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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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Thanks, Luke...you're very kind to offer.

I'll leave the real experts here to resolve the actual fix and repair part of the discussion, My luthier skills are somewhere below amature. (But I read everything, just lack of hands on practice holds me back).

For Maple (and other) cutoffs track down the businesses and individuals in your area that install wood floors, ask them to keep some of their cut offs and reject boards for you when they are working with the types of wood you are looking for.

Custom cabinet makers might also be a potential source.

If there is a construction materials salvage in your area they can also be a source of interesting, and nicely aged,(and cheap) wood.

Fred...I hadn't thought of flooring and cabinet guys but that's a great idea. I guess there are people still making things from something other than MDF or laminate. My cynicism about modern building methods shows through ;-)

I received my Shatten Designs Knob and Bushing Puller from StewMac today. I immediately applied it to the Les Paul with mixed results.  The bridge bushings came right out.  The tailpiece bushings were another story. Before applying the puller I heated the bushings with 60-watt soldering iron, screwed in bolts and tapped them gently with a small ball pein hammer on all sides to break adhesion. The left hand bushing came out very reluctantly and not only bent the puller box but caused some tear out.  I then pounded the puller box flat, tapped the hole I drilled in the tailpiece stud,  inserted a screw with the appropriate washers, and bent the washers and the puller box.  Still haven't gotten the stud and bushing out.

The orange sheet is a Flexible Cutting Mat I get at WalMart. I cut them up and use them for soldering, touchup, etc. Very handy! Neither glue nor solder will stick. They're about .5mm thick but pretty stiff and come in packs of 3 for about $3.

Robbie , why do you need to remove the tailpiece inserts ? I thought you were just doing the bridge studs ?

Len...One of the tailpiece studs is frozen in place. I tried several ways of loosening it...heating it, tapping it, and applying WD-40 before using the StewMac Stud Wrench. Then I tried a vise-grip and finally a pipe wrench at which point the head broke off. The only way to extract the stud now is to pull it and the bushing.

I also checked a new standard sized stud from Stewmac against the empty stud bushing and it wouldn't fit.  I think the threads per inch is different. So I decided to pull both bushings and use the ones that came with the new studs.

Robbies,

The stop tailpiece studs are, indeed, either Metric or USA threads.   The metric threads are either coarse or fine, so there are three distinct options.  

Schaller (European) use a fine metric thread,  Gotoh and the rest of the Asian manufacturers usually use a coarse thread (which is what you appear to have here) for early Japanese made studs but have recently changed a bit towards fine as the production has moved to Korea and China - it's a bit messy.

Tonepros (found on modern LP's and SG's etc) hardware can be either coarse or fine Asian or USA threaded.  Replacement posts come in all sizes and are easily obtainable once you know what you are looking for.

At the risk of being indelicate, none of this stuff is a secret but you have to ask someone who has experience with these things to winkle out the answer.

Given where you are at, a bolt, a washer  a socket and a good heavy pad or my aforementiond claw hammer and heavy cork pad is appropriate.  Countersink/chamfer  the edge of the bore a tad before you do anything more to minimize the tear-out that will occur.  

Good Luck,

Rusty.

Thanks, Rusty...no worries about "being indelicate"...I"m not thin-skinned and really appreciate the help. I'm not embarrassed to ask stupid questions but I try to do my homework before asking by searching the web and all my books.

I guess I assumed that because this was a1969 that the stud would be SAE rather than metric and there would be, like most screws, coarse or fine threads.  I tried all the bolts that came with the bushing puller and a few more and none fit. One would screw in 4 or 5 turns which usually means correct size, incorrect thread.  I'm going to invest in this bolt/thread guage:

http://www.amazon.com/Mounted-Thread-Checker-Measure-Diameter/dp/B0...

In any case, you're right. Time to step it up a notch, leverage wise. One idea is to cut some squares out of 1/8" hardened steel flat bar that will slip tightly inside the puller box on the Knob and Bushing Puller and drill holes for various bolts. The squares would act as formidable washers and reinforce the puller box.

Chamfering the edge is a good idea and I will definitely do that. The tailpiece bushing is corroded which is probably the "glue" holding this baby in.

Excuse me, but why are you posting a picture of a fossilized mastodon tooth here?

Gees Robbie, I owe you an apology:   the guitar gods were toying with you - I've never seen anything like that and I've seen a lot, including instruments that have lived in very corrosive environments and been soaked from time to time

We all focused on our fave way of getting studs out, which as it prevails, is a sideshow - no system would have foreseen this or made this good.   So you, at least,  can rest easy knowing you did your best.   I would not be adverse to informing the customer of a selection our professional advice here given the extreme pathology you have had to deal with.

I think we are all saying "I'm glad that didn't happen to me"

Regards,

Rusty.

No apology necessary...I need all the help I can get staying on my toes.

Yeah...that stud looks like it was recovered by Mel Fisher from the Atocha, huh?

Easiest way to remove studs is to use two nuts. thread them both on, using two spanners undo the bottom while tightening he top one; the nuts will lock. Put your spanner on the bottom nut and the stud will come out, obviously sometimes a little persuasion, lube or heat is needed. Pipe wrenches? I think they're called Stillsons over here, should never be used as they both bugger up the thread and tend to twist so you are not efficiently using your energy. 

If the stud does break they can be removed by something called an Easy Out. Drill the stud to take your easy out which is a tapered left handed thread, screw into the stud and a you tighten the stud (should ) come out. I've had the same set since I was an apprenticed in 1975 and it saved my bacon many times.

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