I have a 70s acoustic that needs to have a neck reset and bridge replacement. The old bridge has been shaved down so much that I can't copy the contours. Does anyone have any advice on how to mimic the appropriate contours of Gibson acoustic bridge. I have the foot print and string spacing. I am just not sure on the contour of the top near the saddle. I understand that it is a little bit special on a Gibson its not just straight across.  

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Hi Luke

There are multiple different Gibson bridge design from that period, from mustache shapes to those God-aweful adjustable saddle designs with half a pound of plastic and metal hardware inserted in them.  Which model are we talking about? As you say, you can copy the footprint and saddle location from the old one.  All you need is the size & shape of the wood that is currently missing. A Google images search specifying the model will probably give you a guide, if not actual dimensions.  There is a lot of specifications info at the Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum, including for Gibsons and other brands.  You might find useful stuff there.  Before copying the saddle location of the current bridge do a careful check of the current intonation, and measure the scale length.  It is amazing how many of these factory built guitars have the bridge glued slightly out of place.  If there is an error, you would not want to replicate it in your new bridge.  If it is one of the adjustable bridges you have the opportunity to make the world a better place by getting rid of that thing and replacing it with something that works better (Paul Hostetter's web page has a good pictorial on how to do that).  

Sorry it’s a Gibson J-45. I understand that Gibson’s or at least J-45s from that era are notorious for underset necks, I think that plays in here too, but his neck has fallen even more. So I wanted to get a general idea of the contour so I can rebuild the bridge and set the neck correctly. I’ve done a few hours of research and can’t find anything of used. I have not tried the Martin forum though.


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