The Bridge has lifted from my 2006 G3 acoustic 6 string. It is not a pegged bridge but rather a string through style bridge.
When the bridge lifted, it removed some wood fiber from the spruce top...the grain in the top seems to be running out towards the rear which could be part of the reason it lifted in the beginning.
This guitar is from a highly regarded luthier, but since I am second owner so he is unwilling to do the repair on warranty.
A local repairman/luthier would not repair it saying he thinks it should have a pegged bridge and with the torn wood grain it could never be strong enough in his opinion.
So I am left wondering what to do and in particular...what, if anything, can be done to fill the lost wood fibre from the top?
Any comments from you luthiers and repair persons would be greatly appreciated.
thanks for the quick replies gents. I spoke with the luthier who built this 16K guitar and he does not do repairs...but would replace the top for $1000.....if thats not a repair what is? His alternative is as Greg suggests...routing it out etc.
One luthier near me suggested it should have a pegged bridge.....any opinions? I see Gary is not a fan of these non pegged bridges.
After years of denying it, I'll now proudly proclaim: "my name is mike and i'm a fan of bridge bolts".... Seriously, I've been putting bridge bolts in guitars for a long time, particularly in 12-strings but most any guitar that comes through the shop for bridge repair... and the pinless bridges almost scream for the extra help. Of course, this requires an OK from the customer, but the majority have no objections.
I use 4-40 stainless hardware and nylon-insert nuts with a liberal dose of Loctite on the threads. The customer has the choice of covering the bolt heads with either MOP or hiding them with a plug to match the wood.
The procedure has no apparent impact on the tone and gives a good degree of "peace of mind". No, I wouldn't do it to a vintage Martin or anything similar, but for the vast majority of the guitars that come-through the shop, it's insurance worth considering.
I'm with you on this one, interestingly, I come from an engineering background which does not tolerate bad engineering, myths, prejudices and traditional practices and the bold face, heavy typing in my engineering handbook says "use a mechanical fastener when an adhesive will not do the job. I think this kind of "engineering" qualifies for this use of mechanical fastening. Particularly if you can hide the fasteners.
Personally, I'd like to hang the designers of such bridges offa a real high building attached only by their bridge design and then ask them if they would like a bolt or two to keep the bridge attached. I'm also not fond of so called luthiers refusing to take responsibility for their (poor) design integrity - Unfortunately, I have seen way too much of poor design and execution to think anything else. Rusty.
In order to remove the pulled up bridge with grain attached to it I had to cross cut the grain so it did not pull grain up beyond the bridge area.
I'm starting to think the idea of bolting the bridge down might be a good idea....not sure how many bolts I could get in and if I need extra wood under the top.
Perhaps Mike could give me more info on how he has bolted bridges.
Hi Doug... my standard procedure these days (if the bolting is needed and gets approved) is 2 bolts to the rear of the pins, one placed behind and between the E and the A pins, and another between the B and E pins (picture a "triangle" on each placement... with the pin holes as 2 points and the bridge bolt as the 3rd).
I'll first drill a hole (with a sharp brad-point drill) .250" in diameter, about .250" deep, followed by a .110" hole in the center of the larger hole, through the bridge. These two holes (for each bolt, of course) will accommodate the 4-40 machine screw shaft and head, leaving a fair am't for plugging the hole when done. Make sure the holes will go through the bridge plate, which serves well as an anchoring point. Back-up the bridge plate with a hardwood block when drilling, to prevent split-out.
On the underside, install a flat washer, a lock washer and a nut. The best luck for me these days, though, comes with using a flat washer and a nylon-plug locknut with a drop of Loctite. Holds like crazy.
Two bolts toward the rear of the bridge seems to be plenty. That's where all the force is directed and they do little to disrupt the comings and goings of string changes. I keep a variety of lengths handy, but will usually end-up using 3/4" or 7/8" lengths to accommodate the thicknesses of everything and still leave room for the washer and nut but every case is a little different.
It's not a substitute for a good glue job, but it sure lends a helping hand to problematic cases (read: 12-strings!) and any other guitars where conditions for reattachment of the bridge are less than ideal.
On a personal note, I bought a used Martin B1 bass from a guy and got a great price because the bridge was lifting from string tension. I removed the bridge, reglued it, bolted it down and filled the holes with ebony plugs. That was 4 years ago and the bridge has not budged since, nor can the holes be seen readily and the bass sounds as good as it ever did.