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X4StringDrive

Glueing a bridge

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OK, any of you luthier wannabees...I need some advise.

One of my neighbors has given me an old Martin to play around with and see if I'm interested{of course I am, but he doesn't need to know how much}. This guitar has been sitting on a stand for over 12 years mainly as a decorative piece. He doesn't play and has no real interest in learning. Anyways I brought it home tonight and began cleaning it up and noticed the bridge is lifting from the body, its still attached per se, but upon placing new strings I can see it lifting as I try to bring it up to tune.

So my question is...what type of glue to use and do I need special clamps? This is a 1952 5-18{3/4 size} accoustic. Its not dried out or brittle, but I just want to make sure I do it right.

I've got lots of woodworking experience just not on guitars. I'm going to buy it as soon as we come to an agreement on $, Which could be exciting, he has no idea on the value and I've seen a few on e-bay ..wish me luck on both accounts.

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wcostley    0

Personally I'd show your neighbor that it has a problem, then I'd take it to a luthier, to make sure the job gets done properly, your neighbor might even give you a better deal when he see's that it's starting to come apart.

Good Luck, on what ever you decide to do and let us know how it all turns out.

Skip

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Thanks Tonedeaf, I'm not going to remove it, I've got glue type syringes and plan to inject the glue and clamp it back down. Won't have to worry about realigning it that way. Appreciate the link:thumbup1:

Sweet after a quick look at the link, I've got the right stuff out in my shop....now for clamping I suppose I can rig up something safe.

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Personally I'd show your neighbor that it has a problem, then I'd take it to a luthier, to make sure the job gets done properly, your neighbor might even give you a better deal when he see's that it's starting to come apart.

Good Luck, on what ever you decide to do and let us know how it all turns out.

Skip

Thanks wcostley, but I don't think its that big of an ordeal. And I've got a pretty good hunch I'm gonna get this for a song so to speak.

Thanks for replying though:yes:

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Mike8307    0

X4

That is a sweet find. I've done my share of woodworking too and the best glue I've ever used is hide (hyde) glue. Made from, yes, the hide of horses (the one's I usually bet on). I've used it on furniture restorations and on parts that normally would make difficult clamping. Better than synthetic glues like Gorrilla glue in that hide glue is a reversable bond, yet in my own tests, the bond is stronger than the wood itself. Not sure if luthiers use it today but I imagine they must have used it many many years ago.

Just some bit of info...

Michael

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737blues    0

Just don't use any synthetic glues or epoxy's 'cos you'll never get it off again without a chisel, should you ever need to. Nasty for both the guitar and your chisel .....

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I'd just like to recommend that you look at Dan Erlewine's book "Guitar Player Repair Guide" that discusses the pros and cons of hide glue and Titebond and looks at different clamping techniques too.

It's a great book anyway: every guitarist should have a copy IMO.

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knight46    2

X4,

That is one sweet looking guitar:wub: posts some pics when the repairs are complete. As far as glue I think you are on the right track, I would also suggest staying away from the quick set "super" glues and epoxies, but I think you know that already.:thumbup1:

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Mike8307, thanks...I bet on those same losers myself{lol}

WW....Thanks, keeping fingers crossed

737blues...thankyou also for the tip

Ben_Sir_Amos...Thanks... sounds like a good reference book to have around.

knight46...Thanks and yes I did but thanks for making sure.

Wow... really appreciate all the help everyone....hope to post pix soon. You guys are the best :)

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Doug    12

Hey X4 - I know you're a good wood worker. But that's a vintage Martin you're dealing with. I dunno. I'd at least take it to a good luthier and see what his advice is. If you are going to do it yourself, then hide glue is a good bet because at least it's reversible. I think Stewart MacDonald has the clamps you need - check em out here...

Stewart-MacDonald: Everything for building and repairing stringed instruments!

Best of luck - it's a beauty.

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Thanks Doug, yep..got hide glue already and your link has given me some ideas on making a clamp...Thanks again!!!

The bridge is just starting to seperate from the body, maybe a quarter inch or so has broke loose across its length{"cleanly" from the body}, so I'm figuring just insert some glue and clamp it back down. Can't hurt and if it doesn't work then to the pro it goes. Believe me if it looked more serious I wouldn't dream of touching it.

Hope these show well enough{cheap camera}

[ATTACH]5334[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH]5335[/ATTACH]

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Doug    12

I had a classical guitar whose bridge started to separate from the top of the guitar. I didn't address the issue and one night there was a big bang and the whole bridge had pulled off. It took a large section out of the surface of the cedar top as well. So I agree that you should do something before it gets worse. From the pix it looks like you can fix it pretty easily.

Best of luck.

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Dan Erlewine says

"Bridges that are only slightly loose at their back edge can often be repaired without being completely removed. This is done by forcing glue into the gap and clamping the bridge in place to dry. As a rule, if you can slide one empty guitar-string package into the opening, take it in for a check up".

Sometimes he does provide accurate measurements, but this seems a good and practical measure for the job.

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fly135    5

I've got a 70's Epiphone Texan that needs a new bridge glued on. Got some good info here. Thanks.

X4, hope that Martin deal works out sweet for you. A guitar like that needs a loving owner that will play it.

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Doug....thanks for the vote of confidence!!!

Ben_Sir_Amos...Thanks for that, If I fold said wrapper in half, it is tuff slipping in.

fly135...Thanks, agreed...good tips. Waiting for the neighbor to get home tonight and start haggeling the price so that I can be that "loving Owner"

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Unbelievable...Its mine:yeahhh: :yeahhh: :yeahhh:

He came home and I was out watering the front yard{secretly waiting on him} he came over and asked what I thought of it. So remembering wcostley's advise I took him in and showed him the bridge, pointed out the scatches and the fact its missing the strap button, and proceeded to tell him that, yeah I could be talked into buying it if the price was right. Well he went into this long drawn out speil about how his mother had it when she was younger and blah blah blah, all the while I'm thinking "ok here it comes...some outrageous figure" when he stops talking for a second and says "how about $50.00" I damn near dropped a load. All I could muster was "I'll give you $75.00, if you throw in the stand".

Done deal :yeahhh: :yeahhh: :yeahhh:

[ATTACH]5338[/ATTACH]

on with the repair :)

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wcostley    0
Unbelievable...Its mine:yeahhh: :yeahhh: :yeahhh:

"how about $50.00" I damn near dropped a load. All I could muster was "I'll give you $75.00, if you throw in the stand".:)

SUPER!!

Skip

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