Maple Cutoffs Source Needed - Nashville Bridge Bushing Puller?

I have a 1968 Les Paul Custom in the shop with an aftermarket Nashville bridge. The owner wants me to pull the Nashville studs and replace them with ABR posts.  I'll need to plug the stud holes but the only maple I have on hand are bridge plate blanks.  Any suggestions as to where I can get come maple cutoffs showing a variety of figures from plain to flamed?  I want to match the current guitar and think ahead to future repairs.

While I'm at it...what do you use to pull bushings?  I've tried putting a 1/2" long cylindrical piece of steel down the bushing hole and then tightening the stud. The bushing came out about 1/4" but won't budge further.

Mucho gracias!

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Hey Steve...I've got the reverse threaded screw extractors if that's what you mean. I'll dig those out but I'm not optimistic. If you consider what the outside of the stud looks like you can imagine what the inside is like: welded together by corrosion. 

Stillsons, spanners, barmy, bollocks, wankers...I've got to hand it to you guys when it comes to imagination.

America and England two countries separated by a common language. I think you call everything to do with removing nuts and bolts a wrench, whereas wrenches here are adjustable and spanners are fixed. As for bollocks and wankers this is not the place - though the internet is full of both.

I've been to jolly ole England a few times and read a lot of English history. Call me an anglophile.

Here's a great story...when I was in 2nd grade we had a spelling test and one word was "theater."  I spelled it "theater" and wrote in the margin that this was the British spelling. The teacher marked it wrong saying "you're not in Great Britain." :-)

Spelling is a complete mystery to me even though I teach it. The powers that be now insist we use phonics even though English is not a phonic language. 

That's tough. It makes me cough. I'll have to plough through my dough until I've had enough.

3rd grade teacher here, can you tell? :)

Hi Mark. Is that the American spelling of plough? I seem to remember a Sherlock Holmes where the nationality of the suspect was confirmed as they spelt it plow. Don't know what 3rd grade equates to over her but I teach 7-11 year olds at present I have 32 7-8 year olds. 

Hi Robbie.

For future reference: the finest penetrating lubricant I've found is some stuff called Hot Sauce.

It's available anywhere fishing supplies are sold.

This product has succeeded and exceeded where other penetrating oils & lubes have failed.  It also has a precision needle applicator so cross contamination is easily kept to a minimum.  The second best is regular liquid Tri-Flow.

I don't allow WD40 in my shop for a myriad of reasons.

You're almost there, man so just breathe deeply, persevere and you'll get the job done. So far, so good.

Best of luck :)

Thanks, Paul. I've heard of Hot Sauce but haven't tried it.I'll look for it a Bass Pro. I've used Tri-Flow for years being a long-time cyclist.

Have you used PB Blaster?  I have it and it works great.

Here's a review from Amazon: "I've used Kroil, WD-40, Tri-Flow, Naval Jelly and other penetrating solvents with limited success. PB Blaster is the first product to deliver what I expect- spray it on, wait a couple minutes, problem solved."

I normally wouldn't use WD-40 on a guitar either.  I taped off the surrounding area with drafting tape and put electrical tape on top of that. Finished up with some of the plastic mat I raved about earlier.  I would have tried PB Blaster but that stuff is potent. The guitar would probably look like this afterwards:

I'm finally back on this old Les Paul. When I last posted on this issue the top of the right tailpiece stud had broken off. I ordered a StewMac Knob and Bushing puller and the puller box bent badly from the strain. SM was great and sent me a new puller box that measured about .030 thicker.

Meanwhile, I took a piece of 1" x 1/8" flat steel and made a couple of 1" x 1" squares, drilled a couple of different size holes in their centers, then hardened and tempered them using a Mapp gas torch, a bucket of oil, and the kitchen oven.

I then drilled and tapped a hole in the stud for a #6 x 32 screw. This pulled out but didn't bend the puller box. So, I redrilled the stud until I saw wood dust for a #10 x 32 hex-head bolt. I inserted the bolt into the closest fitting square I made and cranked it in with a hex wrench.

I put the puller in place and started cranking with a box-end wrench. Every 5 turns I paused for a few minutes to let the wood adjust in hopes of avoiding tearout.  It came out but even the last few mm were hard.  Unfortunately, there was some tear out but, if you recall the corroded bushing I previously posted, I'm guessing this is par for the course (I'm not looking forward to talking to the owner).

I'm planning on gluing the chips down with hot hide glue. I'm not sure about whether to drop-fill with lacquer or superglue. My limited experience with lacquer drop fills is that they take forever but aren't difficult to get the color right if I take my time.

More worrying to me are the dents left by the puller (see Photo 3). These dents were made through a polyethylene sheet over a well fitting 1/4" cork donut. I'm gathering options - hairdryer, a wet rag and soldering iron - and suggestions are appreciated. All of these methods seem to have a high probability of making things worse.

Hi Robbie.

The tear-out in the pictures is normal. You did a really good job especially considering the poor condition of the stud inserts.

"(I'm not looking forward to talking to the owner)".  Don't be. You did good quality work and remember that YOU were not responsible for letting the guitar get into the shape it was in when it came through your door.

Don't forget to charge for all the extra time it to to win this wrestling match. YOU'VE EARNED IT !!!.

The choice of repair finish materials is yours. Both give good results. The biggest challenge will be blending the drop fill in with that orange peel finish.

One option would be to do the drop fill and then spray several coats of new lac onto the top and bring the entire top up to the customer's "gloss expectation". If the owner consents, you have the opportunity to turn the old 'semi-pro/amateur re-finished top into a showstopper

But I digress so....again: good job :)

Best regards!

Thanks, Paul!  Do you think I should try to steam out the semi-circle dents left by the puller or drop-fill them?


Please don't infer this as a cop-out, but that's your call.

My only concern would be: the old refin may lift during the process. If you do nothing, it won't devalue the guitar any more than the refin did.

I use the puller tool method as a last resort expressly due to the fact that the probability of giant squid sucker marks on the face of the instrument is high in "those SOB's just won't budge" cases.

What do you think of this ‘possible solution’ to prevent circles on future bushing pulls?:

Best of luck,
Paul :)


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