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mcknett

Where's the bridge?

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I just picked up a thrift store classic...a Palmer P40-12E - a 12 string acoustic/electric from Korea. I don't know much about it and would appreciate any insight.

Here's the problem, the bridge is gone (funny thing is that most of the bridge pins were still there) Quite a bit of the top is gone where the bridge used to be and some of what remains is just waiting to go as well (see attachments) - other than this minor flaw, the guitar is in excellent shape, though very hard to play.

Considering the investment I already have in it (a whopping 2 USD) I'd consider Gorilla glue and a replacement bridge from eBay - at about 8 USD delivered.

Any thoughts?

2163.attach

2164.attach

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mcknett,

congrats on a bargin!

1) Never use Gorilla Glue on a guitar!!!!!! ( on the headstock it would be ok, but not on the body)

2) You can get a bridge and the correct glue over at StewMac in Athens, Ohio. They have on online form to ask any questions you have or you can call them. Great Peopl!

Les

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Guest johnny64
I just picked up a thrift store classic...a Palmer P40-12E - a 12 string acoustic/electric from Korea. I don't know much about it and would appreciate any insight.

Here's the problem, the bridge is gone (funny thing is that most of the bridge pins were still there) Quite a bit of the top is gone where the bridge used to be and some of what remains is just waiting to go as well (see attachments) - other than this minor flaw, the guitar is in excellent shape, though very hard to play.

Considering the investment I already have in it (a whopping 2 USD) I'd consider Gorilla glue and a replacement bridge from eBay - at about 8 USD delivered.

Any thoughts?

I believe that's ''where's the comfounded bridge'' Don't mind me i'm a diehard Zeppelin fan. The other thing is i know jack zilch about a Palmer P 40 - 12 E. Sorry did you at least steal it ? Aloha friend, John

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There is a jack on lower right side - not the end pin. Tell me more.

I had a look on the inside - a couple of wires looking for a home and no loose pieces to connect them to.

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Can I just ask why not to use gorilla glue on the guitar? My 11 year old was given a student guitar from a friend and the top is lifting from the body...I was going to use gorilla glue on it.

Might explain why you shouldn't use it either...:blush:

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I was wondering that myself. I threw that out there as I have it handy and it would likely take care of the missing top...how it would sound I don't know.

I'm all ears (well, eyes anyway) for suggestions on this thing.

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I don't know what gorilla glue is; what's the USA equivalent?

The top on that guitar is laminate so it's not an expensive guitar, it's not a collectors item, it probably wouldn't be worth what you'd have to pay a luthier to repair it, so I'm not so sure I'd agonize over traditional repair methods. A big stuggle you're going to have is finding suitable clamps to hold the bridge in place while glueing. There are specialized clamps for this that have a deep jaw to make the reach but are of aluminum so the weight doesn't hurt the top.

www.stewmac.com has all the tools and materials you'd need. You'll need a bridge, I'd go ahead and get new pins unless you have all of the old ones and they're in good shape, a new saddle, if you want to put the pickup back in an under saddle transducer pickup.

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Can I just ask why not to use gorilla glue on the guitar? My 11 year old was given a student guitar from a friend and the top is lifting from the body...I was going to use gorilla glue on it.

Might explain why you shouldn't use it either...:blush:

Gorilla glue is an "industrial strength glue". If you were clamping up 3/4 thick boards to build a table top then use gorilla glue.

One of the properties of G/G is that as it dries, it foams up, sinks deep into the grain of the wood and expands. If you applied G/G to the bridge and clamped it down, the glue will literally foam out from underneath the bridge around the edges.

Do not use G/G on your guitar top, no matter how cheap the guitar is. Once applied it absolutely will deaden the wood and believe me, what ever you glue down with it will not come off. The guitar top, laminated or not is a very thin piece of wood. The guitar needs to breath. With G/G applied to the top and under the bridge it's quite probable after some time, as the guitar top expands and contracts with it's local environment (i.e., humidity), and the fact the G/G doesn't care about breathing wood, the top will split.

The same problem occurs on guitars where the pick guard is "over" glued down. The top splits under the guard.

You'd be better off with an 89 cent jar of Elmer's Wood Glue.

**

Les

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Thanks for the advice...I was thinking along those lines as well - it's not going to be anyones heirloom - if it sounds okay I'll be happy (even if a couple of quarts of beer are required to keep the ears un-offended)

Gorilla Glue is an Ohio company...it's a polyurethane adhesive which will glue "just about anything for just about forever". The tricky part is it expands - which I thought might be an advantage to bond the loose pieces back to the top.

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Thanks again Les! Looks like an excellent article - I might have a chance after all!

I'm about 35 miles from OC - in fact, just got back from a week at the beach (ready to turn around and go back)

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Les,

I've ordered the bridge, saddle, nut, bridge pins, HIDE GLUE, and some spruce pieces for repairing the spot...a challange but...

Thanks again for your help.

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Well the parts are all on their way...New bridge, Tusq saddle and nut, new bridge pins, new pick gaurd, some spruce for the top, hide glue, and a set of strings to tie it all together. I hope to start on it this weekend. I'll start taking pictures along the way.

Thanks again for all the advice and encouragement!

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I have been trying everyone I know. But haven't found anything with a deep enough throat. One of my mechanic friends has a set of visegrip clamps which may have the throught but might have the handle in the wrong place. If they will work, I'll use some scrap metal from the shop here (I work for a utility company with a power plant full of old diesels) to make a caul so that I can pressure evenly on the bridge support. I'll also have to make sure I don't mar the bridge itself.

Of course, if the visegrips don't fit right, I'll have to buy something from Stewmac, but I'm trying really hard not to buy anything for this project that I won't likely use again.

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I'd assume the problem w/regular cast iron, deep throat clamps is the weight. You could easily crack or split the top or even clamp the bridge and let it set/dry in a 'bowed' or deflected station that would then be perminent when the weight of the clamp was removed.

Since it's a laminate top and not a high dollar guitar, I'd be tempted to do something like this. Drill 2 holes through the new bridge and the top of the guitar where the bridge lines up. When glueing and everything is lined up, shoot a screw into each hole into a block, that's been predrilled so it won't split, that rests on the underside of the top. When the glue is set, remove the screws, remove the block from the under side, then patch the screw holes in the bridge w/some plugs either something like the same species to try and make it blend or a different kind of wood for a more decorative accent type effect.

This is not a wholly uncommon practice for bridge attachment. In fact, if you go to my web store and look at the Godin nylons, the La Patrie's and the Art & Lutherie Ami nylon, you'll see 2 metal studs in the bridge itself. I'm not certain if those are screws or bolts or what, but I know they're SOME type of mechanical fastener and in your case you could use that to hold the bridge in place while the glue sets.

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