Bridge repairs o’ plenty

The summer always means a spike in the repair shop for broken headstocks and bridge repairs. Why? Well I guess all of those acoustic guitars are left leaning dangerously against walls and bridges come loose after being kept in hot cars. At least that’s my theory.

Here’s a great 70’s Japanese-made Penco maple 00-body that’s had its bridge shift in a very unusual way. The string tension pushed the bridge toward the soundhole and made the finish bunch up 1/16″ ! It looks like a lacquer tidal wave.

After heating and removing the bridge, it left the finish ledge exposed to be scraped and leveled. Note the reinforcement screw that’s  under the pearl dot.  Don’t forget to unscrew these before lifting!

Don’t know why I’m so fascinated with this bar of lacquer, but here’s another shot of it after it was carefully removed from the top.  You’d have thought we excavated some rare artifact  by how we showed it to everyone in the shop.

Next we scraped and sanded the surrounding area, the void of finish was drop filled with super glue and wet sanded smooth. The area from the soundhole to the bridge was then oversprayed with nitrocellulose lacquer and buffed smooth.

Here we are after clamping the bridge and buffing the top with micro mesh pads, all the way up to 24000 grit.

Except for the faint witness line of the new clear, it looks pretty good. Forgot to get that last shot with the strings on, but it’s already back home where it belongs.  And since the neck angle was great and the top isn’t bellied at all, this repair should let this great sounding guitar have another 30+ years of service.  Thanks for letting us work on it.


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