Skip to content
String-changing pro...
 
Notifications
Clear all

String-changing problems!!! Help???

16 Posts
10 Users
0 Likes
3,054 Views
(@margaret)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1675
Topic starter  

I decided it was past time to change the factory strings from our two metal string acoustic guitars. Armed with an article on changing strings from Acoustic Guitar magazine, a Mel Bay guitar stringing flyer, a combo pin puller/winder/cutter and two sets of Elixir Light strings, I started.

Smartly, I decided to do my son's guitar first, so mine wouldn't be the disabled one if I ran into problems. :twisted: Somehow I knew this couldn't be as easy as everyone claims it is.

Loosened the sixth string a bit, pulled the bridge pin, unwound the string and removed it, no problem. (Good thing I opted not to cut the string in removing it. Read on.)

Took the new string, put the ball end in the hole, threaded the other end through the post, leaving the recommended amt of slack, bent the loose end to wrap around the post and the dang string broke off in my hand. Pulled the old low E string out of the garbage and managed to put it back on, though not very securely since it had been trimmed short.

Tried to pull the bridge pin from string 5, and the damn pin broke off, deep in the hole.

Any advice on how I will get the broken stub of the pin out of the hole? There is still a length of string sticking out of it, but I can see that the pin is lodged a bit off-center in the hole and so will not pull straight up and out.

Can I access the stub through the soundhole? To do that, I would need to remove several strings at once, which I thought was a no-no.

Any advice? Maybe I need to take it to a professional? And thanks in advance!

Margaret

When my mind is free, you know a melody can move me
And when I'm feelin' blue, the guitar's comin' through to soothe me ~


   
Quote
(@Anonymous)
New Member
Joined: 1 second ago
Posts: 0
 

This happened to me a few weeks ago (with the Jay Turser I WILL be giving to Nick...sorry Nick! :oops: ). I was lucky that the holes went all the way through the guitar so I just used a small screwdriver and tapped the broken piece through the guitar into the body. Then I just rolled the guitar around until it came out of the hole. If that won't work VERY carefully using the SMALLEST drill bit you have try to drill the piece out. A Dermel Rotary tool would work great for this since they are small and easier to control. It may take a few attempts.

Sorry I couldn't offer more help!


   
ReplyQuote
(@margaret)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1675
Topic starter  

Thanks, Mike!

It worked, using the screwdriver to push it on through.

Shoot, now I'm afraid to try any more. I think I need to hire a string-changer. I can't take the pressure. :roll:

Margaret

When my mind is free, you know a melody can move me
And when I'm feelin' blue, the guitar's comin' through to soothe me ~


   
ReplyQuote
(@Anonymous)
New Member
Joined: 1 second ago
Posts: 0
 

I am assuming your guitar is older so the pins just might break off. They are so cheap buy a bunch of them and keep them handy.

Glad it worked!


   
ReplyQuote
(@margaret)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1675
Topic starter  

I am now a veteran string-changer.

1st guitar - broke one string and two bridge pins

2nd guitar - didn't break anything Whew! :D
Mikespe wrote: I am assuming your guitar is older so the pins just might break off. They are so cheap buy a bunch of them and keep them handy.

Actually, both guitars are only a couple years old. My son's (the pin breaker) is an Ibanez, and mine is a solid mahogany Oscar Schmidt.

Fortunately, a friend had advised me to pick up some extra bridge pins along with the strings, so I did have them on hand. At 30 cents apiece, it would've really torqued me to have to go out of town again to get replacements, so it was a sage piece of advice. 8)

Thx again, Mike!

Margaret

When my mind is free, you know a melody can move me
And when I'm feelin' blue, the guitar's comin' through to soothe me ~


   
ReplyQuote
(@gadlaw)
Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 218
 

I was just in a guitar store today browsing and saw a fellow behind the counter restringing a guitar. I watched him for a minute and said to him that I'm glad there are folks who can do that in a professional kind of manner. He smiled and offered to show me how to do it. I said oh, I've carefully watched a number of folks restring a guitar and am still quite willing to let someone who knows what they are doing do my guitars when it's needed. I don't feel the need for all that drama at this time. If I tried that and broke a pin off in the guitar I'd have passed out. :-) Very brave of you.

Enjoy your karma, after all you earned it.
http://www.gadlaw.com


   
ReplyQuote
(@margaret)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1675
Topic starter  

Gadlaw wrote: If I tried that and broke a pin off in the guitar I'd have passed out. Very brave of you.
:lol: Thank you, G. I did let a few choice words fly when the top half of the (broken) pin flipped upward into the ceiling fan. And a few more (louder) when I looked into the hole and saw the other half of the pin stuck there! :lol:

Then I IMMEDIATELY jumped on GN looking for advice, and voila, within minutes I had it! Ain't that cool?

I assure you, if I can pull this off, you can, too.

Not sure I'm ready to try the electric, though. Last time I asked my teacher to do it for me.

Margaret

When my mind is free, you know a melody can move me
And when I'm feelin' blue, the guitar's comin' through to soothe me ~


   
ReplyQuote
(@telemarker)
Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 64
 

I used to pull real hard on the bridge pins to get 'em out, then I figured out that if you push the string back down into the bridge, it releases the bridge pin and the come out by hand with no force.

Glad to hear you were successful!


