A lot of restrings and basic repairs come through our shop daily.
When a simple “clean up and restring” job comes in, we always take the opportunity to check over the entire guitar to ensure there are no major problems with it.
A Japanese Stratocaster came in that was very nice, but one of the bridge studs looked like it was leaning over a little.
After taking it apart we were able to see the problem.
Crumbling wood in front and back of the stud due to a flaw in the body. Gentle finger pressure was enough to break the stud completely free along with a nice chunk of the wood like a puzzle piece.
Behind the stud was even worse, breaking apart into tiny pieces just from poking it gently with a dental tool. No idea how this bridge was still holding onto the guitar.
After cleaning up what solid wood there was around the area, the big chunk was glued back in and a plug was made to fit the hole exactly. Chiseled clean and ready to go.
Once filled, it was re-drilled and the stud was sunk.
All back to normal, but you can still see a small indentation in the pickguard from where the edge of the bridge was riding prior to the repair.
Sometimes the studs can get chewed up after years of use. Luckily the replacements are also available in our store.