I've come at the problem many different ways. All have been successful with varying levels of frustration and sometimes downright aggravation depending on the circumstances.
We can all look out the same window and get a different view. I'd like to hear what's been successful and user friendly in the tricky undertaking of bridge plate removal.
Tales to tell anyone?
Horror stories are welcome as well.

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Removing a bridge plate is a job I don't like. I'm in the planning stage of a tool to help me heat these critters out. I'll share photos when its tried and true.
Can't wait to see your progress David.
Thanks for the advice. I pretty much use the same process with a varied party of homemade pickers and pullers. I always just kind of followed my heart and gut in as far as temperature and time in they're application. I love the idea of the infared temperature device. It should really help me to standardize much more accurately the removal process. Thanks again Daniel.
All I am able to say my friend is that you have some big cahones to push that kind of heat. Good on you for making it out of that one alive. 3/8ths really? Holy schnikes.
I read a neat tip on bridge plate removal recently on the technical section at UMGF. It was John Hall at Blues Creek Guitars who described how he put a wet rag on the bridgeplate with the guitar laying top down. The rag shall be just soaked enough to wet the bridgeplate through the wood so the glue is disolving. After a while the bridgeplate can be popped of with sharp tools.

Never tried it but I will next time I need to remove one.

You can purchase an electric heat pad that is roughly the size of the BP, and use it to heat to temp.
I've used one of those heating pads in the past. It was for bridge removal and was shaped for a pyramid style bridge. Not the best heat transference given the application. It did yeild results. Once again it was the gauging in timing with the fear of overheating in mind that still made the operation nailbiting.
One of the better shaped heating pads,coupled with the temp gauge(Daniel),and a litttle moisture(Magnus) I think has the potential for brilliance.
This is the beauty of this forum. We are able to look out the same window and see a different view. When all the views combine we all benefit.
Thank you all for your contributions. Whomever has the oportunity to exact this technique first please give an account of it.
Thank you all so much.
I made a trapezoidal heating block out of some 7/8" thick aluminum plate, attached to a metal handle. Heat it with a torch to the very warm stage. Took a cheap Stanley 3/4" wide wood chisel, ground it thin, heated and bent it into a hooked-scraper shape. Apply the heat block until the glue warms and slowly pry the plate loose with the chisel. I think this is the Don Teeter method.
I don't cherish this job either. But when I do it I use the silicone heating blankets sold by LMI that are shaped for bridge plates. I clamp them in place with a plywood caul underneath them and I clamp a thermocouple between the heating blanket and the bridge plate so I can monitor the temperature. I bought an inexpensive Extech multi-meter that has a thermometer function and comes with a three foot long thermocouple. It was about $20. Now I use it for all my heating blanket procedures: removing bridges, bridge plates, and fingerboard extensions during neck resets. I control the temperature of the heating blanket with a standard dimer switch type rheostat. Once I get the glue loose on the bridge plate, I begin the delicate process of prying it loose. Often it cools enough while I'm trying to pry it loose that I need to re-heat it. I gauge the temperature of the top of the guitar simply by touch. But I like the idea of the infared thermometer. I have one already an never thought to use it. Thanks for the tip.
Thanks Bob and Todd.
Has anyone ever used the Stew-Mac Bridge Saver? Thoughts,gripes,bitches,complaints,love, praises and opinions?
Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving.
Bought a BridgeSaver system when Dan put 'em in the catalog... because it looked like a good idea and makes tons of sense on paper. In reality, I've used it 3 or 4 times . It's very labor-intensive and you spend a lot of time for the end-result. All things being equal, I would now only use it on high-end guitars where the bridgeplate appears too difficult to replace without causing additional damage.

Like many specialized StewMac tools, it's expensive and it's just one tool in the arsenal, but not always the first choice. My final grade would be a C+. Not bad, but not a "go-to" daily driver.
PS: the other thing I wanted to mention is that, while the BridgeSaver will repair the individually-worn areas where the string ball has worn the plate, it can't address the more common problem of wood break-out BETWEEN the pin holes.

All in all, I think that it's easier (in the long run) to try to replace the bridgeplate initially.


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