BUMP: I'd love to learn how to do this!
Materials needed: guitar, bridge and bridge base, two sets of strings (make sure you love that gauge and brand of strings), 60 grit sandpaper, small brad nails, drill and drill bit the same size as the nails, masking tape, courage (liquid or otherwise).
Put sandpaper face up on guitar body under the bridge
Rub bridge base on sandpaper until it conforms to shape of guitar
Put strings on and intonate guitar. Make sure you're happy with the intonation and bridge height. Give the guitar a full setup.
Put masking tape on guitar top around the bridge base to mark its location. Tape the bridge base to the guitar.
Remove strings, bridge, and thumbscrews
Find some small nails (slightly bigger than a paperclip). Find a drill bit the same diameter.
Mark the drill but with tape so that it will drill through the bridge base and slightly into guitar top, maybe 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch.
Drill through bridge base and into guitar top underneath where the thumbscrews will sit. Be SUPER careful, this is the part where you can ruin something expensive.
Remove bridge base from guitar.
Drive nails into top of bridge base so that the tip pokes slightly below the bridge base, by however much you drilled into the guitar body.
Cut off the part of the nail sticking out the top of the bridge base. Use a dremel or wire cutters.
Test fit the bridge base and nail assembly on the top of the guitar. Drill the guitar top slightly deeper if it doesn't fit right. If you want you can even do this by hand, just spin the drill bit with your fingers.
Reinstall thumbscrews and bridge.
Reinstall strings and tune the guitar.
Hopefully all of that made sense. This is how I pinned the bridge on my 6120. It is not the same way the factory does it. I think I learned this from Jack Daniels on the GDP. I like this method because all drilling happens with the bridge in place.
Paul Yandell did it this way... very similar...
"The way I do it is this: I use what they call brads, a small nail that has a small head. My friend, Sonny Thomas, uses a screw like the ones that hold the pickup frames.
Bridge pinning is a somewhat controversial subject among guitarists but I think you should do it or have it done. Chet and I have done it for years. It keeps the bridge from shifting around.
In either case, you do it the same way. I set the intonation and then take masking tape and tape each end of the base of the bridge. Then loosen the strings so you can take off the top of the bridge leaving the base taped down. Drill a small hole for each of the brads (or screws) on the inside of the adjustment screws on each side. I put a small drop of super glue on the brads head to hold them in (be careful not to get any glue on your guitar) then put the top of the bridge back on, tune up the strings and remove the tape and that's it. You'll never have any more trouble.
Maybe I got it from you Norm. I remember there was a big long thread about it before the crash.
they're different enough...either way, reading both, since they're so similar, might make the job easier.
btw...Chet and Paul had their travel/road guitars pinned to make it easier to put the bridge piece back on without having to intonate. Apparently banging around in the hold, even in custom cases, those bridge tops will come off.
Paul also recommended screwing the bigsby to the top through the string cup.
It's one of those loosen the strings a little. Be sure the bigsby is centering the strings and not shifting to one side or another.
Tape it down. Loosen strings. Take them off the bigsby while you drill your hole. Doesn't have to be a big screw.
Restring it and play it
It is possible that has more to do with bridge slippage than the bridge shifting.
You know when you're done you just gave your guitar infrastructure more stability.
This post is exactly what I have been looking for! thank you :)
Nail gun is quicker - my bridge ain't going nowhere.....
The way Joe C showed me that they do them on the new Electromatics is a bit less invasive.
Mark your bridge. we used post it notes but tape will work.
remove the bridge. Drill through the base.
put the screws back in and screw them in until they are sticking out below the bridge maybe an 8th of an inch.
Then we used a sharpie to wet the bottom of those screws. Then we placed into position and gave it a tap.
Now knowing where to drill, we drilled about an 8th of an inch into the top.
the rest is common sense. place the bridge back on the holes and re tune.
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