40+ Acoustic Guitar Bridge Repair
Gibson guitar bridge plate showing signs of wear.
Acoustic guitar bridge repair. The bridge above has a long crack running between all six pin holes. After sanding the contact surfaces to create a clean bonding surface the bridge is glued and clamped onto the guitar top for 24 hours. The bridge separates from the guitar allowing removal of all the old glue. It is usually inadvisable to repair cracks at the edges of the saddle due to the constant tension.
However if the gap is very small youll not be able to see it. Not the most cost effective as itll likely mean custom-cutting a replacement bridge. Thru the bridge pin holes and at the edges of the saddle slot. A damp rag wipes it away.
The bridge plate may be defective. To fix a bellied top the bridge first needs to be removed. Acoustic guitar bridge cracks can sometimes be repaired without replacing the entire bridge. Theres another couple around too but this big obvious one is the main issue.
Clamp it down just enough to hold the seal tight but not enough to squeeze out all of the glue. Note the screws which go thru the bridge and are hidden beneath inlay. Using soundhole clamps and a bridge plate caul to protect the bridge plate and spread the clamping pressure Christine clamped the bridge in place. Resetting the bridge works best because any damage shows easily and can be repaired before replacing the bridge.
Once the string is loose unwind the string from the peg. While tightening the clamps she again wiped away glue squeeze-out and cleared excess glue out of the bridge pin holes. Cracks normally develop in two places on acoustic guitar bridges. Lining it back up is not difficult because there will be a ghost on the top of the guitar and you can match the bridge pin holes in the top to the ones in the bridge.
Unfortunately the clamps needed to do this properly cost more than taking it to a luthier or guitar repair tech. Now an acoustic guitars top shouldnt be dead flat they are arched typically with a 45m 6m radius but this one was severely arched. Acoustic Guitar Bridge Repair Tool Kit Here is a complete set of tools for doing the most common acoustic guitar bridge repairs. Bridge and bracing joints particularly on older guitars built with older glues may fail due to heat and humidity.
Determination of the Problem and Preparation. Bridge or brace work may have shrunkagain more likely in an older guitar. If youre only using 1 clamp place your caul over top of the bridge then place the bottom of the clamp through the soundhole into the body of your guitar under the bridge. It includes all the tools to steam and remove the bridge as well as tools to clamp and glue it back on the guitar.
If you notice a gap between the bridge and the guitar its a clear indication that the bridge has become loose. This guitar came into the shop last week with a severely bellied top and a lifting bridge. The crack doesnt extend all the way to the bottom of the bridge. Clamp the bridge down onto the guitar.
There are two choices here. Whatever is the case its something that can be fixed though it may not be. The damage to the bridge is too far gone for a sound repair. Here is how to correctly go about repairing acoustic guitar bridges.
Unwind and remove the 6 strings from your acoustic guitar. This one was definitely in need of a debelly job. Minor cracking thru the bridge pin holes can sometimes be repaired when there are no other issues with the bridge. Braces may have cracked or come loose.
While warped cracked and loose bridge plates should be replaced worn bridge pin holes can be repaired without replacing the plate in some cases. Then follow the string down to where its connected to the bridge with a bridge pin.
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