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Thread: Pulling Gibson-style bridge bushings.

  1. #1
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    Pulling Gibson-style bridge bushings.

    So...in doing my dry fit, I put in the bushings for a Gibson tune-o-matic bridge. I put a bit of soap and some graphite on them to make them easier to pull back our when it was time to finish the top. The day to pull them out is today, and, of course, they would not budge.

    I did not want to screw in the stud, and pull on it to get the bushings out. These things are made of pot metal, and it is remarkably easy to damage the threads.

    I finally found a tool that could get under the bottom of the bushing so that I could get some leverage to pull it out.

    I put a couple of pics of it below. I don't know if it's the same in Australia or elsewhere, but in the US paint stores often give these tools away to open paint cans. I had to file down the edges a little to get it to fit. Once I could get it in it worked. It was still hard to pull the bushing out, but if this had not worked I am not sure how I'd have done it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by fender3x; 08-05-2019 at 06:43 AM.

  2. #2
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    One more pic...Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
    Member Hardcoretroubadour's Avatar
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    Hmmm, looks interesting, i know the tools you mean. I used a sacrificial bolt with the right thread to screw into the bushing, then a circular timber plate to surround the bushing (hole cut in the middle obviously) then a claw hammer/ pry bar to lever it out, worked a treat. I've since learnt the better way is use masking tape on the posts and don't put the bushing in until absolutely necessary.

  4. #4
    I know this is an old thread but this reminds me of when I had to do this on a 40 year old Gibson I was restoring and they didn't want to come out. Thought I'd post here in case it's useful for anyone.

    The trick I found was to get a longish bolt with the correct thread, about twice the length of the bush or so, and a bit of tube that's about the same length as the bush - metal or hard plastic, as long as it's strong. Also need a washer or two that's bigger than the diameter of the tubing. Ensure that the length of the bolt protruding from the bottom of the tube is less than the depth of the hole. One more thing would be something to place between the tube and the body to prevent damage, like a rubber or felt bush/washer - enough thickness to provide protection.

    So, bolt goes through washer and through tube. Place this carefully over the rubber/felt and guide the bolt into the bush. Slowly screw the bolt into bush. Once you reach the point where the head of the bolt reaches the washers, keep screwing slowly and this will then start pulling the bush out of the hole. I found this is a much less brutal way than prying it out with a tool.

    I hope I've explained this well. Maybe a diagram would be helpful?

  5. #5
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m0j0 View Post
    I hope I've explained this well. Maybe a diagram would be helpful?
    This looks really interesting. If you've got a diagram I'd really like to see it ;-)


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  6. #6
    Excuse my poor drawing skills. An artist I am not - that goes for music also.

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  7. #7
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    It is sometimes beneficial to put a small metal object down the hole first for the bolt to press against (like the cut-off end end of a slightly smaller bolt). Only a small benefit, but it does stop the end of the main bolt being rotated directly against the wood and causing wear. Not a major issue with a decent body wood, but some of the kit bodies use very soft woods, and you need all the help you can to stop the bolt simply screwing itself into the body wood if the bushing is in really tight.

    The best way is to buy a bushing puller, which won't damage the finish or the wood at the bottom of the hole. They aren't too expensive, and their worth goes up the more valuable the guitar you're working on. And the more guitars you have/make, then it's a good investment IMO. The bolt method is fine for a one-off, but if the body wood is soft and the bushing is in really tight, you may need an alternative method.

    I have one of these, which I think is/was the StewMac unit (though they've now updated the look of theirs slightly). Though you may find similar units for less elsewhere. Search for both 'Schatten guitar knob and bushing puller' and 'Elmer guitar knob and bushing puller'.

    https://tonetechluthiersupplies.co.u...ng-puller.html

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