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Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by carlos_07, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. carlos_07

    carlos_07 Guest

    Nov 16, 2005
    Manchester (U.K.)
    ok, i was adjusting the bridge on my epiphone and the screws which held the bridge to the body just come clean out.

    there's a gaping hole where the thing used to be and all i can see is the wood.

    when i put it back in and tighten a string it just pops back out.
    do i need a specialist>??? please help i'v got a gig tomorrow!
  2. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    if a pro can't help you, buy some good real wood filler, fill the holes,
    let it dry overnight (make sure it's quick drying), re-drill the holes and re-install the bridge. that's basically what a quality repairman will do.
    don't rush it if it's not dry. borrow or buy a bass(guitar center if one is near you) and return it if you can't get it done in time.
    good luck.
  3. dwm612

    dwm612 Guest

    Nov 2, 2005
    Olney, Maryland
    Are you talking about the screws that attach the bridge to the body of the guitar or the screws that keep the saddles aligned on the bridge. Sounds like it's the screws that set the bridge to the body but I'm just double checking.

    If my assumption is right it should be a fairly easy fix and the repair won't be visible since it'll be covered by the mounted bridge. Like D.A.R.K mentioned below a fast drying wood filler would do a sufficient job but fast drying can mean a couple days... In my opinion you could pull the old tooth pick trick as well... Just stuff the original screw hole tight (jammed tight) with tooth picks. Level them off flush with the body. Make sure to glue the end of the tooth picks to create something similar to solid wood. Once completely jammed and dried do some slight sanding to smooth everything out and screw bridge back into fresh area...
  4. Hookus

    Hookus Guest

    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I would drill it, then glue or epoxy in a hardwood dowel, then re-drill the holes. I am not fond of the holding power of even quality wood filler.
  5. pkr2

    pkr2 Guest

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Amen to that.
  6. aquateen


    Apr 14, 2005
    is it the 3 point bridge? are the studs & threaded inserts coming out of the body? if so, just glue the inserts back in and you should be ok.
  7. pkr2

    pkr2 Guest

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Man, you guys put a lot of faith in glue and such. You do realize the amount of strain on those bridge screws?

    Take it or leave it but the only repair I'd trust in this case is to first repair the wood. I dont mean stuff it full of superglue, toothpicks or plastic wood. I mean replace the wood with wood, in proper grain orientation. A screw loses a huge amount of holding power whe you screw into the end grain of a dowel.

    Buy a 1/4" plug cutter, chuck it in your drill and make a patch that is just as strong as the original. just glue it in and shave it off flush.
  8. aquateen


    Apr 14, 2005
    it really depends on the type of bridge. is this the type you have? if so, the threaded inserts that go into the body can be glued or epoxied and that should take care of it. if it's a fender type bridge, plugging the screw holes would probably be better. it's kind of hard to say without knowing what you've got.

    Attached Files:

  9. pkr2

    pkr2 Guest

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    If the screws thread into a threaded brass insert, the insert itself would be threaded into the wood.

    I can't think of a single example of a manufacturer depending on a wood to metal connection that counts on glue to keep everythihg together.

    Not to mention that if the insert ever needed replacing you would have a hard time getting it out without causing more damage. That's one of the main reasons to use brass to stsrt with. It's softer than a steel screw so if the screw ever gets cross threaded the insert is destroyed instead of the screw.

    Fastening a bridge is NOT the place to take a shortcut.
  10. aquateen


    Apr 14, 2005
    dude, the threaded inserts for the 3 pt bridge do not screw into the body, believe it or not. I am not talking about taking shortcuts!

    if you need the insert removed, there is a tool to do that. it can be found at stewmac.

    I'm not trying to be argumentative but there are different solutions for different types of problems, and there are differences between various bridges. I'm just trying to help our friend figure out what he needs to do.

    carlos, what kind of bridge are we talking about? post a pic (or a link) or let us know the model, please.

  11. pkr2

    pkr2 Guest

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    very well. You have the floor.
    I'll make this my final response.

    Carlos, I strongly advise you to get some more opinions before you do anything. If the bridge turns loose all at once, it very possibly may come back and nail your hand.

    There's an old adage among repair people: Never leave a repair job worse than you found it. "If" it even has inserts, they were not glued in originally. If the insert came out it HAD to tear some wood up! If the screws to wood came loose from the wood they tore wood up coming out.. Same deal, replace the torn up wood, redrill and refasten.

    It is not a good idea to try to replace the wood with a chemical. The instrument was built the way its built for a reason. To second guess the way the highest stress point on the whole instrument is joined is not good repair ethics.

    Now go for it, Aquateen.

    PS I'm way too old for you to be calling me "Dude". :)
  12. aquateen


    Apr 14, 2005
    well, I guess you told me.

    carlos, bring your bass to a qualified repair shop and let them look at it. they'll know the best way to get everything back in order. good luck!
  13. pkr2

    pkr2 Guest

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.

    I apologize if I came off as a know it all. That was not my intent.

    I've seen a lot of posts recommending tooth picks, glue and plastic wood as a repair for loose screws. In a low stress situation such as a strap button, there's no problem. With a bridge there could be a serious problem.

    I don't want to see anyone possibly hurt themself with a weak repair method.

    Now, Aquateem, I've found your posts to be interesting and pretty darn Knowlegeble. With that said, I'd rather be friends with you than to have a rift between us.

    Friends? :)
  14. aquateen


    Apr 14, 2005
    that's cool, pkr2. I don't mean any ill will. I have enoyed your posts as well and respect your knowledge/bass experience.


  15. I just tried to install a Goth 201 into my jazz body and only one screw held, the other 4 are stripped. I'm pissed, but my first thought was getting bigger screws and drilling the bridge metal to accommodate the extra diameter.

    What do you guys think?
  16. Dbassboarder

    Dbassboarder Guest

    Nov 29, 2007
    Buy some carpenter's wood filler, it ain't top quality repair but it works
  17. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Indeed. I'd do the toothpicks before I'd use filler. You'd do it like a pro.
  18. + Whatever.
    Bridge to body is a major stress point and the screws need to have a solid grip in the wood. Anything less than what pkr2 suggests and you run the risk of causing some irreparable damage to your bass. Not to mention the skin you're likely to lose if the bridge rips away from the body while you're playing:(
  19. Showdown


    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii

    If it is a 3 point bridge it is a common problem to have the studs pull out (usually because they adjust it wrong). The studs are just pressed in at the factory, no threads, just a friction fit. The normal fix is to glue it back in (you normally need to hammer it in with a rubber or plastic mallet, even after it pulls out the studs are tight in the holes). This has worked for many people (including me). Do a search here, or on the Gibson forum at the Dudepit, and you will find a lot of people that have had success doing it that way.

    The problem usually occurs because they try to raise the back adjustment screws, but leave the front one low. This puts pressure on the back studs at an angle, kind of like a crowbar, and pulls them up. The solution is to not do that and avoid the problem to begin with. I've had a bunch of basses with that bridge and have never had a problem except for one that was like that when I bought it. I applied glue, hammered them back in by placing a plastic mallet on top and then hitting the mallet with a hammer. It has never been a problem since.
  20. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Can you say, "Mouthful of bridge"? Maybe not, but if the bridge were to let go quantum style it would be an awful lot of force in one direction all of a sudden. Anyone who has been hit in the face with a suddenly broken bass string would appreciate several ounces of bridge headed toward their head. Talk about bridge work!