#1
Yeah so I needed to change my strings. And i pulled out one and because I didn't want to lose the pin I just put it back inside the bridge and now I can't pull it out. Any suggestions on what to do?
#2
-That depends on whether or not, the old string is still on the guitar. If is is, the ball end is likelly jamming the bridge pin in place. If the string is installed, simply cut it off about 2 or 3" above the bridge, then use a good clamping pair of pliers, to force the string stub into the guitar. That should take the tension off the pin, and allow you to remove it easily.

Also, if you have a string winder, there is a notch on the end which contacts the tuning key, that is intended to slide under the heard of the pin, and allow you to pry out the pin.

Caveat, the winder's notch won't yank out truly stuck pins, it will just stretch around them. So, have all the tension off the string before you try it.

If none of that works for you, post back, and we'll discuss more hard core methods of removing stuck pins. Fair warning though, you'll want to have a couple of spare pins on hard before we get into that.
#3
Needle nose pliers with a rubber band around the head of the pin so you don't scratch or damage it.
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#4
Dreadnought 

Yes, or a small pair of side cutters, such as I use for cutting strings, or a proper pin puller as found on most hand string winders. There is a lesson in this, the pins on all my guitars are a drop fit, I can pull them out with my fingers. I have never understood why Martin use pins that are so tight that they stick up above the bridge, an accident waiting to happen.
#5
Tony Done I haven't had the issue myself recently, but should it occur, I'm going to offer a robust solution involving END CUTTERS.

As it happens, miniature end cutters are now fairly affordable and widely available. I believe, you could grind off the cutting edge, (in a semicircle), on both jaws. That would allow you to close the jaws, without the cutting edge digging into the body of the pin.

Since I'm going to try this with miniature pliers, I expect it would allow me to work with stuck pins in a 12 string bridge as well.

I have used mini end cutters in the past, to great success, it's just a question of taking any "klutz factor" out of the operation, by dulling and sculpting the cutting edges.

Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 15, 2017,
#6
Captaincranky 

Yes, I can see that they would work at least as well. I have a couple of pairs, it just happens that the side cutters are within easier reach, in the small tools rack behind my bench. The narrower nose of side cutters might be better if the adjacent pins are still in place, dunno.
#7
Tony Done I have a pair of miniature end cutters, 110mm overall, and I can get to every pin of a 12 string bridge with them. I know because I just tried it.

I'm pretty sure neither a standard pair of side or end cutters would work under those conditions.

As it stands with the mini end cutters, the shape and small size of the cavity behind the blades, pretty much precludes the jaws closing completely. Still, a little application of a Dremel tool on the cutting edges, would almost completely eliminate the possibility of damage. (And prevent me being bitched at for giving bad advice).
#8
Captaincranky 

I've gone the other way with my (full size) end cutters. - I have ground them down to use a fret pliers, so the edges are sharp and would need to be used with care. I could always pad them with tape, similar to Dreadnoughts suggestion, if need be. FWIW, I put tape on pliers for a lot of jobs to reduce the risk of damage.
#9
When I have to deal with a stuck pin I reach inside the guitar and push it out from underneath.   If I'm still having trouble getting it out I get a small wooden block and again reach inside the guitar and gently tap the bottom of the pin.
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#10
CorduroyEW That is an effective technique. I do have a couple of slight reservations though. The first is for beginners with A/E bridges. If they're not careful rooting around under the bridge, they could possibly damage the piezo wiring.`Granted, that would be a remote, but still not impossible, screw up.

Unless you only have one, maybe two pins stuck, and all the others out, a 12 string might give you a bit of a tussle.

For some reason though, stuffing my hand inside a guitar sound hole, always seemed easier when I was quite a bit younger. Maybe I'm just getting fat and lazy..

The sound holes were bigger back then? Or is that too much of a cop out?
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 16, 2017,
#11
Captaincranky I guess damaging a pickup is a possibility.  It's more likely to happen on a guitar with a soundboard transducer than an undersaddle transducer.  Luckily most AE guitars use the undersaddle variety which leaves very little to accidentally bang with a wooden block.  Chances are a wooden block wouldn't be needed anyway and there isn't much to damage if you are just using your fingers.  You might pull some wires loose but those can be stuck back down with tape if you can't just put them back in their clips and even that is unlikely.  I've never heard of anybody damaging the guitar with my method and I've personally done it hundreds of times due to the fact that stuck pins are a common occurrence and people regularly break the tops of the pins off when they try and pull them out with plyers.  Broken, stuck pins are probably the most common fix I do and it literally takes seconds.

I do agree that it is getting much more difficult to get to the pins as I get older.  I think soundholes shrink as the wood ages  It also doesn't help that the acoustic guitars I build have sound holes in the upper bout of the guitar rather than the middle so it's a much further reach.
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Last edited by CorduroyEW at Jul 16, 2017,
#13
I have a guitar that had 1 very tight bridge pin hole and the bridge ended up with a hairline crack across all the holes. I reamed out the hole and tried to fix the crack with epoxy but it still has a buzz that I can't figure out. It was my favorite guitar but lucky for me I found the same model on clearance and the new one is even better than the old one that I bought used. I'd still like to get the old one fixed. It was a great guitar and would make a great travel/campfire beater but too many projects, too little time.
#14
Quote by CorduroyEW
....[ ]...I do agree that it is getting much more difficult to get to the pins as I get older.  I think soundholes shrink as the wood ages  It also doesn't help that the acoustic guitars I build have sound holes in the upper bout of the guitar rather than the middle so it's a much further reach.
The mental image of this made me laugh out loud....
#15
Quote by CorduroyEW


I do agree that it is getting much more difficult to get to the pins as I get older.  I think soundholes shrink as the wood ages  It also doesn't help that the acoustic guitars I build have sound holes in the upper bout of the guitar rather than the middle so it's a much further reach.


When my old L-00 needed major attention to get the action down, the luthier who did it, Gary Brown, of Mooloolaba Music opted to rebrace the lower bout rather than do a neck reset, and he did it through the soundhole rather than take the back off. When I visited him a couple of days after the work was finished, the welts were still showing on his (big) forearms. 
#16
If the rest of the strings are still off, reach in to the soundhole, and carefully push the bridge pin up.

Failing that, most string winders these days have a little indent on them specially for pulling fussy bridge pins.