Published On: Wed, Mar 11th, 2009

Fixing A Bridge on a guitar | Installing the Saddle and Bridge – part 2

See how to repair a broken or damaged bridge. Use our in-depth guide and little care to fix your bridge without resorting to expert attention.This guitar is a Gibson acoustic

Before we start to fit the bridge to the soundboard it’s important that we clean off all the old glue; wood glues do not stick to wood glue (with the exception of animal glue, which we’re not using here). With a little hot water, PVA glue and Aliphatic resin can easily be cleaned away. I’ve masked the area around the bridge and very gently, with a small sanding block, I’ve levelled out the surface of the soundboard.
Now on to the fitting. This stage is important: there’s no point in gluing the two pieces back together unless the surfaces mate perfectly, and even small gaps can lead to a bad joint that could easily fail. If you cover the area under the bridge with chalk dust and gently rub the bridge over it, you’ll be able to see traces of chalk on the bridge’s underside. These traces indicate the ‘high spots’, and by carefully taking these down with a scraper you can end up with a perfect fit.
Once happy with the fit, it’s time to glue the bridge back on. I’ve made up a simple block to go on the inside of the guitar, and I’ve added some saw cuts to allow it to bend a little and conform to the underside of the soundboard. I’ve placed a cork-lined block on the top of the bridge, held down with two G clamps, and with two soundhole clamps holding down the wings of the bridge. We’ll do a ‘dry run’ first with no glue to make sure it all works, and then we can apply the glue to both surfaces and use the bridge pins to hold the bridge in place while we put the two outside clamps on.
Next we can remove the two pins and put the two G clamps on with the blocks underneath and on top of the bridge, and any glue that squeezes out can be cleaned up with a damp cloth. I’ve made a new bone saddle, replaced the nuts and bolts, and put some new pearl dots on top. It’s come out well: we’ve saved the original bridge, and now this fine vintage Smeck should be good for many years of old-time lap style guitar playing.

See how to install a bridge on any acoustic guitar. Use our in-depth guide to installing a bridge on a Gibson Acoustic without resorting to expert attention.

Fixing a guitar bridge, Fixing a guitar bridge, removing a guitar bridge, removing a guitar sadle, fixing an acoustic guitars bridge, changing a guitar bridge, removing bridges, removing glue on a guitar, getting a bridge off a guitar.

Read how to install a saddle on a Gibson acoustic guitar.

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