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Hummingbird Adjustable Saddle Screws


Scott Ballew

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Hey There, I'm looking for 2 screws to fit a 1968 hummingbird adjustable saddle bridge. It would be the two on either side used for adjusting the height. Been scouring Reverb and Ebay and local vintage shop in Austin but no luck... thought I'd try here. Would even buy the entire saddle set up if it came with screws. Thanks 

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Gibson should have them, but not sure if they would sell to you, maybe if you go to an authorized repair shop they could order them? I have a 1965 J-50 with the adjustable saddle and also a 2020 J-50 "sixties original" which has the contemporary version of the ADJ bridge. The screws on the 2020 sure look the same as the 1965 to me.

You can see them in the close-up if you move the "magnifier' across the picture here:

https://www.gibson.com/en-US/Guitar/ACC26R79/60s-J-50-Original/Antique-Natural

Edited by Boyd
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Scott,

I recently did some simple repairs to a vintage guitar for a friend.

Among the materials I needed were some tiny screws for a couple of the machines. I couldn't get them from a couple of music stores or even a Home Depot. In the end I found replacements at a specialty store that caters to machinists and tool and die makers. I took the guitar to the store, and we tried a number of different sizes until we found some that fit.

You might have to find a similar specialty store unless someone has a few spares they can give or sell you.

RBSinTo

 

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The ADJ saddle screws aren't like a regular screw at all, they are very specialized. The shaft under the screw head is smooth and there is a "shoulder" about 3/8" below that. This forms an opening that the bridge sits inside, so that it rides up and down as you turn the screw. I think you will need the real thing, although a machine shop could probably fabricate them, given a sample, but that would likely be very expensive.

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Yes, the old nice Bird needs them. If you can't find them now, they'll show up later. They frequently do - of course often with the rest of the adjustable components included.                                                          Still it should be possible to bring a pair home. Don't forget how many adj. bridges/saddles people switched the last 25 years.

                                                                                                 Keep all eyes open and good luck.  

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13 hours ago, Boyd said:

The ADJ saddle screws aren't like a regular screw at all, they are very specialized. The shaft under the screw head is smooth and there is a "shoulder" about 3/8" below that. This forms an opening that the bridge sits inside, so that it rides up and down as you turn the screw. I think you will need the real thing, although a machine shop could probably fabricate them, given a sample, but that would likely be very expensive.

If anyone here can provide me the screw's specs and a photo I'll go to the specialty store which is closeby, and try to get the screws Scott needs.

RBSinTo

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1 hour ago, Boyd said:

You can see them here, I really don't think you will find this off-the-shelf. There is also a special bushing that it screws into.

Thanx for that photo, Boyd. It will go straight down into the Kalamazoo files here.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

What we see above is btw the (hollow) plastic bridge version. For beginners and 'green' readers of these pages, it could have been massive rosewood - and the insert r-wood too.

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Yeah, I just googled "vintage gibson adjustable saddle" images and that was one of the results, from an old sale on reverb (it is not my picture). After posting I realized it was the plastic bridge so you might want to do more searching on your own to see if the rosewood version is different. But really, why not just contact Gibson? Since they are still making guitars with the ADJ saddle they surely have access to the parts.

https://www.gibson.com/en-US/Support/Repair-And-Restoration

Edited by Boyd
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Thanks for all the feedback here, very very helpful. I was able to track down two screws from a friend in California. 

Here's a crazy question, and seems like the right place to ask it...The bridge seems to be a replacement of some sort, not sure if Gibson...but is missing the two pearl inlays on either end of the pegs. Do you think it's worth finding a new bridge from that era to make it authentic to the time or not to mess with it if it sounds great?

 

Thanks

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4 hours ago, Scott Ballew said:

Here's a crazy question, and seems like the right place to ask it...

Not all Gibsons from that period had pearl dots on their so called belly down bridges. 

My Southern Jumbo from 1968 fx lived without them ~ My 1968 SJ
 

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Gibson also has a restoration and repair service in Nashville. Typically this would be for instruments that you return to them but who knows, may be worth contacting them to see if 1) they have anything like that or 2) if they would sell just a part. Good luck, hope you get her back right.

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On 5/21/2022 at 11:24 AM, E-minor7 said:

Thanx for that photo, Boyd. It will go straight down into the Kalamazoo files here.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

What we see above is btw the (hollow) plastic bridge version. For beginners and 'green' readers of these pages, it could have been massive rosewood - and the insert r-wood too.

