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  #1  
Old 02-17-2020, 08:50 AM
pjbelsch pjbelsch is offline
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Default 5 degree reamer for bridge pins

Hey Guys,
I purchased a guitar its a hybrid, godin multiac steel. I wanted to replace the bridge pins with a nice pair of bone ones from stew mac. Long story short the bridge pins sit too high so they are 5 degree pins. What is even more instereting is the bridge pins that came with the guitar sit a little bit higher than my liking for a guitar and I actually broke a string yesterday I believe because of it. So I talked with a friend who is a Luthier and he recommended buying a 5 degree reamer and getting the bridge pin holes better shaped for the new bridge pins i bought.

Now I have done a few little things like installing pick ups like the Lr Baggs anthem systems where drilling is required so I am not too worried about the repair. My luthier friend also said to just go slow as the tool is sharp. Anyone have any tips for Reaming a bridge pin hole besides going slow? I am a little nervous if i will admit just because it could go wrong and cause major issues. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:08 AM
coopman coopman is offline
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Bone pins or ivoroid? You'll find that a good reamer is quite expensive - designed so as to cut and keep the hole round. Cheap ones often cut an oblong shape. Going slow means partial twists (ie not necessarily full 360 degree spin) AND not pressing down very hard - just very light shaving cuts. Test fit after every little cut to see how much further the pin is going down. It takes very little. Ask me how I know!

Also confirm whether you have slotted or unslotted pins.

Do-it-yourself is great ... but for the money, in this case I'd have your luthier friend do the job or someone else local ... it could probably be less that the tool.

Best wishes either way.

John
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  #3  
Old 02-17-2020, 09:23 AM
pjbelsch pjbelsch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coopman View Post
Bone pins or ivoroid? You'll find that a good reamer is quite expensive - designed so as to cut and keep the hole round. Cheap ones often cut an oblong shape. Going slow means partial twists (ie not necessarily full 360 degree spin) AND not pressing down very hard - just very light shaving cuts. Test fit after every little cut to see how much further the pin is going down. It takes very little. Ask me how I know!

Also confirm whether you have slotted or unslotted pins.

Do-it-yourself is great ... but for the money, in this case I'd have your luthier friend do the job or someone else local ... it could probably be less that the tool.

Best wishes either way.

John
I purchased the reamer from stewmac. I have a desire to build so I have a kit that ive been working on and buying tools sparingly. I had a little extra cash so i took the plunge for a good one. They are slotted pins, both the factory ones and the ones that i purchased. The bridge pins that I purchased are pure bone, slotted with abalone dots
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  #4  
Old 02-17-2020, 09:57 AM
redir redir is online now
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Go slow was solid advice. That's pretty much all there is to it.
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2020, 10:15 AM
Big Band Guitar Big Band Guitar is offline
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Leave the holes alone and shape the pins to the holes.
Once the holes are too big you can't go back.

One pin at a time. a little 400 grit paper , rough up the pin.

Place the pin in the hole and rotate it with a little downward pressure.

Scrape off the shiny spots and repeat.

Time consuming but in the end you will have a perfect "scrape fit".

I have used this method on many things beside bridge pins, Fiddle tuning pegs. and fitting a new tendon into a hole on a piece of restored furniture.

I learned this method from a old machinist.
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Old 02-17-2020, 10:44 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Band Guitar View Post
Leave the holes alone and shape the pins to the holes.
Ream the holes. You, OP, have the right tool to do the job.

As others have stated, use very little downward pressure on the reamer and as you get close, 1/8 turn, or less, of the reamer and check fit. Takes about 5 minutes for all six pin holes. Very easy to do. Don't assume all six pins are the same size.

Quote:
Once the holes are too big you can't go back.
It is very easy to line the holes with a thin coat of epoxy or CA glue, let it harden, then re-ream to the correct size. Done it many times.
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Old 02-18-2020, 05:37 AM
murrmac123 murrmac123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Band Guitar View Post

I have used this method on many things beside bridge pins, Fiddle tuning pegs. and fitting a new tendon into a hole on a piece of restored furniture.
.
I assume you would have had to use animal glue for that restoration ...
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  #8  
Old 02-18-2020, 02:41 PM
Big Band Guitar Big Band Guitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murrmac123 View Post
I assume you would have had to use animal glue for that restoration ...
And your point is?
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  #9  
Old 02-20-2020, 04:01 PM
murrmac123 murrmac123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Band Guitar View Post
And your point is?
Apologies ... an attempted witticism ...

tendon: a flexible but inelastic cord of strong fibrous collagen tissue attaching a muscle to a bone.

tenon: a projecting piece of wood made for insertion into a mortise in another piece.
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  #10  
Old 02-20-2020, 08:52 PM
Big Band Guitar Big Band Guitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murrmac123 View Post
Apologies ... an attempted witticism ...

tendon: a flexible but inelastic cord of strong fibrous collagen tissue attaching a muscle to a bone.

tenon: a projecting piece of wood made for insertion into a mortise in another piece.
No apologies needed I get it now.
Never could spell.
Thanks for the correction.

I could blame it on spellcheck but it is ignorance.

We will be visiting friends in your neighborhood this October.
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"My opinion is worth every penny you paid for it."

"If you try to play like someone else, Who will play like you". Quote from Johnny Gimble

The only musician I have to impress today is the musician I was yesterday.

No tubes, No capos, No Problems.

Last edited by Kerbie; 02-24-2020 at 03:23 PM. Reason: Please refrain from profanity
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  #11  
Old 02-21-2020, 04:55 AM
murrmac123 murrmac123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Band Guitar View Post
We will be visiting friends in your neighborhood this October.
Get in touch nearer the date if you feel like attending any of the many musical get-togethers that happen in Edinburgh every week.
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  #12  
Old 02-21-2020, 01:20 PM
phavriluk phavriluk is offline
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Seeing as OP is taking the building journey, the most important tool I ever needed was patience itself. When using a new tool, test what it does before touching the project with it, and GO SLOW. Lots of stuff will work just fine, but won't pass the 'expert' sniff tests. Caution with using specialized vendors, they love to sell left-handed screwdrivers and gratuitiously over-engineered (or over-promoted) tools that are unnecessary to get the job done.
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