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Help needed please - guitar bridge glue

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scouse 19 Feb 04 - 11:03 AM
Grab 19 Feb 04 - 12:52 PM
Murray MacLeod 19 Feb 04 - 01:17 PM
Mark Clark 19 Feb 04 - 01:44 PM
Willie-O 19 Feb 04 - 02:11 PM
scouse 19 Feb 04 - 03:23 PM
bigchuck 19 Feb 04 - 08:27 PM
GUEST,Al 19 Feb 04 - 09:48 PM
scouse 20 Feb 04 - 01:40 PM
GUEST,Van 20 Feb 04 - 02:23 PM
Murray MacLeod 20 Feb 04 - 02:43 PM
s&r 20 Feb 04 - 06:37 PM
dick greenhaus 21 Feb 04 - 12:41 AM
mooman 21 Feb 04 - 09:14 AM
Murray MacLeod 21 Feb 04 - 10:22 AM
Midchuck 21 Feb 04 - 10:26 AM
Midchuck 21 Feb 04 - 10:28 AM
scouse 27 Feb 04 - 08:18 AM
GUEST,Itinerant 08 Dec 04 - 08:01 PM
DADGBE 08 Dec 04 - 08:37 PM
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Subject: Tech: Help needed please
From: scouse
Date: 19 Feb 04 - 11:03 AM

I need a little help here, The bridge of my old Lowden guitar is coming away and needs to be reset but we need to know what sort of glue was used for fixing on the Japanese models back in 1984.(Mines a old S5 model.) Any help would be very greatful.

As Aye, Phil.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help needed please - guitar bridge glue
From: Grab
Date: 19 Feb 04 - 12:52 PM

Have you tried asking George Lowden himself?

Check out the Cult of Lowden group at this link. Plenty of knowledgeable people there, plus George Lowden reads the board fairly regularly and answers questions.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help needed please - guitar bridge glue
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 19 Feb 04 - 01:17 PM

Somebody on here will eventually tell you to take the instrument to a luthier to get the job assessed, so it might as well be me.

If the guy knows his job, he will remove the bridge completely and then reglue it. It isn't necessary to know which glue was originally used, since all the original glue will be removed. Personally I would use a urea-formaldehyde resin to reglue, it is the strongest, and the most resistant to heat (just in case you leave the instrument in the hot sun ...)

Being pinless, Lowdens have to resist a lot more tension than a normal pin bridge. I am always surprised that more Lowden bridges don't come off.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help needed please - guitar bridge glue
From: Mark Clark
Date: 19 Feb 04 - 01:44 PM

Let me join Murray in urging you to take this instrument to a professional luthier for repair. As Murray says, the bridge needs to be completely remove, the surfaces redressed and the bridge completely reglued. This requires special clamps that only a luthier would normally have and it takes the skill and experience of a professional to get the bridge in the right position. Gluing it back exactly where it was may not be where it should be.

The chances are that the repairman at your local music store will not have the skills to do this. Unless your local music store specializes in high-end acoustic instruments and keeps a professional luthier on staff, don't go there for critical repairs.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Help needed please - guitar bridge glue
From: Willie-O
Date: 19 Feb 04 - 02:11 PM

What Murray and Mark said. That's a valuable instrument, it's well worth spending the money. The pinless-bridge Japanese Lowden I play had the bridge come loose a number of times, and I believe it was eventually replaced instead of just reglued--I've had no problems in the 2 1/2 years I've owned it.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Help needed please - guitar bridge glue
From: scouse
Date: 19 Feb 04 - 03:23 PM

Gentlemen........ I thank you for your swift help. I was intending to take it to a Luthier and have spoken to him. gentlemen can I safely assume all the bridges on the S5 models are indeed pinless???

As Aye..

Phil


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Subject: RE: Help needed please - guitar bridge glue
From: bigchuck
Date: 19 Feb 04 - 08:27 PM

I would suggest that the best glue to use on any bridge repair is hot hide glue, but it is definitely not a task for the do-it-yourselfer. Get thee to a luthier quickly.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Help needed please - guitar bridge glue
From: GUEST,Al
Date: 19 Feb 04 - 09:48 PM

If I were doing this repair, I would use a thick solution of hide glue. Meticulous prep work and proper clamps are necessary, so if you want it to come out good, take it to a shop. You may not be able to use the original bridge if it is warped badly.

Hide glue is great stuff. Very strong bond, no creep, and complete cleanup with no residue is possible. Just don't get it hot and wet!

Al


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Subject: RE: Help needed please - guitar bridge glue
From: scouse
Date: 20 Feb 04 - 01:40 PM

Gentlemen... Thanks 100%. Bridge as far as I can tell is good but I'm still a bit bothered about the Pinless issue!


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Subject: RE: Help needed please - guitar bridge glue
From: GUEST,Van
Date: 20 Feb 04 - 02:23 PM

Willie-o
is that two and half years during which the bridge came loose a number of times and had to be replaced or was it second hand, all this happened to it before you bought it, and now it's OK?


