Guitar setup: how to remove bridge pins on an acoustic guitar
Stubborn bridge pins often plague acoustic guitar players in the middle of a restring, so we’ve developed an easy method to remove 'em.
For this job, you will need a pair of pliers, string snips, a string winder (with built-in bridge pin puller) and some fresh guitar strings. Make sure that your guitar is on a stable surface and place it on a towel so that its finish won’t get scratched.
There are a few reasons why a bridge pin can become stuck. For example, the environment in which you keep your guitar can cause its wooden parts to expand or shrink. If it shrinks, the bridge pin holes can grip the pins.
You may also be restringing your guitar incorrectly. If you’re not careful, the ball-end of the string can get jammed in the wrong position and make the bridge pins difficult to remove.
Before you install the string, bend it along the area behind the ball-end and the string will position itself correctly when you push in the bridge pin. Right, let’s get to work…
1. Snip the strings
If a pin is stuck fast, you will first need to remove the guitar’s strings from the machineheads. Once loose snip them close to the bridge.
2. Feel around
Have a feel about inside the guitar and locate the underside of the offending pin. Try not to get your arm stuck. Yes, it can happen!
3. Get your pliers
Grab a pair of pliers and put your arm back inside the guitar. Gently tap the underside of the pin with the body of the pliers.
4. Support the pin
The pin should begin to slide out. If it’s still stubborn, use your fingers or the peg remover on your string winder to support the pliers.
5. Fit the string
With the pin removed, you can now fit the new string. Bend the end of the string to allow it to slip into the correct position inside the guitar.