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My Classical Is Dieing.


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I used the search in the acoustics section and couldn't really find anything for this so here goes.

i have an old 60s yamaha acoustic. it was my moms in her hippie days lol. A nice relic. she gave it to me and now its age i guess is catching up to it.

the bridge is lifting off. the specs aren't the same as stew macs nylon bridges. the front of the bridge that keeps the saddle in place is breaking off as well on the right side. the saddle's resting place is very dried out.

I thought that I could take the strings off, take a fine razor and take the bridge off, reglue the bridge on, glue the piece splitting on the left side of the bridge, and lube the saddle's spot where it's dry and just hope for the best.

Would this work? What other suggestions would you have in mind or should i just hang it on the wall? This isn't a piece i want to give up, it's got sentimental value to me.

-Jamie :D

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Check the inside under the bridge for pins or screws. If none are found, heat the bridge to 150 degrees or so and remove slowly, though I think you will rapidly proceed past the razorblade stage and have to have a couple putty knives around. I use those bags of sand they sell as hot-packs for your neck and such. Heat em in the microwave and set them on the bridge for 5 minutes. You can find a resonable replacement or make your own bridge. When they crack and let the saddle slide, I vote for a new one.

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Being in Toronto, you might want to look up Grit Laskin, one of the premier luthiers in the business. He is located in Toronto and would be able to give you more info than you could possibly ever use.

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i know of Grit Laskin. Saw him in November, but charges so much for a guitar that only i would hang on a wall because his art is just amazing. I guess i could give him an email and he can tell me what to do :D

there are no pins or screws. is there a site you'd suggest on building a bridge doc, or anyone? thanks.

-Jamie

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Lots of info here with pictures. You might not have some of the tools shown in this series but there are ways around that. You don't necessarily need hide glue, I use yellow carpenter's glue. And you'll have to work out ways of clamping with what you have if this is a one-time fix.

And make sure you bookmark the index at frets.com. Its a very good source of info and covers almost all aspects of troubleshooting and fixing acoustic guitars. :D

Edited by Southpa
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You don't necessarily need hide glue, I use yellow carpenter's glue.  And you'll have to work out ways of clamping with what you have if this is a one-time fix. 

Carpenter's glue works fine...I use Titebond to glue on my bridges. As for clamping, I use a system designed and built by Me. It consists of a piece of MDF (3/4" shelving board) cut to approx. 2"X7" with the contour of the bridge cut into the bottom side and three (3) #8 X 2-1/4" bolts with nuts and washers, and a thin piece of wood that will fit between braces at the bridge position. Drill holes thru the both wood pieces that correspond with the (2) outer bridge pins and one of the center bridge pins. Put your glue on the bottom of the bridge. Set bridge in place and put all three bolts (with a washer on each one) thru the clamp, bridge, soundboard and thin inside support piece. Put a washer and nut on the inside of the body. Tighten until you get a nice even glue squeezeout around the bridge and let it dry at least 24 hours with the clamp in place.

I have used this method several times and have never had a bridge failure (yet!!)

If this needs to go to another forum, sorry. I was trying to answer the question and it turned a bridge clamp tutorial.

Edited by Shamrock
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Drill holes thru the both wood pieces that correspond with the (2) outer bridge pins and one of the center bridge pins.

Thats a good system for a steel string acoustic, something I should have thought up myself, but will definitely employ it the next time I fix a bridge. Unfortunately, in this case sepultura999 is dealing with a nylon string classical guitar. :D

If you don't have a long-jawed clamp I would suggest making an adjustable spacer block for inside the guitar under the bridge and laying some weight with a bit of padding on the top of the bridge. I've also cut a piece of 2X4 for a close fit and then shim it tight with small wedges. Either way, working with a guitar thru the soundhole can be a real pain in the butt at times.

Edited by Southpa
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Sorry, haven't done much work on classicals. All of the ones I've done have been steel strings. Forgot about that danged string looping system that classicals use.

My bad.

If anyone is interested, I will take pics of my bridge clamp system and post the whole thing in the tools forum.

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  • 3 weeks later...

When you pull the bridge you can reset the piece that is braeking away with CA glue.A little sanding and ca over the crack area with the dust still on the area will build up the area.Being an older Yamaha I'm guessing that it's either rosewood or ebony,which is good because dust from either with small dabs of ca sanded and then redone will leave the area looking like it has never been cracked.

Most likely when you get the bridge off it'll be warped,to solve this soak the bridge in boiled water for about 15 minutes and clamp flat.Let dry overnight and the bridge should be back to a flat shape.If not then redo.If the bridge doesn't fully settle after a few tries then it should be flat enough that level sanding won't remove so much wood as to leave the bridge unusable,(if the bridge is too thin then it's just gonna split and pull from the tension over time).

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  • 1 month later...

hey all. I finally got around to trying to fix this thing. I looked for a new bridge on several websites but none are of the same size, so i'm going to try and repair it, and if that fails i'll get a book on building classical guitars and hopefully find something on building bridges.

Here's a picture of where it's cracking on the bridge. It's also the same on the other side, and the centre of it seems to hold it all in tact. Before I remove it, attempt to repair it, glue it back on to the body and test it all out, I have two questions so far.

1. Should I just fill the spot where it's breaking off with glue or should i break the piece off entirely and glue it back on?

2. I can't use any clamps because it'll be very brittle, so what else would work to hold it down just to give it some pressure? a heating bag?

*NOTE*: I will get a hold of clamps to hold the bridge down when I glue it, but I want to avoid it for glueing the broken piece back on.

EDIT: I forgot to post the picture (doh!) If you can't see the break, let me know, i'll circle it.

picture0044kh.jpg

EDIT 2: Okay. i was playing around with exacto blades under the bridge and i kept hitting this bump under the dotted inlay on the bridge. I looked, i didn't see anything (spacing is pretty small). I stuck my hand in the soundhole, and felt under the bridge and it's a wooden dowel i believe. How am I gonna get this bugger out?

-Jamie :D

Edited by sepultura999
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