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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2023 12:46 pm 
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Walnut
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Hi!

My name is Rob, I’m amateur located in Germany and I’m about to refurbish a pre-suit era Ibanez Concord. A sweet sounding instrument.

It’s not my first project, but this one causes me headache.

I already have changed the fret board (yes it was necessary), refreted it, put Danish Oil finish on the top and change the bridge,
which I cut into shape from a beautiful piece of ebony wood.

And here is my first problem. I probably made a rookie mistake with the glue, it took me too long to put the glue on and to mount the bridge clamp.
Now the ‘wings’ are coming of (see photo). The guitar has developed a little belly over time so it is not flat anymore.
I assume that the stiffness of the ebony is also a big contributor to the problem.

What would you do? Make the wings thinner as in original (see photo) or bend the bridge a bit, so it fits the surface of the top?

To be frank, I like the bridge being so ‘fat’. The guitar sounds fantastic with it.

But bending ebony??? It's hard as steel (kinda lol).
I could build a bending template that emulates the 'belly', put the bridge in hot water and then clamp it to the template to dry.

I have already sanded the bridge so it has a bit of a radius but I don’t want it to lose more material in the middle, I need it to be that thick.

Or was it just a rookie mistake and glueing the bridge properly will solve my problem?
What do you think?

Your help is much appreciated.

Rob.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2023 2:46 pm 
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Koa
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I'm not a repair guy, but this seems simple. Hah! Add wood thicker than what gap you have, and further to the middle of the bridge than is lifting up. Then fit it to the belly on the instrument. When it is done, it should be pretty close to the point where it was starting to lift up, and hardly any fitting done in the middle at all.

Someone may come on and tell you different. They are probably more right than me.

I like the moustache shape.

Welcome to the forum Rob from Germany. Our son is over there this weekend for Septemberfest.

Ken

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These users thanked the author Ken Nagy for the post: Rob2023 (Tue Sep 19, 2023 3:23 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2023 3:25 pm 
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Walnut
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Ken Nagy wrote:
I'm not a repair guy, but this seems simple. Hah! Add wood thicker than what gap you have, and further to the middle of the bridge than is lifting up. Then fit it to the belly on the instrument. When it is done, it should be pretty close to the point where it was starting to lift up, and hardly any fitting done in the middle at all.

Someone may come on and tell you different. They are probably more right than me.

I like the moustache shape.

Welcome to the forum Rob from Germany. Our son is over there this weekend for Septemberfest.

Ken

Thanks for your response!
I haven’t thought of this idea mainly because I don’t know how it would effect the sound.
Like, would it make a difference not to have a one piece of wood for the bridge but instead something pieced together from three parts?
I don’t know, only a pro luthier can answer this question.

So your son will be chasing German gals in dirndls this weekend? Lol! :mrgreen:
‘ve been there, done this, lol.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2023 3:28 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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It doesn't sound like you want to do the correct work, which would be to pull the bridge and radius the bottom to fit the top. So I don't know what else to say.

By the way, adding another piece of wood is a really bad idea. Ken!



These users thanked the author Barry Daniels for the post: Hesh (Tue Sep 19, 2023 5:30 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2023 3:50 pm 
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You put Danish Oil on the fretboard? Or elsewhere?

Did you clean the finish off the top where the bridge was to be glued? It looks shiny to me under the bridge.

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These users thanked the author Chris Pile for the post: Hesh (Tue Sep 19, 2023 5:30 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2023 5:41 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Would want to see the belly from a perspective that informs me just how much belly there is. Have you inspected the inside for loose braces and tested for loose braces? Anything deforming the top has to be fixed before we fit the bridge. How's the bridge plate look? Any crease or lost wood around the pin holes?

With that said what Barry said about radiusing the bottom of the bridge is key. It can be done with sanding or my favorite scraping with a single edge razor blade. Scraping also if done say 15 minutes or less before gluing provides or is said to provide a superior gluing surface at the molecular level.

Now the finish under the bridge should be removed except for very close to the perimeter. A bridge reglue ideally should not be visible. The bridge needs to be glued on straight too your pictures show it crooked and misplaced, perhaps.

Ebony is not a wood that you want to have to bend so hence the radius in the bottom. If it makes your wings too thin you will have to remake the bridge.

