Hi, I am getting an old guitar delivered tomorrow.
It was cheap, and I am taking it on as a project.
I am in no way a luthier, not even close.
But, I have some work to do on this one.
The main issue is a thin crack on the top
of the bridge, that runs between the 6 pin holes.
Can I just glue it shut? If so, what glue do I use,
and how do I clamp it? I will restring it with extra-
light strings, to decrease the tension once repaired.
The guitar is a Brazos model BA45.
It is from the 1980s, and is not worth paying
a luthier top-dollar to repair it. I am hoping I can
get it playable on my own.
Thanks for any advice.
Hi Arthur: We have not discussed the reason for the crack and my bet is that there is more trouble in them there hills.... so-to-speak...:)
I suspect that the pin holes on the bridge plate have been severely worn over time and that the string balls are now starting to pull up through the pin holes. This would have created a situation where the pins may not have stayed all the way down on their own so the previous steward of the instrument would push the pins back down. With the string balls trying to come up something had to give and it did, the bridge split.
So for me step one would be to confirm or find the root cause, address that, and then repair the bridge. Normally for these kinds of cracks I wick in thin CA and then hit the bridge and crack with 320 paper sanding with the grain. The wood dust helps fill the crack with the CA and I repeat this several times until the fill is flush with the top of the bridge.
On this baby it's a painted bridge so that won't work well in so much as sanding paint is not going to get us the dust that we want and it could result in scope creep too. I'm thinking fill with CA and then touch up with paint.
But anyway check out the bridge plate from the inside and see if the pin holes are enlarged. If they are a bridge plate cap is a cheap, quick, effective fix that I am sure that you could do your self and we would be very happy to walk you through it too. If you want any help just get me the distance between the two outer pins and I'll whip one out and mail it to you for you to glue in place.
Thanks again for all the great advice.
I glued and tinted black the repair.
I restrung it with extra lights, and
now am able to play it.
I have since noticed it needs a new saddle,
and possibly a new nut as well. It is playable
as-is, but I think it really needs those 2 items.
I stuck my hand inside the soundhole, and then
felt upwards, where the bridge pins come through,
and I do feel that the wood is worn, so yeah, I
think the bridge plate may be in rough shape.
How can I accurately measure for the bridge plate?
That is great that you are willing to send me a new one.
Do you need the distance measured at the centers of the 2 outer pins?
p.s. the guitar has a nice sound to it
I used Martin phosphor bronze SP extra light strings.
it feels good bringing this old guitar back to life
it clearly had been neglected a bit
It is GREAT to hear how happy you are with the guitar & your work, Arthur.
BTW: those are QUALITY strings. I use them on my stage acoustic/electric. They feel & sound wonderful.
Hesh can walk you through the bridge plate subject. He's an EXPERT with that stuff, as well as a helluva nice guy, so you have an superb instructor.
To continued success :)
Ah shucks..... :) Thanks Paul!
Arthur happy to hear that you like the guitar too. Yeah I'll make you a bridge plate "cap" which is a small piece of maple that gets glued over the bridge plate in the inside of the guitar. It's pretty easy to install and I can walk you though it and the only thing that you will need is one or two clamps that are the right size to glue the bridge on since the plate cap is the same distance. The only other thing that you will need is a flat wood caul and some waxed paper. I'm going to send you some non-stick locating pins with the cap and the pins are simply used in the two outer holes of the bridge to keep the cap in place until the glue dries.
The pins will need to be refitted which is done with a 5 degree reamer and maybe there is a forum member in your area that has one if you don't.
What I need from you is the exact measurements of the two outer pin holes, center to center and I can extrapolate the other holes from that. Also send me please a message on this site with the pin hole distance and your mailing address and I'll get right to it.
the spacing is
2 & 1/8"
what else do you need besides the spacing measurement?
I tried to contact you via PM (personal message), but it would
not let me. I'd like to send you my address.
Thank you for helping me.
Hi Arthur and sorry it took me a couple of days to get back to FRETS.
2 1/8th spacing it is and I will whip one out for you tomorrow and get it in the mail to you.
As for your address please email me at email@example.com and that will get to me.
Thank you Hesh!
have a great day
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