Like the title say, this is really true, I'm not making this up. A guy buys a cheap guitar (€ 99 with a tuner and gigbag), and after a while, the bridge starts to lift (this program brought to you by SX in China, their speciality is lifting bridges on new guitars), and, instead of bringing it back to where he bought it (a music shop here in Lübeck), he trots off to the next Bauhaus (homestore in Germany), and buys a tube of glue to "repair" his guitar. After a week, he comes to me....Look at the pictures..I thought I'd seen everything, just goes to show, ya never too old to learn new things :-)


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The edit function seems to be having a day off, but anyway: Just discovered that the bridgepins are also glued in....I love being a Luthier, no..really...:-))

One of my customers repaired a broken headstock the same way. I really had a hell of a time cleaning his mess.
Good luck!
Well, I managed to get the bridge off with a bit of heat. I don't know exactly what glue he used, but when it's warm, it has the consistancy of chewing gum, you can actually roll it off from the finish, and then you have little rubber balls to throw away. I'm quite hopefull that I'll be able to completly remove the glue rest from the top around the bridge. Unfortunatly, there's a lot of wood missing from the top where the bridge glues on, I'll be able to see what's to be done when I've got it all cleaned up. Another problem is the crack across the bridgepin holes, and last, but not least, the cracks in the top itself in front of the bridge. A nasty mess, but I like a challenge :-)

I had an old Alvarez in my shop a while ago that the bridge had lifted like that, the owner just put 2 small through bolts and filled the underside with drywall putty and left it that way for about 15 years before he decided it needed to be fixed right.
Hi Grahame - You kno stories like the one here, kind of remeind me of years gone past when I was in the home Improvement Buisness. Every once on a while there would be a home owner that wanted to become aweekend warrior and try to make an improvement on their own and when it didn't work out they would call a pro to fix up their goof.
Best to you guy-- Peace, Donald
I've been fixing up some guitars for students at our middle school, generally with the same problem - bridge pulls off, usually due to steel strings on a nylon guitar. Dad gets out the epoxy and slams the bridge back on. Bridge pulls off again, and the top pulls off the sides as well. Then it comes to me. *Sigh* (I have one right now where the strings actually pulled THROUGH the cheap classical bridge!)
This is why I stick to banjos (not that there aren't ways to bugger them, too)!
Did you hear this one: Q: What's the definition of perfect pitch? A: It's when you throw a banjo out of the window and hit a bagpipe player :-)
Don't blame me, the joke is from Tommy Emmanuel :-)

Quote a repair price of 140 Euros. If the customer still wants it fixed, take 99 and buy the guy an identical new guitar. You have a quick profit of 41 Euro and maybe, some usable parts for other repairs. You could tell the customer that if the new bridge pulls off, you'll re-glue it, as long as he attempts no repairs himself, but whether you do that depends on how many of these tend to pull off.

Frank Ford on has several articles on repairing similar damage (split bridge, bridge plate, cross grain top damage), including a recent blog on restoring a 19th century Martin. Looking at the meticulous labor involved from the blog entries, I doubt he's charging the owner anywhere as low as the equivalent of 99 Euros for the repairs, however.

I'll probably charge him € 60.00, which is 2 hours @ € 30.00, my hourly rate. I know it's ridiculous, out of all proportion to the true costs, but the guy is a poor student (not music), and was sent to me by a good customer of mine, who's a neighbor of his. I guess I'll write it off as good customer relations, and an investment for the future :-)
He should've taken it back and demanded a replacement anyway, he'd only had it 3 months, well within the guarantee, but now it's too late.
Seeing as so much wood came off with the bridge and it has a laminated top, I decided to make the best of a bad mess, and remove the rest of the top lamination, to at least have a good glue surface after sanding off the wood from the bridge. Also, the footprint on the top was way too small anyway, so I removed the top lamination far enough to allow the bridge to sit down properly. In the first two pictures you can see from the scribe lines how much too small the glue surface was, and how inadaquate the glue joint must have been. In the last picture you can see how it looks at the moment, after glueing the missing wood into the cracks between the bridgepin holes and tidying it up a bit. The surface lamination was paper-thin anyway, no loss. It ain't no Martin!

Whoops! Wrong picture! Here's how it looks now:
Seems like a good job!


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