioned up to now because the balls were burrowing into the wood and forcing the pins up like that.
Contact Bob Colosi here: http://www.guitarsaddles.com/products.asp He can custom make what you need.
Thanks Mark. I'll give Bob a shout!
Altho' I usually prefer to "modify the pins, not the guitar," another possible solution, if the break angle isn't excessive already...
...have you considered "countersinking" or chamfering the pin holes on the top of the bridge? I have seen that done on quite a number of guitars, some of them pretty high end. You might be able to gain (lose?) enough bridge depth to then use standard length pins. It will increase the break angle a bit... but it doesn't look to be excessive at this point.
Just a suggestion... I'm not a professional tech, so don't know if there are other factors that would weigh against this option.
Thanks for the idea Dave. I do think I located some extra long pins that I'm hoping will do the trick. Lowering the back of the bridge or counter-sinking the pins themselves might be another route to try if we run into problems.
Thanks Keith, I was thinking the same thing after reading Dave's thoughts. As it turns out, I found some very long pins and we'll be trying to make them work this week. Appreciate the thoughts.