Hello All...

I got in a Martin DXK2 with a severe belly bulge. The bridge was lifting off due to the distortion of the top I presume. I removed the bridge, clamped two rigid flat cauls to flatten the top...I was told that Martin uses some form of CA to glue the bridge down. I wanted to use something a fair bit stronger to utilize the flatness of the bridge to help keep the top as flat as possible. So, I used some 60 minute epoxy and kept the bridge clamped for about 24 hours. as soon as I tuned it up to pitch, the bridge popped off. Should I use CA? It seems that it would be far weaker than epoxy. Although I was using crap 2-part epoxy. And bigger picture ideas? There are no loose braces just warped HPL and whatever the bridge plate material is, is warped with it. Should I add another piece of bridge plate material to help keep it flat?

Tags: Martin, glue, hpl

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Try roughing the top material and level the base of the bridge and scuff it & the guitar top then glue with yellow glue.

The Formica that the top is made of is so slick nothing will stick to it.

I mad my first Formica top back and sides about 40 years ago. The materiel was like a mirror and now it is satin but just as slick.

I tried epoxy just like you did and it came off when I tuned it to pitch. I called Martin and they told me to use CA and that worked. I still had a belly behind the bridge. I think the only thing that would help that would be an oversized bridge plate. It would probably really change the sound though.
I've mentioned this before -(and taken the appropriate heat for it)- but one of my favorite go-to tricks for problem bridge glue-ups over the last few years has been the use of small threaded bridge bolts. They've been used with lots of success by many good makers over the years, and the peace-of-mind is priceless. Normally I wouldn't consider this for a Martin, but the DXK2 with the HPL top sounds like a prime candidate.

Glue-up as usual....but then break-out (gulp) the drill. Go straight through the bridge after gluing but prior to string-up... use decent-sized little washers to spread the force out on the bridgeplate, countersink the heads into the bridge, cover with either a tasteful little inlay or a matching piece of rosewood/ebony, a dab of CA on the nuts underneath to lock 'em up,... and voila'! That bridge is going nowhere.
Well, I forgot to mention thanks for the replies. I finished the job with success. I ended up using Martin's advice (go figure) and cleaned up the top and bridge again, then scored a lattice-like design into the top and bridge. I used thick viscosity CA. clamped her up like normal (except with an oversized bridge plate caul to flatten her belly) she held up under string tension and the top stayed relatively flatter. I'm only posting this because it worked, it's a recommended warranty repair, and I couldn't find any other info online to conquer this. The CA for this is definitely counter-intuitive for me, and I suspect it won't hold forever...quite like martin's original factory technique for this. Anyways, thanks again.



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