   
ReplyQuote
(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5840
 

By the way, there is absolutely nothing wrong with removing all the strings at once, it won't harm the guitar in any way. The only thing to watch out for is loose bridges (tune-o-matic and acoustic floating bridges), they will fall off and maybe damage your guitar. If you know in advance what is going to happen, you can factor that into your changing routine.

Taking all the strings off will NOT cause the neck to warp, bend or sing Dixie! The neck started life without strings, so why should taking them off cause it to do things it would never, otherwise do?

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN


   
ReplyQuote
(@tim_madsen)
Prominent Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 724
 

By the way, there is absolutely nothing wrong with removing all the strings at once, it won't harm the guitar in any way. The only thing to watch out for is loose bridges (tune-o-matic and acoustic floating bridges), they will fall off and maybe damage your guitar. If you know in advance what is going to happen, you can factor that into your changing routine.

Taking all the strings off will NOT cause the neck to warp, bend or sing Dixie! The neck started life without strings, so why should taking them off cause it to do things it would never, otherwise do?

I agree, I always take off all the strings. Gives me a chance to give the fret board and frets a good inspection and cleaning if needed. I wouldn't go poking a broken pin through into the body you risk the chance of reaming out the hole. i'd take the strings off and push it back out from the inside. I change my strings once a month and I've never had taking all the strings off adversely effect my guitar.

Tim Madsen
Nobody cares how much you know,
until they know how much you care.

"What you keep to yourself you lose, what you give away you keep forever." -Axel Munthe


   
ReplyQuote
(@Anonymous)
New Member
Joined: 1 second ago
Posts: 0
 

I wouldn't go poking a broken pin through into the body you risk the chance of reaming out the hole.

The holes on my guitar are the same diameter all the way through and since the widest part of the bridge pin is already broken off the hole should be fine. Plus the plastic bridge pins will give a little. If it were a bone or ebony bridge pin then caution should be taken.


   
ReplyQuote
(@margaret)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1675
Topic starter  

Thx for the responses, everyone. This forum and the people here are wonderful!

Since you think it's fine to do, next time I will take off all the strings at once so I can oil the fretboard, etc.
I wouldn't go poking a broken pin through into the body you risk the chance of reaming out the hole.

The pin holes on that guitar do appear to taper as they go down, so I was very concerned about that. I used the smallest screwdriver I could find. I had to apply more force than I was really comfortable doing, and fortunately, the outcome was ok.

In this case, I don't think I could have pulled the broken pin end back up through the hole because it was lodged so far off-center, with the raw broken surface tightly embedded in the wood (into one side/bottom edge of the pin hole). I think even a professional would have had to push it on through, although they probably would have had better tools and known more precautions to take to avoid potential damage.

As I looked at both broken pins later, I was pretty sure they had been broken (but not completely come apart) in their holes for a while, and didn't just break during removal. Oxidation along the raw edges of the breaks, changing the color of the pin's plastic, made me think this.
if you push the string back down into the bridge, it releases the bridge pin and the come out by hand with no force

I'll try that. And I learned to be careful to pull straight up with the pin pulling tool, to avoid any "prying" motion like one would use on a beer bottle top.
nothing wrong with removing all the strings at once, it won't harm the guitar in any way. The only thing to watch out for is loose bridges (tune-o-matic and acoustic floating bridges)

When my guitar teacher changed the strings on my Fender electric, an itty bitty screw came out of the bridge and he had to put something back together. That's why I'm still not eager to change my own electric strings--afraid I'll get into trouble there if that happens again.

Margaret

When my mind is free, you know a melody can move me
And when I'm feelin' blue, the guitar's comin' through to soothe me ~


   
ReplyQuote
(@noteboat)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

I agree - taking all the strings off won't do any damage. There's one exception though.... if you have a guitar with a moveable bridge that's held in place by string tension (like many jazz guitars). Then you want to go one at a time, or it can take a while to get the intonation right.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
ReplyQuote
(@dylan6776)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 124
 

Mmm, just reading this post and not sure I agree with everything. I've been told by several musicians (amateur and professional) NEVER to remove all the strings at once. Yes the guitar did start out stringless, but the trussrod that runs up the neck is adjusted once the guitar is strung, and removing them all can alter the rod, thus warping the neck. This is what I was told, so please don't shoot the messenger guys, but apparently it is good practice to always keep tention on the neck.

Also, I've broke a few pins in my time (I learned to re-string myself some time ago and now have it off to a fine art!), and I've always pushed the broken ones in with another bridge pin, which avoids reaming the hole and causing any damage. Seems to work.

Also, I think the finest piece of kit I've ever bought is a Crafter Bridgepin Remover. Expensive at £7, but have never broken a pin since! It cleanly lifts them up and out with no effort and doesn't mark the bridge in anyway. Marvellous!! :)

Never assume the other fellow has intelligence equal to yours. He may have more.


   
ReplyQuote
(@kent_eh)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1882
 

Anytime I've seen a guitar tech from a traveling show* doing their thing, they have always removed all the strings from any guitar that they've been re-stringing -- which they usually do before each evening's show. On every guitar that the show carries.

Since these guys are restringing a dozen or more guitars daily, I would expect that they'd see damage rather soon and often if removing all strings at once caused damage.

* Not to drop names, but some of these techs were working for Steve Earl, Anne Murray, Midnight Oil, Kim Mitchell, Marty Stuart, Trooper, Tom Jackson, Barenaked Ladies....

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
ReplyQuote
Page 1 / 2