BridgeSaver guitar bridge repair tool

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Dan Erlewine demos the BridgeSaver tool for repairing damaged bridge pin holes on acoustic guitars.

Video Transcription

Dan Erlewine: This is the BridgeSaver. It's a tool for fixing worn, chipped, bridge pin holes in the bridge plate of a flat top guitar [on-screen text reads: Dan Erlewine - Stewart-MacDonald]. Actually it doesn't save bridges, it saves bridge plates like this one from a 1930s Gibson. If I'd have had this tool back then, I could have saved this bridge plate, not replaced it. You're looking at the bridge plate. Along with the bridge, it's the heart of the guitar. The string ball ends are supposed to seat snugly against the plate and be held there with the bridge pins. These holes were punched out from drilling the bridge pin holes without a backer inside. Here's the idea - when the bridge pin holes become damaged, the only fix used to be removing and replacing the entire bridge plate. The BridgeSaver leaves the bridge plate intact, and with it, you dish out a very small area around each damaged bridge pin hole. The tool's plug cutter makes a perfectly shaped small plug that fits the dished out area exactly. You get a tiny patch of fresh wood where the damaged hole was, so you can drill a new bridge pin hole without a problem.

How to use the BridgeSaver

Now, let's take a look at how to use the BridgeSaver. You take the cutter and put it through the sound hole and run the threaded pilot up through the hole that you're going to plug, and then you spin the brass shoe onto the pilot, and you spin it backwards because it's a left-handed thread. When it stops and becomes snug, then you put the handle on it. Turning the handle clockwise causes the cutter to pull up into the bridge plate and it produces a smooth chip-free dish. The plug cutter makes perfectly dome plugs from wood that matches the bridge plate. A little glue and in it goes. Wiggle my screw free that's holding it, and the suction of the glue is going to hold it in there for a second. I have a clamp right here waiting, and I can pop in there, come up under it and clamp it home. When I drill these holes, I've clamped the backer plate inside so that the drill bit punches into that and doesn't blow the wood out. See how clean those are? That's two holes down and four more to save.



Dan Erlewine

Guitar Repairman and Builder

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