Did you mention what glue you used and if the open time for the glue was too short for you you need to have all things prepped for fast gluing and do dry runs until you can have clamps in place within the allotted times for the glue you use. Practice makes perfect.

All of the subjects that you are asking about have detailed information here on the OLF about each process. The search function works well in my view you should give it a try. We are always happy to help but you will find that we promote best practices or try very hard to do that.

Thanks

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These users thanked the author Hesh for the post: joshnothing (Tue Sep 19, 2023 10:30 pm)
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2023 6:54 am 
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Koa
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See, I was right. I don't know about repairs.

I see where Rob is going. A taller bridge to make his current neck situation work. I figured that since he just did the fretboard, the neck was set. He likes the look and the sound, but only the center part of the bridge fits the belly, and the wings are not glued. I suggested essentially a couple .03" wedged shims for the wings. Only under the wings, and sanded to fit.

I still don't see the problem with that. But I've never done it. I have heard of people gluing shims under violin bridges for winter and summer bridges. This is only under the wings.

His bridge is not original; Rob made it; so the shape may not be perfectly original. I assumed that he would have prepped the surface to the size and shape of the one that he made. Yes. Another assumption. Bad idea?

The bridge looks like it was fairly well made. You can't see how much of the saddle is sticking up. Maybe just fitting the bridge without the shims, so it drops maybe .03", and putting a taller saddle would get him where he needs to be?

I sounds like Rob WAS using HHG. I've never clamped a bridge on an assembled guitar. With the 2 flattops I've made, I glued them on before assembly. I don't spray finish, and if I did get a fillet around a bridge with varnish, I can honestly say that it wouldn't bother me; and I might not even notice it! For repairs you have to use clamps I suppose. Violin makers take the belly off to fix it. Guitarmakers work through the sound hole. Taking a top off a violin is easier.

I think Rob's gluing was the problem. The bridge just wasn't fitted across its entire length because he was going for some magic number. He hoped the clamps would force fit it. It wasn't so much the time spent. It was just that the flat bridge won't stay on a curved surface. The part that WAS fit, is still holding.

Anyway, I see that you repair guys see more than I ever even think about!

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2023 12:24 pm 
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Barry Daniels wrote:
It doesn't sound like you want to do the correct work, which would be to pull the bridge and radius the bottom to fit the top. So I don't know what else to say.

By the way, adding another piece of wood is a really bad idea. Ken!

Ditto.


Pierre
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2023 12:29 pm 
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Ken Nagy wrote:
See, I was right. I don't know about repairs.

I see where Rob is going. A taller bridge to make his current neck situation work. I figured that since he just did the fretboard, the neck was set. He likes the look and the sound, but only the center part of the bridge fits the belly, and the wings are not glued. I suggested essentially a couple .03" wedged shims for the wings. Only under the wings, and sanded to fit.

I still don't see the problem with that. But I've never done it. I have heard of people gluing shims under violin bridges for winter and summer bridges. This is only under the wings.

His bridge is not original; Rob made it; so the shape may not be perfectly original. I assumed that he would have prepped the surface to the size and shape of the one that he made. Yes. Another assumption. Bad idea?

The bridge looks like it was fairly well made. You can't see how much of the saddle is sticking up. Maybe just fitting the bridge without the shims, so it drops maybe .03", and putting a taller saddle would get him where he needs to be?

I sounds like Rob WAS using HHG. I've never clamped a bridge on an assembled guitar. With the 2 flattops I've made, I glued them on before assembly. I don't spray finish, and if I did get a fillet around a bridge with varnish, I can honestly say that it wouldn't bother me; and I might not even notice it! For repairs you have to use clamps I suppose. Violin makers take the belly off to fix it. Guitarmakers work through the sound hole. Taking a top off a violin is easier.

I think Rob's gluing was the problem. The bridge just wasn't fitted across its entire length because he was going for some magic number. He hoped the clamps would force fit it. It wasn't so much the time spent. It was just that the flat bridge won't stay on a curved surface. The part that WAS fit, is still holding.

Anyway, I see that you repair guys see more than I ever even think about!

Ken, it's just because we get to fix a lot of lifting and badly-fitted bridges…


Pierre
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2023 12:56 pm 
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Walnut
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Thank you guys! You guys are fantastic!
After reading your responses I decided to radius the bridge.
It’s the most elegant and efficient way to go under the circumstances.

