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Article: Nifty bridge pin idea from Stefan Sobell

This idea is so simple, so obvious, it's mind-numbing that no one has thought of it before. (Or, here's a scary thought: what if everyone else has, and I'm just catching on now...) I discovered it while working on a new guitar built by renowned English maker Stefan Sobell.

When you put new strings on your guitar, the most annoying thing is when the string ball catches under the pin, instead of snugging up against the underside of the top (the bridge plate, actually). As you tune up the string the pin gradually rises up from the bridge as if some mystical force were pulling it out. Or worse, it lets go all at once, shoots out, and pokes someone's eye out. Or perhaps it will just wait until you're in the middle of your best solo ever to slip and throw everything horribly out of tune.

By simply sanding a bevel on to the bottom of the pins, the ball can't hang up there, and slides up to the proper place. See the photo below showing a stock pin with the ball hooked on the bottom (impending trouble!) and a beveled pin with the ball in the correct place where it will snug up nicely once tension is put on the string.

All you need to do is take some sandpaper or a nail file and put an angle on the end of each bridge pin. The exact angle isn't important; I copied Stefan's angle which is a bit more acute than 45 degrees. That's all there is to it. Thanks, Stefan!


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