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ACOUSTIC GUITAR BRIDGE REPAIR

Bridge lifting, or completely popping off is a typical repair and I reglue a lot of bridges.  Considering the amount of tension the strings cause, usually about 160 pounds and more, its a wonder they stay on as long as they do...1`

Successful Bridge Re-gluing

Re-gluing a bridge on an acoustic guitar can be a very successful repair, especially if you go the extra mile and do a few things that might seem "excessive" to some. First, it is my opinion that an animal protien glue should be used. That's not to say that aliphatic glue (wood glue), will not work, but animal protien glues like hyde glue and fish glue have proven to have highly successful results, and personally, I use fish protien glue. Read more in the captions below the photos...

A "Lifting" Bridge

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You can detect a lifting bridge with a fine feeler guage or business card, by checking for a small gap along the backside of the bridge. If either slip under the bridge, you will need heat to soften the remaining glue to remove the bridge. For a proper repair, I use a silicone heat blanket to loosen the remainder of the glue to remove the bridge...

Scraping The Soundboard

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Removing all of the old glue is essential and I use the best scraper in my opinion to do this job. It is the Bahco 625 scraper, and is perfectly sized for this job. I find it helpful to tape around the bridge footprint before removing it, or if it is completely off, I clamp it in place and then tape around it...

Score Both Surfaces

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If you note in the photo above, you can see where parts of the bridge were not glued to the soundboard. I trace around these areas with an exacto knife and scrape the poly paint off to get a full footprint gluing. I score light grain lines in the soundboard and also crosshatch on the bridge bottom with a dremel and a small saw blade. This is the key to making your repair better than the factory installation...

Clamping and Drying

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I still like to clamp bridges because I believe air is essential to good glue bonding. I have no opinion on "vaccume clamping" as I have not tried it as yet. Last, whatever the glue instructions say about curing/drying time, ignore it and double the time. There is no such thing as curing or drying too long. This is the most essential part of making your repair successful...