Last night I removed the pickguard. It was almost half off (not on sale!!). I'll restick it.
And I removed the existing bridge.
I dug into the bridge on one side.
Glued and clamped after picking any small bits of wood out of the gap.
Since the pins in the new bridge will farther back in the bridge, I had to make a bridge plate extension. I checked the demo FG-160 (with the back off) and found the bracing and bridge plate are the same as the FG-180!! I was able to use it to design and fit the new piece!
Then I made a bridge plate patch to cover and reinforce the whole thing. I'll be plugging the existing pin holes with epoxy. The plate makes that much easier.
This is it fit in the FG-160.
The clamping caul on top of it.
Ready to go. I have to go out in the snow to get more epoxy.
The bridge is 3/8" thick, the top is probably 1/8" thick, and the double thickness bridge plate will be 1/8" thick. For a total of 5/8". Hopefully, that's enough wood so I don't split the bridge. The pins are very close to the edge. I may move them inward a little.
Well, I've run into a road block. I bought the only acoustic bass bridge pins I've found for sale. From AllParts, available in Cream or Black. Since they're only $7 a set (plastic) I bought them both. I got them today. THEY ARE CRAP!!! They have about a half degree taper on a side and the diameters vary. 2 of the black pins have bulges close to the top. The cream pins fit pretty good in a .316 diameter hole, but taking them in and out of the straight hole a few times is going to leave the top of the hole oversize and eventually loose. NOT GOOD!!
I stupidly emailed GoldTone and Wayne quickly got back to me that the M-Bass doesn't use bridge pins. DUH!!!!
Ibanez and Fender make micro length basses with bridge pins, but I'd assume getting a response from them might be futile.
I just looked at the Taylor GS-Mini. It uses unique split pins. They look to have a straight shaft. The ball goes thru the pin and is locked against the BACK SIDE against a small notch. They can't pop out!! Interesting!!! Take a look!! www.taylorguitars.com/support/strings/changing-strings-gs-mini-bass I'll email Taylor about buying some. I doubt they're going to be cheap!!
Any other ideas on acoustic bass bridge pins??? I thought this would be the easy part!!! I can't make the bridge for the YamaBass until I know what pins I'm using!
As I figured they would, Taylor got back to me fairly quickly. The GS-Mini Bass bridge pins are available thru their TaylorWare store. I’d have to CALL them to place the order. I thought everything was done online now??? They’re $16 for a set of 4 plus shipping. So about $20 total, hopefully.
I’m in the process of redesigning my bridge system again. With the failure to find useable bridge pins (although the Taylor pins sound like they might work) I made a 1/16” x ½” brass tail plate wrapped around the back side of the bridge with holes and slots to allow the strings to be removed easily. I need to be able to take the strings on and off many times for the neck reset. This is the same concept as an earlier design that had those features in the wood but any mistake would scrap the whole bridge.
ALSO, I thought it might be a good idea to change the bridge to be bolted on (If I can find flat head screws long enough. Longest – steel flat hd sheet metal - #6 x 2” & #8 x 3-1/2”, brass flat hd wood screw - #6 x 1-1/2” & #8 x 2-1/2”), into the bridge doctor below. The bridge doctor will give me the ability to keep the bridge flat (don’t think that will be a problem) AND to be able to add weight to “tune” the resonant frequency of the top. I’d expect the very light top to have a nasty mid-bass peak that I can probably tame (or move) by screwing washers to the bridge doctor.
The problem with the bolt on redesign is it has to work with all 3 existing bridge designs (just in case) AND not interfere with the X braces! The advantage is I’d be able to swap the bridge out easily to change to a different design or if something gets messed up. So I’d be able to change from the current single adjustable saddle & pin bridge, to a bridge with the individual saddles. I think I have a design that will work, although it’s REALLY close!! I wouldn’t truly know where the braces are without drilling a couple of holes (where I think the mounting holes should be) and measuring the distance from the X braces with wedges. I have some small high power magnets, they might tell me if I’m close before I drill any holes.
I ordered the Taylor pins, $16.00 plus $3.95 for USPS Priority shipping, 1-3 days, probably 3 days since it’s going across the country. But I’ll have to wait to get them before I can go much further. I need to know how thick my bridge will have to be to work with them. The groove that locks the string won’t work if my bridge/top/bridge plate assembly is too thick.
One possible problem is the Taylor E string is .090”. The LaBella Silverback E string is .115”. The slot in the pins may not be wide enough. Won’t know if that will be a problem until I get the pins. Hopefully, I'll see them on Saturday. Oh well, I’ve got plenty of other stuff to do!
BUT… If the Taylor pins work I may just stick with the single adjustable saddle, glued on pin bridge design I already have, without complicating it further. K.I.S.S. Keep It Super Simple!!!! Oh well, I already failed at that!!!