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Subject: RE: Help needed please - guitar bridge glue
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 20 Feb 04 - 02:43 PM

I would suggest that hide glue is not the best glue for a Lowden bridge.

It is strong, admittedly, but not as strong as urea-formaldehyde, and the fact is that hide glue joints can and do deteriorate over time when under severe tension, especially in situations (like this) where it is nigh impossible to get a truly perfect surface to surface mate. There is going to be upward of 130lbs tension on this narrow glue joint.

I actually don't like pinless bridges full stop, there is always the potential for just this situation to occur. A pin bridge is a far better design. If I were scouse, I would have my luthier replace the pinless bridge with a Martin style pin bridge (assuming the bracing underneath permits the fixing of a bridge plate, of course.)


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Subject: RE: Help needed please - guitar bridge glue
From: s&r
Date: 20 Feb 04 - 06:37 PM

Bit of thread creep - some cheap factory guitars have the bridge hels on with nuts and bolts to allow the glue to set - the boltholes are filled with plastic inserts. After some years an annoying hard to trace rattle can be due to the nuts loosening. They can be safely removed

Stu


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Subject: RE: Help needed please - guitar bridge glue
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 12:41 AM

The major reason for using hide glue is that it's removable without damaging the underlying wood. I don't think this applies to a bridge, where removal is apt to be an accident, rather than by intent.


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Subject: RE: Help needed please - guitar bridge glue
From: mooman
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 09:14 AM

Having reglued bridges very many times when I worked full-time as a repairer, I would recommend, as others above, taking the guitar to a competent repairman or luthier.

As to the glue, I would not use anything but good quality hide glue, preferably the type available in clear pearl form. There is one very good reason for this. If, at some future time, additional work is required on the bridge it is a fairly easy job to release the bridge if you have used hide glue. Not so with urea-formaldehyde or other synthetic glues although their shear strength may be higher and removing the bridge in this case carries a high risk of damaging the top. If using the original bridge (which is normally pinless on the "Japanese" Lowden series), all traces of previous glue and detritus will need to be removed and the gluing surface on the top similarly cleaned and carefully prepared with very fine sanding to provide an adequate gluing surface. Specialist clamps are a must or you can easily damage the guitar. The hot hide glue should not be too thick when applied and the clamping must be done to ensure an intimate contact between bridge and top across its width.

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: Help needed please - guitar bridge glue
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 10:22 AM

Moo, if the manufacturers had used urea-formaldehyde in the first place, there would have been no need for you to have done all these re-gluing jobs. *G*

I cannot agree that ease of bridge removal is a factor to consider.

I have heard this line from repairmen before, but usually they are violin specialists who apply their violin thinking to guitars. Inappropriately in most cases.

I cannot visualise any normal situation in which it is necessary for a guitar bridge ever to be removed during the lifetime of a guitar, and presumably all the regluing jobs you have done were due to substandard gluing in the first place.


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Subject: RE: Help needed please - guitar bridge glue
From: Midchuck
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 10:26 AM

Dick says:

The major reason for using hide glue is that it's removable without damaging the underlying wood. I don't think this applies to a bridge, where removal is apt to be an accident, rather than by intent.

That assumes you locate the bridge exactly right the first time you glue it, with the pinholes (when there are any) lined up and the intonation correct. Otherwise, ya gotta git that sucker off and start over...

P.


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Subject: RE: Help needed please - guitar bridge glue
From: Midchuck
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 10:28 AM

Example of extreme, desperate, bridge repair that worked spectacularly well is here.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Help needed please - guitar bridge glue
From: scouse
Date: 27 Feb 04 - 08:18 AM

Gentlemen.... Thanks for this harty debate. I shall be taking said offending article to my "Luthier." in the not to distant future. together with a transcript of all your help.
As Aye, Phil.


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Subject: RE: Help needed please - guitar bridge glue
From: GUEST,Itinerant
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 08:01 PM

What if the repair candidate is a total piece of junk and the guy just wants it fixed to look okay, but not necessarily play well?

A friend wants me to fix the bridge on his Lotus. The thing is covered in paint and electrical tape, and also has a few holes in it from a .22 rifle. I don't know why he cares, but he wants it fixed.

Would Hysol Epoxy or regular wood glue work?


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Subject: RE: Help needed please - guitar bridge glue
From: DADGBE
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 08:37 PM

Hate to be disagreeable, Murray, but mooman is right. I've spent many years at the luthier's bench and in my experience one should always use a glue which can be completely removed when need be. The alignment of the wood grain in the bridge is at right angles to the grain of the top and normal shrinkage and swelling due to temperature and humidity changes effect them both differently. It's better to shear the glue than cause top cracks by using too strong a glue. Also, it is not uncommon to have to remove a bridge to work on underlying top cracks, top flattening, etc.

Scouse, please take off your strings right away. It may already be too late to prevent the bridge from warping a bit when some of the glue under it has let go. But it will simplify the repair if the bridge doesn't need much flattening.

Regluing a bridge isn't really considered major surgery but changing bridge styles is a big deal since it requires rebracing the top if done correctly.

The issue of pin vs non-pin bridges is not a big one. Both should be up to the job even with steel strings.


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