@Barry
Hi there! What makes you think I’ve already made up my mind?
I was just looking for an optimal solution for my problem, that’s it.
Thanks anyway.

@Chris
No, there is no danish oil on the fret board or under the bridge.

I think, it took me too long to glue the bridge.
I used a new wood glue for the project and overlooked that it was not the traditional glue formula but the D3 formula,
which has very short process time. A rookie mistake.

@Hash

Thanks Hash for your input!
Especially for the hint with scraping! It is so much easier than sanding and much faster too.
It took me only 20 minutes or so and the bridge fits the shape of the top almost perfectly now.
I removed maybe 1mm of the material in the middle of the bridge. I can live with that.
Once again, thanks for this hint.

When it comes to bracing, I did the knock-test and didn’t notice anything suspicious.
Have no endoscope-camera to look inside. I should get one.

Also the bridge is not misplaced, it looks like it only in the photo.

BTW. What kind of joint is it between the neck and the body?(see photo).
It’s not a dovetail. It seems to be pretty hard to do a neck reset with this type of joint, am I right?

Greetings!


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These users thanked the author Rob2023 for the post: Kbore (Thu Sep 21, 2023 10:29 am)
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2023 1:51 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Rob glad to help. It's Hesh not Hash but no worries Lob. :)

So you like the mini scraper do you, me too it is much faster and kind of fun. They make fast work of fretboard heavy gunk too.

One concern I have is what kind of glue is D3? Typically bridges are glued on with hot hide glue or Titebond Original and in some very worse case, don't put your name on it examples epoxy. D3 sounds like a "tech" name ;) suggesting CA or epoxy to me.

Joint wise it's a doweled neck joint never intended to be reset and not serviceable. It can be hacked off but no one resets these in so much as the economics are not there, the reset costs far more than the guitar will ever be worth.

So in a continuing effort to actually be helpful .... ;) one suggestion to help you get to where you want to go would be to turn over the fret board and plane down the nut end tapering to the sound hole end. Or, in other words turn it into a giant wedge with the desired neck angle not present in the neck now. Might be WAY easier, faster, less invasive since you have the board off already and you get to have fun scraping something again :) Anyway there is one idea for ya. I've never done this so you are in uncharted territory but it seems reasonable. Remember too the fret slot depth is important to know it will inform you how much material you can plan off the nut end without hitting the slots and ruining the board.

Or you could find an old Harmony Sovereign and they have proper dovetails and had HHG (hot hide glue) construction so all that you do to it will translate into learning things that are actually in demand when people seek out a Luthier.

Looks like you have some options and there may be more too I didn't think of.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2023 4:06 pm 
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Walnut
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Hesh wrote:
Rob glad to help. It's Hesh not Hash but no worries Lob. :)

Hi Hesh! :D

What a coincidence: Titebond Original is what I ordered yesterday and I will wait with the gluing until it’s here.

D3 is an international formula/patent I guess. Titebond offers the D3 formula as well, you can check it on ebay or amazon.
But I ordered the original.

About the fret board: that’s a whole another story. I had to install a new fret board from another guitar. The old was not usable. The new one is already glued to the neck and new frets are also already installed. The above Photo is two weeks old. The previous owner (unable to make a neck reset) has sanded the bridge from 9mm down to 5mm. He also sanded down the last third section of the fret board to such an extreme that he wasn’t able to install the last 6 frets. The slots ware to shallow. (see Photo of the old fret board).
I was very surprised when I made the fitting (new fret board with the new bridge) and had to discover that the ‘trajectory’ of the new fret board will be pretty on the money.

It turned out really good. The string action is perfect. If there was not the disaster with the bridge, I had nothing to complain about. I will have to build a new nut because the one which is installed now is a stopgap that I tinkered for the time being.

But I have to take care of the bridge disaster first.

I will report the progress to you guys!


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These users thanked the author Rob2023 for the post: Hesh (Wed Sep 20, 2023 10:41 pm)
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2023 10:44 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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I see what you mean with the fret board.

Good to hear that your action is decent too that indicates as you said that the neck angle is acceptable.

Cool let us know how it turns out. Also there are a lot of posts here about prepping surfaces (top and bridge bottom) for regluing a bridge that may be helpful to you just use the search function. Clamps will be your friend here.

Good luck.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2023 7:08 am 
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Walnut
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Hi guys!

