Photo 3 — Courtesy of

Photo 3 shows the required tools and materials. Remember to protect yourself with gloves and goggles—you don’t want to jab a file into your hands, and you don’t want any flying debris going into your eyes!

Okay, here’s the four-step process:

1. You’ll be beveling six bridge pins, so it’s well worth taking the time to craft yourself a custom jig. Using a caliper, carefully measure your bridge pin and then drill a matching hole into the wood. Push the bridge pin firmly into the hole, then flip over the block and grip it in a vice with the end of the bridge pin facing up.

Photo 4 — Courtesy of

2. With the fine flat pillar file, slowly work a 45-degree bevel onto the end of the bridge pin (Photo 4).

Photo 5 — Courtesy of

3. Use the fine round needle file to open up the end of the bridge pin groove again and to perfectly smooth out the edges (Photo 5). It helps to rotate the file during this process.

Photo 6 — Courtesy of

4. Finally, clean the pin up with 400 grit sandpaper. It should look like Photo 6.

Photo 7 — Courtesy of

Once you’ve beveled all six bridge pins, restring your flattop and you’ll be good to go. Photo 7 shows a modded pin with the string’s ball end seated securely against the bridge plate. It’s always a good idea to use an inspection mirror to check the bridge plate area after every restringing. This way you can be sure everything looks right. (Guitar inspection mirrors are available from luthier suppliers, but auto parts stores sell inexpensive telescoping mirrors that work well, too.)

Next month we’ll tackle a new electric guitar project. Until then ... keep on modding!