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 Post subject: New bridge time?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:28 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:09 pm
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Location: Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
First name: Conor
Last Name: Searl
City: Duncan
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V9L 2E5
Country: Canada
Status: Semi-pro
I'm a little perplexed how this even happened. I've never seen this before (I haven't seen a lot of things though ;).) I would have assumed a tall saddle could cause this but this saddle actually looks pretty low.

Anyway, my gut says replacing the bridge would be the best repair. I feel like gluing the crack is asking for future trouble, but?


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 Post subject: Re: New bridge time?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:28 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:49 am
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Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
First name: Hesh
Last Name: Breakstone
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State: Michigan
Country: United States
Status: Professional
Hey Connor what is this guitar, what kind?

There is a concept in our trade called "appropriate for the instrument" which is a consideration when repairing less expensive or more expensive stuff.

Sure a new bridge would be great but that's a pricey thing to propose and do when the guitar may be an inexpensive instrument. This one looks like you could do either, glue it, make the repair invisible on the guitar or replace it.

As to why it happened likely internal flaws and stresses in the bridge and I agree with you the saddle is not tall enough for too much torque to have been anything other than a contributing factor and not a root cause.

Not going to quote prices here but gluing and repairing the original bridge on the instrument would be around half the price of crafting a new bridge from scratch, removing the old one and properly gluing the new one provided that the bridge has not been tampered with and goes back together well with clamping pressure.

Remember some of these guitars can be a can of worms too where the scope of the project can creep.... the more we do. Some manufacturers are basically inlaying bridges now below the top level... and that can be a can of worms to remove and get back on.

If it were me I would likely recommend repairing the original bridge on the instrument but also give the client a choice with of course two very different prices.

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 Post subject: Re: New bridge time?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:04 am
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First name: Chris
Last Name: Pile
City: Wichita
State: Kansas
Country: Good old US of A
Focus: Repair
Status: Professional
You could reglue it (I've done it), but replacement is a better option provided the client can afford it and the guitar is good enough to deserve it.

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 Post subject: Re: New bridge time?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:33 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2005 5:17 am
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Location: United States
I would glue it. 10 minutes. If it doesn’t hold then new bridge.


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 Post subject: Re: New bridge time?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:16 pm 
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Koa
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Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
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First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
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How deep is (was) the slot? Is that an UST lurking in it? How snugly did the saddle fit?

I think I would be like Glen and try gluing it, if that failed, replace.


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 Post subject: Re: New bridge time?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:41 am 
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Definitely a cost appropriate decision. Or a learning experience.

Pat


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 Post subject: Re: New bridge time?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:11 pm 
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Koa
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Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:09 pm
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Location: Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
First name: Conor
Last Name: Searl
City: Duncan
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V9L 2E5
Country: Canada
Status: Semi-pro
It's one of those thin Yamaha's, an APX-500II. Not an expensive guitar, but also a Yamaha, while unexciting, they're aren't usually crap. Is it worth the cost of replacing the bridge? Probably not. I think I'll offer to glue it as is, with the caveat that the much more expensive repair will be the sure fix in case the cheaper repair fails, (which may be a possibility.)

Getting that specific example out of the way, I find every new thing that rolls into my shop is a great learning opportunity, (whether that involves actually doing work or just understanding the work that would go into the repair.) For instance in a vacuum or say with an actual valuable instrument like say a newish D-28 or something would you go straight to replacing the bridge, or offer to glue it first? Or in other words, is there an industry standard or consensus that I should know?

I also never want to be the guy that did the previous job that ends up being the eye-roller for the next guy.



These users thanked the author Conor_Searl for the post: Hesh (Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:20 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: New bridge time?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:46 pm 
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Koa
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First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
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Status: Amateur
Conor, I always have the discussion with the owner about what I intend to do and why - (s)he is part of the decision process. Particularly if there are options.