I’m still waiting for the glue to arrive, so there is not much I can do at the moment.
But I have a question related to the doweled neck joint.

Is there a way to determine from outside if a guitar has been build with a doweled neck joint?
Like for example the way the neck block has been designed?

Cheers!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2023 8:29 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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No way to tell unless you have access to a X-ray or CAT scan machine. But if you can't see a dovetail or mortise (after removing fretboard) then you can assume it is probably dowelled.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2023 12:33 pm 
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What Barry said but we can also use our own minds and deduce that no factory selling a product in the US for $500 or less is going to pay someone in a factory in Asia to be semi-skilled setting dovetails and neck angles. Their process will more than likely be automated and that means no dovetail for us.... :(

Bolt-on necks can be reset pretty easily and you can see these through the sound hole. Some decent bolt-ons are the Godin line which includes Seagull, A & L and about four other brands. Taylor are bolt-ons of course.

I don't know of anyone making inexpensive instruments with dovetail neck joints.

So the bottom line here is if it's not a bolt-on or dovetail it's not serviceable and designed to be reset some day. This does not mean that you can't do it and hack it up in the process but it does mean it's not intended to be reset and may very well be a nightmare to do and employ practices that are very much frowned upon these days.

PS: On Martin's lower priced line the necks are bolt-on again illustrating that a dovetail adds manufacturing expense but it sure is an eloquent solution. For tone snobs there is also a belief that persists that a dovetail is the best sonic coupling of a neck to body. Debatable yes but it is a belief held by many.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2023 1:00 pm 
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Nice looking naturally reliced guitar there ;)

The only thing I would add is that I find it easier to use a scraper to get the bridge radius as close as possible then use a piece of 220grit sand paper on the top of the guitar itself to rub the bridge into it's final radius. The saw dust left behind on the sand paper is an indication of when you are all done. Clothed back paper is ideal for this trick.



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2023 1:41 pm 
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Walnut
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@Barry
@Hesh

What a bummer.
There are these amazing sounding pre-suit era Takamine FS series guitars.
I was hoping to get one in the near future but they are probably doweled too.
You have to get one in good condition or it’s probably not worth it.
At least here in the EU. In the US you can get one starting at $400.
Here in Germany the prices start at €1200.


@jfmckenna

That’s exactly how I did it [:Y:]



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2023 2:58 am 
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Meanwhile the bridge is waiting for the installation.
Put it under tension (just a bit, nothing extreme) maybe it helps to get it into the right shape ;)

So long!


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These users thanked the author Rob2023 for the post: Hesh (Sat Sep 23, 2023 4:31 pm)
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2023 8:29 am 
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Rob2023 wrote:
Meanwhile the bridge is waiting for the installation.
Put it under tension (just a bit, nothing extreme) maybe it helps to get it into the right shape ;)

So long!

Hey Rob,

You really have to have the bottom conform on the top without any pressure. Else the wings will definitely pop up sooner or later. I can see it's looking to have plenty of heft left for a very good fit.


Pierre
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These users thanked the author Smylight for the post: Hesh (Sat Sep 23, 2023 4:31 pm)
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2023 8:43 am 
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Hesh wrote:
Some decent bolt-ons are the Godin line which includes Seagull, A & L and about four other brands.


Hey Hesh,

As you know I'm in Quebec, home of Godin, so I get to see a whole lot of them in my shop.

Sadly, they decided some years ago to go to a different, industrial process for their neck joints. It is a thick sandwich made of interlocking wood parts held together with a good measure of epoxy. Techs at Godin have advised me that the joint is not serviceable and the neck has to be sawn off and replaced if service is required.

I was also told that because the joint is SO strong, no reset should ever be needed. Talk about wishful thinking…

I have once tried dismantling one and it was a right nightmare; once the extension gets loose (after having fought the epoxy), the interlocked wood pieces inside still make sure you won't ever get the thing undone. Now I tell my poor customers that their Godin-made guitar is not serviceable when (not if) it finally needs a reset. But I will gladly welcome any hint from fellows who have discovered a way to save those guitars… short of sawing the neck off. ;-)


Pierre
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These users thanked the author Smylight for the post: Hesh (Sat Sep 23, 2023 4:31 pm)
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2023 10:08 am 
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Walnut
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Smylight wrote:
Rob2023 wrote:
Meanwhile the bridge is waiting for the installation.
Put it under tension (just a bit, nothing extreme) maybe it helps to get it into the right shape ;)

So long!

