The Unwound Third > Gitfiddles, Harps, Washboards & Kazoos

Repairing a lifting bridge

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Rivers, I don't know the Tonk or if there is obstructive bracing involved you'll have to work around. . It could be helpful or it might be difficult to put three in.  I think I did a dry run before gluing and worked out any problems, with the two.

The little flat wood pieces on the top the way they have it was helpful , I used craft basswood and cut to size.


Hi Rivers: As Harriet mentioned, there will probably be bracing to contend with so a dry run that will reveal any potential problems is a good idea. One thing you could do once you have the bridge off, is make a template using the bridge on a piece of thin, but stiff, cardboard. You could mark and cut the holes for the 1st and 6th strings, put something--maybe nails or screws though the 1st & 6th holes in the top and align the template from inside the guitar. That will give you an idea of where the bridge is--from the underside. Even pressure is important when gluing and although the bridge plate will do a good job of distributing it, there are going to be areas beyond it that you'll want to apply clamping pressure to--as Harriet has mentioned. Of course you could simply use the bridge, but a template will allow you to mark it up if necessary.

There's a woodworkers' trick that will come in handy. There's going to be some squeeze out. Get a few plastic straws and crease them so they are square with 90 degree corners. Then trim them at the end at a 45 degree angle, corner to corner. The pointed end will fit in tight where the bridge meets the top and you can go around the bridge to remove (scoop off) any excess glue. Works like a charm. I'm not a fan of using a wet rag--or any rag--for removing excess glue because it can "size" the wood (act as a wash coat) which can cause problems when staining.

Decades ago my woodworking friends lent me a copy of Patrick Spielman's "Gluing and Clamping." It contains a treasure trove of information. I eventually bought my own copy. I checked and it's available dirt cheat from the used booksellers.

Excellent information guys, thank you very much.


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