From what I can see here it isn't so much that it split at the slot or down the pin holes (which are pretty common) but the split runs thru the thickness of the bridge - it kind of delaminated along grain. That looks to be pretty simple to work glue into the crack and then clamp it down thru the sound hole. Assuming that is a UST remove it of course and clean up the slot. You have to make the call whether the slot is deep enough and clean enough, does the saddle fit snugly, is the geometry such that you have enough saddle in the slot to balance what is sticking out.

The option is to remove the bridge and make a new one. That is invasive, has a good chance of damaging finish, has all the problems of fitting existing pin holes and scale length compensation. Its not as easy as ordering a new bridge from StewMac - the Yamie shape is different. I know that some early Yamie bridges are difficult to remove (like their necks) but I don't know about this one. I would also want to make sure that I could get inside the "thin" guitar with clamps and cauls and anything else I needed to do the job.

If I was estimating that I would say an 1 - 2 hours to glue the present bridge, clean up the slot, make a new saddle if necessary and set it up. I would say 3 - 4 hours to make a new bridge and glue it on, make a saddle, yadda yadda. I would warn the owner that the first repair might fail in the future, the second has the potential to damage the top when I took the bridge off.

To comment on your second question - if that was a newish D28 I would tell the owner to take it to an authorize Martin repair shop (which I am not). I would tell them that an authorized shop could source a correct Martin bridge for replacement, could negotiate with Martin over warranty, and would leave a paper trail with the guitar for the next owner or repair person. I repair a lot of loose bridges but if its a valuable Martin I'm inclined to send it elsewhere.


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 Post subject: Re: New bridge time?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:31 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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I bet a crack like that would glue together well though, lots of surface area there. Could have happened from an impact?


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 Post subject: Re: New bridge time?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:38 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:49 am
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Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
First name: Hesh
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Country: United States
Status: Professional
Conor_Searl wrote:
It's one of those thin Yamaha's, an APX-500II. Not an expensive guitar, but also a Yamaha, while unexciting, they're aren't usually crap. Is it worth the cost of replacing the bridge? Probably not. I think I'll offer to glue it as is, with the caveat that the much more expensive repair will be the sure fix in case the cheaper repair fails, (which may be a possibility.)

Getting that specific example out of the way, I find every new thing that rolls into my shop is a great learning opportunity, (whether that involves actually doing work or just understanding the work that would go into the repair.) For instance in a vacuum or say with an actual valuable instrument like say a newish D-28 or something would you go straight to replacing the bridge, or offer to glue it first? Or in other words, is there an industry standard or consensus that I should know?

I also never want to be the guy that did the previous job that ends up being the eye-roller for the next guy.



Nope no industry standards and that's largely because there are lots of hacks.... out there who never had any training at all but feel entitled to use their Crapsman 155 piece socket set screwing up the valuable personal property of others....

Folks who go to work for world-class operations such as Elderly Instruments pick up lots of stuff quickly and others who attended the Galloup School and others also get some information on what's appropriate for the instrument.

On newer, higher end instruments a consideration that does come into play much more than with beaters is what's the least invasive approach for the instrument.

One example of this is we can fill and raise low nuts slots in a more permanent and longer lasting manner than the original f*ctory nut using our light cured dental fillings. G*bsons, Martins and some others have the nut finished in place with finish on the sides of the nut. If a slot is low it's better to raise it than to remove the nut and risk chipping away on the finish.

If this bridge was on a newer Martin I'd be inclined to replace the bridge simply because the rest of the guitar is new. A bridge replacement is no big deal for us and we make the new ones from scratch for the specific instrument even though Martin offers bridges to us at no cost for warranty work. It's also an opportunity for us to glue the new bridge on with HHG and have an invisible repair good as new if not better. We also have control over bridge blank density, grain orientation, interesting figure in the wood, and crafting the thing to be eloquent and nice looking.

For a Yamaha fixing the bridge on the instrument is what we would have done and recommended too so good choice on your part.

Regarding discussing things with clients that's always a good idea just keep in mind that we are not being paid to have our time wasted either. If you find that taking in and having a client pick up an instrument takes more than 15 minutes total it's costing you money (unless they bring single malt scotch...).

