How to keep the soundpost from slipping when removing the bridge

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Chris Fitzgerald, Jul 12, 2004.

  1. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I've got a dead Full-Circle pickup I need to try to repair, which involves removing the bridge and taking the adjuster out. I've gotten instructions for what to try to bring the pickup back to life (subject of another thread if it works), but having never removed the bridge of a bass before, I'm afraid of dropping the soundpost while it's down. I've searched the forum for a home-remedy, but haven't had much luck - most of the posts that reference this subject suggest placing a 25 lb. bag of buckshot over the soundpost to keep it in place while removing the bridge. Seeing as I don't have any 25 lb. bags of buckshot lying around (a shameful thing for any God-fearing Kentucky boy, I know), what are some good homemade substitute options?
  2. Got a 1" wide nylon tiedown strap with ratchet or buckle kickin' around? (They're plenty cheap if you don't.) Wrap it around the body through the C bouts, protect the instrument as necessary under the buckle, snug up with the strings still up to pitch. Should hold the post in place with the bridge removed.
  3. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    I've used the web clamp thing quite successfully, but two observations:

    1) you can very easily squeeze disastrously hard -- I only go about one click into what might be considered taut; and,

    2) you'll need to protect the edges of the bass with cawls of some kind.
  4. Another consideration - If you are going to use a web clamp put something like a chunk of the hard white plastic foam, that all electronic items seem to be packed in, between the web clamp and the area of the top directly over your soundpost. If you draw the clamp tight enough to crush the foam, then you've probably got the web clamp tighter than it needs to be.
  5. Josh McNutt

    Josh McNutt Guest

    Mar 10, 2003
    Denton, Texas (UNT)
    I use a fifteen-pound weight on top of a towel.
  6. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    I used a few big books on a towel. But if this is your New Standard, you might not have to worry about it, Chris. My soundpost is tight enough that it'll stay up without the bridge/string tension if it's lying on it's back. Maybe Arnold can say yay or nay on this...
  7. Durrl, have you not heard of a bridge jack??

    Bob, tell him.
  8. Mike Goodbar

    Mike Goodbar Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    Charlotte, NC

    This is why you are blessed with children -- to use them as dead weight when required. Lay the bass in front of the TV, turn on the Barney marathon, and plop the kid on the bass.

    Or do what I did; tell them if the soundpost falls, it will make their hamster go to heaven. :eek:
  9. A bridge jack is simply a device to allow you to remove your regular bridge by substituting the adjustable bridge jack in front of or behind it. The usual method is to remove some of the tension on the strings, place jack in front or behind bridge, and then raise the strings by turning the adjustment screw until the strings are high enough to safely remove the regular bridge. Reverse the process when finished.
  10. Wunderbar, you're a cruel, twisted individual.
    Resourceful, too.
  11. And a nice one too...did you make that one Bob?
  12. Yes. It is based on one I saw in Steven Reiley's shop many years ago.
  13. Since you would use it on many different shaped basses, would deJacque- style adjustable feet be a worthwhile addition? And is that cork on the underside of the feet?

    Should make myself one of those one day. Not that I'd use it daily, but it would be a time saver for a situation like Chris's.
  14. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Thanks for the replies everyone. I ended up going with ALMOND JOSH's suggestion - a 20 lb plate on a towel - and it worked fine. In the process, I discovered something interesting about the Full Circle as well, which I will post in the appropriate place. That "Bridge Jack" looks very useful, especially for Full Circle fans. :)
  15. Th DeJacque swivel feet really wouldn't help and would be more trouble than they are worth. The cork on the bottom works as well as anything. A perfect fit is not necessary here. There is a down side to bridge jacks in that they can leave another flat spot on the stings just like your regular bridge does. If you use it on the fingerboad side of the bridge, you have to be careful with the tension to avoid this happening.

    It is not something you use very often. In fact, I probably have not used it more than a couple of dozen times in 20 years. But when you need it, it's nice to have the right tool available.
  16. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA