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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Has anyone used a stew mac Plate Mate?

catnineblue

LA , Calif

I try my best
Apr 7th, 2017 02:12 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

That brass thing to save the bridge plate.

I saw a video on one being installed yet I don't change strings all that often and really don't want more treble on a seagull grand.

I can see how bridge plates wear, so far mine shows no signs and I always make certain the ball is on the plate.

It's something that one could easily make , I just wonder what the little slots are for maybe for the strings to fit in so the ball is close as possible to the pin.

Peegoo
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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Apr 7th, 2017 02:27 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You are correct. The slots are there to help get more of the brass plate between the ball and the bridge plate.

These plates are really unnecessary unless the bridge plate is mangled badly.

You can do something very similar (and cheaply too) by using CA to bond six small brass washers (3/16" diameter center holes) under the bridge plate where the pins pass through.


Hammond101
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So. Cal. USA

Apr 7th, 2017 02:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I see the bridge plate mate from SM more as a repair item than maintenance piece you need to install "or else". Yes the slots are for the strings. I can't really say about the adhesive backing but that sounds like a tone suck to me. Unless it's an anaerobic glue that sets after installation, yuk.

I while back I played around with stuff like this including bridge pin and saddle material and found it of little or no value tone wise. Your guitar pretty much still sounds like your guitar. I was looking for more bottom end from a particular Takamine. Going up a guage in strings and finding a brand it liked did more than anything.

Others I'm sure will have different opinions.

As you do, when restringing my acoustic instruments I seat the ball/barrel ends against the factory bridge plate and the pin through the sound hole. This is done prior to attaching the string to the tuning peg. I get more stable tuning this way too.

amphead4

Cincinnati, USA

Apr 7th, 2017 02:51 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I read about this on the Martin enthusiast site once and IIRC the general consensus was that a worn bridge plate needed a proper repair, not this.

I think the proper repair was to either replace the whole plate if warranted or scab in a small amount of replacement wood as needed and reream the taper and recut the string slot.

Not a job for me, my x-ray vision is long gone.

catnineblue

LA , Calif

I try my best
Apr 7th, 2017 03:18 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

For giggles I called stew mac and asked about the slots . They are .060" and the holes are .220".

With slotted pins wouldn't one want the holes to be a bit smaller at least the same ID as the pin holes in the plate. I imagine they make them one size fit all and the slot as Peegoo said allows more contact with the brass plate. Some acoustics use un slotted pins so in that case one would need the slots.

Peegoo
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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Apr 7th, 2017 04:01 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If you install one of these on a guitar with slotted pins, flip the plate 180 degrees and install it with the slots facing the tail block.

catnineblue

LA , Calif

I try my best
Apr 7th, 2017 05:04 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"If you install one of these on a guitar with slotted pins, flip the plate 180 degrees and install it with the slots facing the tail block."

That's what I was thinking. Thing is in their photo they show slotted pins and the one pin the slot does not have the string in it at all. The fellow at stew mac I spoke to said the package used martin guitars as the feature for this item. If I recall Martins don't use slotted pins at least not years ago.I recall talking to seagull a few years back and if you notice they changed the bridge and saddle and instead of the pin hole chamfer they now have string slots in the bridge. They still use slotted pins yet turn them 180. My EPI EL-00 Pro has bridge slots and no chamfer yet the slots are not into the bridge plate so you still require slotted pins. I used Graph Tech pins on my seagull and was told the presentation pins were the ones. They work and have a rounded slot yet I got the standard martin pins which are longer and have the same taper as the original plastic pins just more or a rounded slot rather than a square cut one. The plastic pins that came with it were denting and a few were bent from the string balls. The issue I have with the seagull grand is I can't use martin strings with the silk wrap on the low E even though all the bridge holes are the same size . I spoke to the fellow who makes bone saddles and pins and he told me not to ream the hole just file the pins slot and that's with godin strings and DAddario which are the same as Godin without the wrap. I had a 2004 AMI with the same pins and used Martin strings on that no issue yet never checked the hole size. The silk wrap is supposed to protect the string ball end wrap from cutting into the pin holes.

vomer
Contributing Member
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Broke Down

in the Brassicas
Apr 7th, 2017 05:23 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Peegoo's fix could be done as a non-glued replaceable option by just putting washers or similar over the ball-ends when re-stringing. I did this on a Morris acoustic with a mangled bridge plate, but using brass carburettor jets. (I couldn't tell you what carb they were from...) I was thinking 'something brass with a hole in it' back when we still had an independent car parts store in our town.

They worked well, and did give a slightly brighter sound.

catnineblue

LA , Calif

I try my best
Apr 7th, 2017 07:39 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The thing on my seagull is the pins , all of them always fit loose where they will just fall out if no string is in place. As I said I got the Presentation pins from Graph Tech since this is what they said would be the proper ones and they came in a kit with a new saddle . Then since I saved the original plastic pins I measured them and they were longer and had the same measurements as the Gragh Tech Traditional pins. So I got those. Godin after an email told me to use what came with the guitar. I emailed Bob Colosi and he said they are 3 degree taper and said they do not have to fit snug with no string as many say they do , as long as they hold the string so it is well under the plate and the hole is not large at that end it's fine.

I'm more concerned about tight pins that one might force in to sit flush and split the bridge or plate.

I've read all sorts of stuff and seems to me everyone has their own ideas on fit. In a perfect world they should fit the taper my case 3 gegrees and with no string go in and a slight push hold and not fall out . well a perfect world , really

ejm

usa

Apr 8th, 2017 09:47 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I believe that there was another topic on this in the past few months.

Possibly under Guitar Repairs and Projects.


Peegoo
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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Apr 8th, 2017 12:07 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Our wacky pal Randy Shartiger has a vid on this.

He seems to like them.

Randy is a funny guy and a good pal. Check out his other stuff.

The boogity-bop! WOOOOO!

catnineblue

LA , Calif

I try my best
Apr 8th, 2017 12:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Our wacky pal Randy Shartiger has a vid on this."

I was watching his video's , that's where I first realized these plate mates existed.


catnineblue

LA , Calif

I try my best
Apr 8th, 2017 06:34 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Ya Know , I've been obsessing over this bridge pin thing and the plate mate deal too much. I looked at both my seagull Grand and EL-00 pro last time I replaced the strings and the bridge plates looked fine to me. so I'm just going to play them and if damage happens then deal with it.

Some sites make it sound that the 180lb pull or whatever mine have with the guitar just sitting there the barrels are just digging trough the plate when it seems to me it's more of an issue of countless string changes and not getting the barrel under the plate, well I get it under the plate and don't change strings that often. I don't have the barrel on top of the pin then tune to see the pin pop up or project the pin out. Stew mac gets really carried away with their ideas.

Peegoo
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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Apr 8th, 2017 06:42 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

That is a good approach.

Bend a little 45-degree curve right near the ball and gently install the ball end in the bridge, followed by the pin.

Pull upward on the string and you'll feel it seat against the side of the pin and the bottom of the bridge plate.

Stick the string through the tuner post and wind it up. Done.

Stew Mac didn't come up with the plate idea. It was invented by a guy named Mitchell, and S-M simply sells it. Most of their specialty tools are like that too: invented by guitar techs.

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 08:47 PM, Apr 8th, 2017)

Peegoo
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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Apr 8th, 2017 06:43 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Look

here.

Peegoo
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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Apr 9th, 2017 10:39 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If you have a punch tool, you can make these plates for pennies apiece. Brass sheet stock is quite inexpensive and simple to work. It's widely available at DIY centers like Homeless Despot, Lowe's, Ace, and hobby shops.

The beauty of making your own plate is that you can make it to the exact dimensions of the bridge pin holes for the patient on the operating table. Pin hole spacing is not standardized across brands.

This (link below) is a surprisingly inexpensive tool, and has many uses beyond making bridge plates. I got it to make custom brass washers back when I was big into R/C cars and planes. It's a great tool to have in your box because unlike a drill press, it makes precise, perfect holes in thin metal sheet.

Power Punch tool

catnineblue

LA , Calif

I try my best
Apr 9th, 2017 02:57 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I still have brass sheet stock from my days of using it to modify HO model train locomotives.

The one stewmac sells states .032" thick . I have .025" and some over.050" and some other thickness sheet brass around here somewhere. I would think .025" would work for the purpose only .007" less. I don't have a punch yet for drilling I can use my small drill press and a uni-bit which cuts perfect holes after center punching and drilling small pilot holes. I would think it would be best if the brass plates holes were the same ID and the plates pin holes or a tad larger just to make certain it does not partly block any hole and not allow the pin to fully seat.

Watching the seagull factory tour I got the impression when they show how they glue the bridge to top they drill 2 pin holes for a jig they use to align the bridge and then run 2 bolts through the bridge to secure the upper and lower metal caul's to clamp the bridge while the glue dries and if I recall they drill the rest of the holes using the bridge . Of course they don't show how they ream the taper , that might be done when the bridges are made. I would at least backup the plate while drilling so not to have plate hole tear out.

I noticed long ago that some brass stock which I always got at hard ware store of hobby shops is not flat , the thicker ones are convex and concave.

Peegoo
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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Apr 9th, 2017 05:13 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yeah, the brass stock usually has a curve to it because it's punch-cut. The shear forces impart an internal stress in the metal and holds it in shape. You can flatten it gently with a soft-face hammer.

Bridge tear-out is really common on most guitars. Pull the pins and reach in through the sound hole, and you risk a splinter-a-thon in your fingertips.

Reach in there and carefully knock off all the loose/protruding shards of wood before installing or repairing a bridge plate.

The mark of true care is a bridge plate that has smooth, round holes with no tear-out.

I knocked out three plates in five minutes.

catnineblue

LA , Calif

I try my best
Apr 9th, 2017 11:13 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Those look pretty nice to me Peegoo.
For now I'm just going to let it be since the bridge plates have no wear at all.

The Seagull grand since I got it has always had pins that fit the plate well and hold the ball yet they always fit loose at the top of the bridge.

Seagull once told me the bridge must have dried out , if that were the case then the top would have dried out and lowered the action and it was not low. Plus one would think if the bridge shrunk by being dry it would have shrunk even where it fits the top and I see no evidence of that. Over all these years since 2006 and no matter how much I keep this guitar humidified the pins fit the same and the saddle since it had to wide of slot and I made a rosewood shim on a new saddle that saddle still fits the same as when I did that in 2009. I only got the TUSQ pins because the plastic ones that came with it were bending back a bit and thought one might break. I guess whom ever at Seagull making the bridges that day was having a bad day. I emailed Bob Colosi and he feels that the pins should fit better at the top as do I and I have no way of checking the hole taper , certainly can't look in the hole and see it. It almost seems like seagull reamed these at 5 degrees instead of 3. Perhaps I can make a wooden pin 5 degree taper and see how it fits. Bob said might be worn holes and need to be re reamed at 3 degrees . They are not worn that I can see the guitar was new when it found it's way here, as far as I know it was , had a few tiny dings in the cedar top yet no wear almost like the on-line store I got it from had it on display . I know I got the AMI from the music zoo have that receipt and think the Grand was from the same place. Trouble is there is a music Zoo still yet the address and phone don;t match . I called them few years back and they have no record of me or even having that model or even seagulls for sale until years later.

I do know some on-line shops also have a showroom floor where people can just buy one.

As I type this I sit here and think it's just one of those things I worry about that is really nothing compared to the rest of my life's concerns. AS I type this I hear some fellow in the street screaming at some female using every swear word and worse. Man , this city of Hollywood has become more of a freak show than it ever was.

Perhaps this is everywhere these days.

Since our two cats died I've gone from cleaning windows and replacing blinds we got 5 years ago and watching all the paint on the frames flake off let alone all the dust and whatever built up in the top U shaped area , felt like I needed a mask and sealed suit. I vacuum yet gees. Go from that to finishing an old guitar I made then begin over thinking everything. I even took my old boom box and fixed it between cats and the little washing machine we have the drain pump would not run.

Point to all this is what really matters to me is actually playing the guitars and like today my wife's little Sony walkman am/fm which she loves suddenly had nothing but am static I took it apart and glued the am ferrite antenna back in it's place . Have no idea if it connected to anything , didn't see any actual wires works great now , she's happy. I'm half past 68 years old wish I could just relax.



FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Has anyone used a stew mac Plate Mate?




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