Bridge pulled out of body

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by phineas12gauge, Nov 9, 2011.


  1. phineas12gauge

    phineas12gauge

    Sep 4, 2011
    Last night, I was replacing strings on my bass. I used some heavies and had some problems with some of the tuning machines. They felt like they might have been stripped, that is, they would tighten to a certain point and then "slip" back.

    Me, being a genius, decided I would use a flat-head screw driver to help the tuning machines as I tightened them, as the strings were still rather floppy at this point. Basically, what I did was as I tightened the string I kept turning the screw driver in step and this seemed to combat the slippage.

    As I was putting on the E string, all of sudden the other strings went slack and I looked at my bridge it had been pulled out, stripping the screw holes.

    A few questions:

    1. I'm assuming this was caused by me over-tightening the strings. Is this the case? I've never changed strings on a bass before so I guess I did something wrong.

    2. If I didn't cause it, should I return it to get replaced?

    3. Is this something I can fix myself?
     
  2. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Flossin'? I thought your name was Munson!

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    Hipshot
    You'd have to have tightened the strings REALLY tight to get the bridge to do that. Do you have a tuner to know when to stop tightening? Any pics you can post would definitely be helpful in getting you an answer.
     
  3. stflbn

    stflbn

    May 10, 2007
    Nashville
    Hard to get around the fact that regardless, you did cause it... it likely could be a problem convincing that all of the screws holding the bridge were all flawed. IMHO

    What is the bass? Has it been modded? Etc etc etc... information and details are a big help here.
     
  4. john grey

    john grey

    Apr 19, 2011
    Oracle, Arizona
    Questions such as that NEED pics, brand name, close ups, etc. It's somewhat odd in that the leverage needed to bend the bridge would be fairly enormous. Post some pics!
     
  5. baskruit

    baskruit

    Oct 21, 2010
    Netherlands
    Wow. I'd expect the strings to break before you'd rip out the bridge.
     
  6. phineas12gauge

    phineas12gauge

    Sep 4, 2011
    It's a Squier Bronco Bass, no mods or anything.

    Not sure if pics would really help as I've already taken the strings and bridge off.
     
  7. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    Me, too. I'm not an engineer by trade, but the strings are pulling at right angles to the screws securing the bridge to the body, at a point close to where the screws go into the body. It just doesn't seem likely, to me, you could possibly put enough tension on the strings to shear the screws off or (given that the lever is pretty short) even pull the bridge loose. I'd figure on the strings failing, as baskruit noted--either breaking or pulling off the ball end.
     
  8. soulman969

    soulman969 Inactive

    Oct 6, 2011
    Englewood, Colorado
    That's a lower end bass but the construction shouldn't be so bad that you can tear the bridge out of it. Where you using a tuner when you brought the strings up to pitch? How did you have the strings wrapped around the tuning pegs? How new is the bass?

    Unless there was a defect you'd have to put an awful lot of pressure on that bridge to just have it yank out like that.
     
  9. I had read a thread I believe last year with the same situation look it up. before that I had never heard of it happening in my 40+ years of playing bass and now this is the second time crazy!
     
  10. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I've owned several Broncos for a few years and never had a problem like that.

    There are 5 bridge screws on a Bronco in a 3x2 pattern. The bridge mounting screws are comparatively short and the body is basswood which has a wide degree of variation in hardness and therefore the ability to hold screws, especially if somewhere along the line, either at the factory or afterwards, the screws may have been overtightened which could partially strip the holes.

    However, there also seems to be a bit of operator headspace involved with the method of tightening the strings.
     
  11. phineas12gauge

    phineas12gauge

    Sep 4, 2011

    There 2 rear screws were the ones that pulled out, as a result the front 3 screws were partially raised.

    I'm definitely think it is from over-tightening but I am just really surprised that this would happen. As others have said, I really thought the strings would break first.

    The Good news is I did manage to fix the stripped screw-holes with the toothpick method. I've put the strings on again and I didn't have any problems this time. There's a bit of buzz on the G string and it's coming from above the nut but it's tolerable.
     
  12. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    I doubt it will be a future issue since you pick n glued it. Basswood is soft and likely the screws were overtightened in the factory weakening the wood.

    As for the buzzing above the nut, totally unrelated to the bridge. But It's important to note that buzzes like that can sound like they come from one area and they are really coming from, say, a saddle that's vibrating against its neighbor. See if pressing on the string above the nut stops the noise. If so, loosen it off and try to get the string as low as possible on the post. Wait, you just switched to heavies? Your nut likely needs to be opened up so the larger gauge seats properly.
     
  13. billgwx

    billgwx

    Apr 10, 2009
    Centereach NY
    The bridge on my Brice HXB-405 has sometimes slipped slightly out of position, so this doesn't sound entirely far-fetched to me. In my case, the slippage is probably a defect of the bridge or bridge screws and not the underlying wood. This is inspiring me to take a closer look...
     
  14. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    you do mean the "toothpick and wood glue" method, right?

    if not, you're hanging by a thread here.

    pull the bridge, fish the toothpick slivers out, slather them thickly with wood glue, shove them back in (use more wood if necessary, you want the screw to be tight), clean it off, then crank the bridge right back down.
     
  15. phineas12gauge

    phineas12gauge

    Sep 4, 2011
    Yes, so should I just file it a bit?

    Yeppers
     
  16. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Adjusting the nut slots can be fairly critical so you may what to research that further before just filing it a bit yourself.
     
  17. This is not surprising to me one bit. Sorry about the necro post but anyone else reading this topic should know that this is likely. I bought a squier CV 50s P last year and ALL bridge screws were stripped and turned loosely (basswood body). On that one I went to the hardware store and got bigger screws, but since have found a more elegant solution.
    Just bought a squier VM Jaguar special short scale and 3 out of the 5 screws are stripped out, the neck was not torqued all the way down either. The problem with these Chineese relatively soft tonewoods is that they are too soft and "overtightening" the bridge screws is sometimes not the issue, on some pieces of wood the material is not strong enough to hold the screws even at some specified torque. This is a problem Squier and Fender are ignoring and it will come back to bite them eventually.
    I started using brass threaded wood inserts to attach the neck and now I put them in under the bridge as well. This does SO MUCH for the tone, I now do it to all non-string-thru basses. I just buy 5 of them and use 8-32 machine screws of the appropriate length to attach the bridge.
     
    Shannon likes this.
  18. This interests me. Do you have a pic of this? Where do you get the parts?

    I've only had one bridge to pull up like mentioned and it was on a guitar not bass. I had pressed down on the strings at the point where I pick to sort of seat and stretch the strings when it popped loose. I do however do the toothpick upgrade :D to all of my instruments now. I do all the holes - bridge, pickguard, strap buttons, etc. I also use slightly larger screws.
     
  19. A preemptive fix would be to pull all the bridge screws, soak the hole in Cynacrylate (super glue) and after a few moments reinsert the screws. I learned this trick from my brother who flies balsa gliders. The piano tech who fixed the lip of the music rack on my upright piano did something similar for screws going into the "end" grain of MDF. Once the CA has soaked in and kicked a bit, it won't grab the screw threads so you'll be able to get the screws out at a later date.
     
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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