If you know who Roger Sadowski is he's a master builder and one of the very few builders that I know of who also has some real business chops. He's really big on only offering the fewest viable choices to a client so they can make up their freaking mind and everyone can move on. We do this too.

I'll add that if a client argues with us and wants us to cut corners or do something unsound I show them the door. It's relevant here because as you know our name, your name will be on the repair that you do if you decide to do it so be true to yourself and only do work that you can stand behind AND that you want to do. We reject a lot of stuff these days because it may be something that we just don't want to get any on us so to speak. I recently doubled our set-up price on Rik 12's to make them stop coming our way but they keep coming, darn it... :)

Anyway good call and looks like lots of folks made the right call in my view too which is nice to see.

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http://www.annarborguitars.com


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 Post subject: Re: New bridge time?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:45 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:09 pm
Posts: 585
Location: Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
First name: Conor
Last Name: Searl
City: Duncan
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V9L 2E5
Country: Canada
Status: Semi-pro
Sorry Freeman, I meant to answer your previous questions. Yes there is a UST. And that may be the cause of the split, it's jammed in the slot and not wanting to come out. I can get one end up a little bit with a dentists pick but I think it might break in half if I force it. Otherwise the saddle fits okay, it will fall out if I turn the guitar over, but not so loose that its sloppy in the slot. I'm not sure how deep the slot is. The saddle is about 5/16" tall, and there is about an 1/8" exposed sitting on top of the UST.

I agree JF it looks like it could be the result of impact, although there are no other marks on the guitar, and it seems like a very specific bump that would cause the bridge to crack that way.

I wonder if it was just a flaw in the rosewood they used for the bridge, and jamming the UST into the slot forced the crack. Because the crack does follow the grain, and while it is the most obvious on the sound hole side of the slot, it is on both sides of the slot and it looks like it follows the same grain line despite the saddle slot.


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 Post subject: Re: New bridge time?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:27 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 1707
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Here is what I would do with it. Get the UST out of the way - that probably means disconnecting it at the control unit and pulling it out from the top. Make a good fitting caul for the top and pad with some cork and waxed paper. I would use my UHMW caul for the inside - the same one you would use if you were replacing the bridge. Slightly pry the cracked part open and work some AR glue in with a pointed object (I find little pieces of plastic purfling and the cut off ends of low E strings make good glue pushers). Clamp it up (same clamps you would use if you were replacing the bridge), let it dry, clean up the squeeze out. Clean out the slot and pin holes, reinstall the UST and make a new saddle (or refit the old one).

I try to follow Fishman's advice of having 2/3 of the height of a saddle in the slot - that means if you have 1/8 inch sticking out (which I like) I have a quarter in. Also the UST should fit the slot - as you know Fishman makes several different sizes so you get the correct one and don't have to jam it in.



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post: Conor_Searl (Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:27 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: New bridge time?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:50 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:09 pm
Posts: 585
Location: Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
First name: Conor
Last Name: Searl
City: Duncan
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V9L 2E5
Country: Canada
Status: Semi-pro
I glued the main crack, and look at what I found. The slot is actually curved!?!

I suppose that would lead to a crack like that, forcing the UST and the saddle into the curved slot would definitely add some unnecessary tension to the bridge.


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 Post subject: Re: New bridge time?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:19 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:49 am
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Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
First name: Hesh
Last Name: Breakstone
City: Tecumseh and Ann Arbor
State: Michigan
Country: United States
Status: Professional
Make sure the bridge plate is OK and that the string balls are not starting to migrate upward through the top. Lots of times bridges lift because of this too.

I'd find some matching wood and fill the slot and recut it straight and in the proper location.

We use our Collin's saddle mills for this which lets us make perfect slots to plug and then perfect slots in the right location and all on the guitar without removing the bridge. We can also make a sub slot for the UST inside the saddle slot for a really neat installation.

Any decent saddle cutting jig/rig should do provided that they are intended to use on a finished instrument with no damage or slipping.

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These users thanked the author Hesh for the post: Conor_Searl (Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:24 pm)
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