Hey Rob,

You really have to have the bottom conform on the top without any pressure. Else the wings will definitely pop up sooner or later. I can see it's looking to have plenty of heft left for a very good fit.


Pierre
Guitares Torvisse

Thanks for your input Pierre!

I’m aware of it. I will have to do a second round of scraping and sanding anyway.
The thing is that - since I’m still waiting for the right glue to arrive - the top of the guitar had time to decompress without the string tension and the ‘belly’ became less prominent.
So I will have to redo the job anyway.

What you see in the photo was more of a fun test. So no worries! ;)

Cheers!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2023 10:45 am 
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Rob2023 wrote:
Smylight wrote:
Rob2023 wrote:
Meanwhile the bridge is waiting for the installation.
Put it under tension (just a bit, nothing extreme) maybe it helps to get it into the right shape ;)

So long!

Hey Rob,

You really have to have the bottom conform on the top without any pressure. Else the wings will definitely pop up sooner or later. I can see it's looking to have plenty of heft left for a very good fit.


Pierre
Guitares Torvisse

Thanks for your input Pierre!

I’m aware of it. I will have to do a second round of scraping and sanding anyway.
The thing is that - since I’m still waiting for the right glue to arrive - the top of the guitar had time to decompress without the string tension and the ‘belly’ became less prominent.
So I will have to redo the job anyway.

What you see in the photo was more of a fun test. So no worries! ;)

Cheers!

Sounds like it needs to re-hydrate. Let it sit as it is until it no longer moves before you finish fitting the bridge then, provided RH level is OK.


Pierre
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2023 6:10 pm 
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Smylight wrote:
Hesh wrote:
Some decent bolt-ons are the Godin line which includes Seagull, A & L and about four other brands.


Hey Hesh,

As you know I'm in Quebec, home of Godin, so I get to see a whole lot of them in my shop.

Sadly, they decided some years ago to go to a different, industrial process for their neck joints. It is a thick sandwich made of interlocking wood parts held together with a good measure of epoxy. Techs at Godin have advised me that the joint is not serviceable and the neck has to be sawn off and replaced if service is required.

I was also told that because the joint is SO strong, no reset should ever be needed. Talk about wishful thinking…

I have once tried dismantling one and it was a right nightmare; once the extension gets loose (after having fought the epoxy), the interlocked wood pieces inside still make sure you won't ever get the thing undone. Now I tell my poor customers that their Godin-made guitar is not serviceable when (not if) it finally needs a reset. But I will gladly welcome any hint from fellows who have discovered a way to save those guitars… short of sawing the neck off. ;-)


Pierre
Guitares Torvisse

Pierre, thanks for this information. Do you know what year approximately this change was made?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2023 7:04 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:42 pm
Posts: 357
First name: Pierre
Last Name: Castonguay
City: Québec, Qc
Country: Canada
Focus: Repair
Status: Semi-pro
joshnothing wrote:
Smylight wrote:
Hesh wrote:
Some decent bolt-ons are the Godin line which includes Seagull, A & L and about four other brands.


Hey Hesh,

As you know I'm in Quebec, home of Godin, so I get to see a whole lot of them in my shop.

Sadly, they decided some years ago to go to a different, industrial process for their neck joints. It is a thick sandwich made of interlocking wood parts held together with a good measure of epoxy. Techs at Godin have advised me that the joint is not serviceable and the neck has to be sawn off and replaced if service is required.

I was also told that because the joint is SO strong, no reset should ever be needed. Talk about wishful thinking…

I have once tried dismantling one and it was a right nightmare; once the extension gets loose (after having fought the epoxy), the interlocked wood pieces inside still make sure you won't ever get the thing undone. Now I tell my poor customers that their Godin-made guitar is not serviceable when (not if) it finally needs a reset. But I will gladly welcome any hint from fellows who have discovered a way to save those guitars… short of sawing the neck off. ;-)


Pierre
Guitares Torvisse

Pierre, thanks for this information. Do you know what year approximately this change was made?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

From what the tech guys at Godin tell me, post-2006 cannot be reset without sawing them off. I do see lots of those in need of a reset, sadly.


Pierre
Guitares Torvisse



These users thanked the author Smylight for the post: Hesh (Sun Sep 24, 2023 4:37 am)
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