Has anyone round here used this method for removing bridges much? I'm interested because I have a guitar (my dad's 73 Fender F 15, nothing too special but I like it alot) with dark stain/finish on a lighter coloured hardwood (not sure what) bridge, which is beginning to lift at the bottom. The stain has taken on a nice patina with just the right amount of wear at some of the edges and Id much rather not disturb it with heat as Ive seen happen before. So Im considering the chisel technique as a possibility.
Also, it may be important to know that this has one of those goofy adjustable saddles 'inlaid' in the bridge (it actually sits right on the top, captured by the bridge). Im probably going to work something out to convert it to the proper saddle style. Got nothin but time with this one and Ive got a couple beaters to practise whackin at, too. Lee Valley sells some cranked neck chisels that look pretty good for the job, if I deem this to be the appropriate method.

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Well, I had my reservations about the method to begin with, so this has pretty well sealed the deal. It seems Ill be going with the putty knife, seeing as itll already get under the backside where its lifted. Maybe a little gentle heat and some protection for the finish.

hopefully there are no hidden screws under pearl dots on this bridge jic....been there


If you can, grind a taper into the edge before you start. Not a knife edge but thin it out with a bit of  gradual taper. I had trouble with the blunt edge of  a standard putty knife. If you want to invest a bit, you can look at artist pallet knives for some thinner blades and different shapes. I just rounded and thinned my putty knife and it works fine. 

As much as I hate to say it the cold removal, bang it with a dull chisel method does work very well for some and it has worked well for me too provided that:

1)  You don't do it on a valuable guitar.....

2)  The finish is poly or something tougher than say nitro.

3)  You can read run-out.

4)  The thing, the guitar... has something like AMG (Asian mystery glue) that is not reversable but will fail in sheer.

5)  You have dulled and polished the business end of the chisel AND bent the handle for better flat access.

There is at least one maker who uses a poly finish and super glues the bridges on top of the finish with no finish removal.  This method works well for these since CA fails in sheer big time.

The rest of the time, the vast majority of the time, it's a heat lamp, shield, unfettered attention never leaving the area while the lamp is on, and palet knives also reading the run-out.

Got any video footage, Hesh?

To which I cheerfully and mirthfully reply Hesh:   AMG, Superglue, Epoxy, Yellow, Polyurethane,  - I shall buy you a revolver with 1 bullet in the chamber to go with your chisel and mallet.   Mind you, a while back I tried to remove a fingerboard from a cheap Yamaha bass neck which had an AMG with incredible tenacity and resistance:   I still have the neck and the fingerboard is still attached.........hmmm, I have a chisel.....and a sledge hammer...I'll keep you posted!

Have a good weekend mate, Rusty.

At Hesh's suggestion, we decided to shoot a quick video of the method to show how it works. Keep in mind we shot it just before closing today, and it had no script or editing, but gets the general method across. Enjoy ;)

Wow...both informative and hilarious! Love the tomahawk chisel too.

@.@ Does that chisel work for neck removal too?
Hmmm, haven't tried that one yet. If we do, I'll be sure to catch it on video.

I am aghast. That was great.

I caught this some months back and found it an interesting watch.

Obviously, a re-removal of the bridge.





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