The ADJ hardware is identical for both the plastic bridge and the wood bridge, since it goes through and is attached to the wood top, and has no structural connection to the bridge itself. The adjustment screw is completely proprietary, and appears to have been made for the purpose. The barrel nut (the large-diameter part with the external threads in the photo) also appears to be a proprietary design.

The adjustment screws are very thin and fragile. If they do not turn easily in the barrel nut,  don't force them. They will snap off. Use a bit of penetrating oil and a lot of patience. Don't ask me how I know they will snap  off.

I assume the OP is just looking for the adjustment screws, rather than all the parts. A good machinist could make them, but it would be cost-prohibitive. I have a complete ADJ setup, but unfortunately, it's the only one I have, and I need to keep it.

Sorry, but just keep looking. They do show up on ebay.

Edited by j45nick
added additional thought
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21 minutes ago, j45nick said:

I assume the OP is just looking for the adjustment screws, rather than all the parts.

Actually, he  posted that he already found them. 😉

On 5/21/2022 at 11:26 PM, Scott Ballew said:

Thanks for all the feedback here, very very helpful. I was able to track down two screws from a friend in California.

 

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6 hours ago, j45nick said:

The ADJ hardware is identical for both the plastic bridge and the wood bridge, , ,

Yes, important to underline that the inserts/screws/nuts/washers are identical - come wood, come plastic.

                                                                                    And to complete the picture we need to add the loooong metal plate some call the spring.


Seen here in the top of the pic ~ Gibson Adjustable Bridge Parts - 1960's Ceramic & Rosewood | Reverb 

                                                                                                                                                                                                           , , , which also shows both the rosewood and the ceramic saddle/insert.

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11 hours ago, E-minor7 said:

Yes, important to underline that the inserts/screws/nuts/washers are identical - come wood, come plastic.

                                                                                    And to complete the picture we need to add the loooong metal plate some call the spring.


Seen here in the top of the pic ~ Gibson Adjustable Bridge Parts - 1960's Ceramic & Rosewood | Reverb 

                                                                                                                                                                                                           , , , which also shows both the rosewood and the ceramic saddle/insert.

That particular set is from a plastic bridge.  The two lag screws with washers at lower right go up through the bridgeplate and hold the plastic bridge in place. 

If you have a loose plastic bridge, you and often seat it tightly just by tightening those lags with a wrench.

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1 hour ago, j45nick said:

That particular set is from a plastic bridge.  The two lag screws with washers at lower right go up through the bridgeplate and hold the plastic bridge in place. 

If you have a loose plastic bridge, you and often seat it tightly just by tightening those lags with a wrench.

SSbi8y7.jpg

Yes - I'm beginning to believe there could have been more than 1 set of (plastic-bridge) screws. The 4 bridge-screws in 'my' pic are divided in 2 pairs.                                                                                                                                                        This photo however, shows 4 identical screws, 1 with a smaller washer. 

,,,,Why Plastic Bridges and Acoustic Guitars Don't Mix - Premier Guitar

 

Even clearer here - gviwtGr.jpg

And as the watchful will have discovered we obviously now have 2 versions of the p-bridge in play =                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     The 1 with hole/ direct top-contact - and the version with a groove and 'floor' for an ordinary sized saddle.

 

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11 hours ago, E-minor7 said:

SSbi8y7.jpg

Yes - I'm beginning to believe there could have been more than 1 set of (plastic-bridge) screws. The 4 bridge-screws in 'my' pic are divided in 2 pairs.                                                                                                                                                        This photo however, shows 4 identical screws, 1 with a smaller washer. 

,,,,Why Plastic Bridges and Acoustic Guitars Don't Mix - Premier Guitar

 

Even clearer here - gviwtGr.jpg

And as the watchful will have discovered we obviously now have 2 versions of the p-bridge in play =                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     The 1 with hole/ direct top-contact - and the version with a groove and 'floor' for an ordinary sized saddle.

 

That one appears not to be an ADJ saddle. I believe we have now seen plastic bridges with 2, 3, and 4 screws.

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22 hours ago, j45nick said:

That one appears not to be an ADJ saddle. I believe we have now seen plastic bridges with 2, 3, and 4 screws.

Definitely not - we see the ordinary sized saddle resting on the top under the B-string pin. It is an LG-1, , , , of course from 1963. 

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