Cleaning JM Bridge Saddles....

Bringing your older offset back to life.
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PorkyPrimeCut
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Cleaning JM Bridge Saddles....

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Sat Feb 17, 2007 7:59 pm

I've seen in various earlier threads that darkened/old bridge saddles can be resurrected. One idea was to turn them round. This has made a big difference but I'd love to clean the lot & bring them back to their original spendour.

Is it at all possible to bridge back their chromey lustre?
What chemicals & tools would I need?
Can I just soak them in a mild-solvent or do I brush them with some kind of cleaning solution?

While I wait for my tuners to be delivered I've got a little time to kill. This would be a great project. All suggestions welcome.  :)
Last edited by PorkyPrimeCut on Sun Feb 18, 2007 6:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cleaning JM Bridge Saddles....

Post by Firefly » Sun Feb 18, 2007 7:14 am

Silvo might clean it up. I've used it on otherthings and am quite amazed at how easy it is to restore metals with that stuff.
Last edited by Firefly on Sun Feb 18, 2007 7:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cleaning JM Bridge Saddles....

Post by i love sharin foo » Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:19 am

I think it is a shame to try to make every single piece of that guitar look pristine. All those pieces have made it almost 50 years and haven't been altered so far. Why start now. If it ends up looking as clean as a reissue, why not just sell it and buy a couple reissues? It'd be a lot easier to keep them looking new than it is to make a real one look new.

Justin
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Re: Cleaning JM Bridge Saddles....

Post by zhivago » Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:26 am

Image

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Resident Spartan.

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Re: Cleaning JM Bridge Saddles....

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:31 am

i love sharin foo wrote: I think it is a shame to try to make every single piece of that guitar look pristine. All those pieces have made it almost 50 years and haven't been altered so far. Why start now. If it ends up looking as clean as a reissue, why not just sell it and buy a couple reissues? It'd be a lot easier to keep them looking new than it is to make a real one look new.

Justin
True. I'm a bit obsessed with getting all the chrome nice & shiny. I am concerned about the grooves in the saddles though. I was hoping there was a way of deepening them without buying needle-files. Maybe a wire brush would do it.
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Re: Cleaning JM Bridge Saddles....

Post by i love sharin foo » Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:34 am

Even if the dirt and rust is entirely removed from the grooves, the strings still won't sit entirely in  the bottom of the grooves.

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Re: Cleaning JM Bridge Saddles....

Post by Jay » Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:34 am

Have you thought about selling this guitar and buying a re-issue?  I mean, if you want something clean that's the only way your going to get there.  I'm a bit bothered by your constant obsession over turning your beautiful & original vintage piece into some sort of restoration project.

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Re: Cleaning JM Bridge Saddles....

Post by dinosaur » Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:48 am

Definitely just buy new saddles, or a bridge, or even a new guitar before you take a file to that thing!  :o

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Re: Cleaning JM Bridge Saddles....

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:53 am

I considered selling it a while ago but I'm keeping it now.  

In a way its always been a restoration project, after all it used to have a shit neck & a stripped body. The bridge has always concerned me due to the numerous complaints made about them in the past (strings slipping). If the concensus is that I leave it alone then I will.

Its not a "constant obsession", its a learning curve. The info I learn from you guys is priceless. Who knows, one of these days I may need to restore parts from another guitar. I've not stopped collecting them yet.
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Re: Cleaning JM Bridge Saddles....

Post by daydreamdelay » Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:55 am

I'd leave well enough alone.. don't fix what isn't broken.. etc..

like Justin said.. those parts have made it this far without being messed with, why be the one to change that  :'(

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Re: Cleaning JM Bridge Saddles....

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:57 am

I guess if the strings-slipping does become an issue I can switch it for a Mustang bridge & stash the original. Its just a simply swap isn't it? No unnecessary drilling?
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Re: Cleaning JM Bridge Saddles....

Post by i love sharin foo » Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:59 am

Yes, a Mustang bridge will drop straight in. Also, IMO, oxidation and rust are what make the old bridges so much better than new ones. It is extra resistance that helps keeps the strings in place better and it also heeps the intonation screws and bridge height screws in place. Most of the problems people have with strings slipping out, height screws coming unadjusted etc are with either newer bridges or else Japanese ones.

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Re: Cleaning JM Bridge Saddles....

Post by dinosaur » Sun Feb 18, 2007 10:09 am

i love sharin foo wrote: Also, IMO, oxidation and rust are what make the old bridges so much better than new ones. It is extra resistance that helps keeps the strings in place better and it also heeps the intonation screws and bridge height screws in place.
+1.

When I got my yellow 59 and took it to Gary Brawer in SF for some fret work, the first words out of his mouth were, "Thank God the bridge is old and rusty.  You won't have any problems."  It has needed nothing to remain perfect.

The bridge on the other 59 has much cleaner saddle height screws, and they were a pain in the ass before I did something about it.

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Re: Cleaning JM Bridge Saddles....

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Sun Feb 18, 2007 10:12 am

i love sharin foo wrote: Yes, a Mustang bridge will drop straight in. Also, IMO, oxidation and rust are what make the old bridges so much better than new ones. It is extra resistance that helps keeps the strings in place better and it also heeps the intonation screws and bridge height screws in place. Most of the problems people have with strings slipping out, height screws coming unadjusted etc are with either newer bridges or else Japanese ones.

Justin
Thats the best bit of advice I've read so far. Its staying as-is!!!  :)
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Re: Cleaning JM Bridge Saddles....

Post by Soiouz » Sun Feb 18, 2007 10:15 am

I couldn't agree more on rusty bridge vs. newer ones... My vintage bridge is stuck in rust in perfect intonation for the strings I used and my style of playing.. I never had a problem with it, which is not the case with any of the reissue bridges I've had.

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