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Cracked Bridge


Geo
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I have yet to see this in person, and I'll take and post pictures when I can. But I would like to throw this out there anyway...

My brother just bought a Taylor on ebay. He got it and there's a hairline crack along the bridge pins (as if the bridge pins caused the crack). I told him that IF I can fix this, there wouldn't be any long-term danger to the guitar since a good glue joint is so strong.

I'm worried, though, that I may not be able to get a clamp onto the bridge to glue the crack. I just don't think there will be enough perpendicular surface along the front and back edge of the bridge for a clamp to sit on. I.e., the clamps will be stretching from the front edge to back edge of the bridge and lying parallel to the soundboard.

Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks.

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Depends on what has caused the crack, and how bad it is.

Have a good look around inside for any wear around the string holes on the bridgeplate. Sometimes, excessive wear round there can weaken the area and cause this problem. If that's the case, a patch up repair on the bridgeplate and either a replacement/glue up of the bridge could be the answer.

I wouldn't really like to tack a crack like that with the bridge on the instrument though, ideally remove the bridge and have a good look over it. Salvage if you can, replace if not.

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Thanks Jammy.

I wouldn't really like to tack a crack like that with the bridge on the instrument though, ideally remove the bridge and have a good look over it.

Can you explain why? Would that be "gluing stress" into the soundboard?

Here's some more info. I looked at the guitar yesterday. The crack is about 1mm wide at the widest places but it varies along its length. It does not reach to the soundboard but its width tapers quickly.

Have a good look around inside for any wear around the string holes on the bridgeplate. Sometimes, excessive wear round there can weaken the area and cause this problem.

Will do... though I doubt there is excessive wear. This guitar looks brand new, with no fret or fingerboard wear. I suppose, though, if it sat around strung up for a few years, it could have "worn" without being played.

There is one other issue with this guitar. My brother complained of a high action, which he thought was connected to the cracked bridge. I looked at it, and the action problem is due to the neck angle. But this is the cheapest Taylor (110 I think) and the neck is bolt-on, so I'm confident I can fix that. (I would not feel comfortable trying to fix the angle of a glued-in acoustic neck.)

Edited by Geo
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Does the crack pull closed easily, with little force? If it does, there's a chance you could get away with glueing it up on the instrument. If not I really would recommend taking the bridge off and replacing it.

Can you post some pictures?

As for the neck angle: it's a re-shim job on Taylors, nice and easy :D

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Does the crack pull closed easily, with little force? If it does, there's a chance you could get away with glueing it up on the instrument. If not I really would recommend taking the bridge off and replacing it.

Can you post some pictures?

As for the neck angle: it's a re-shim job on Taylors, nice and easy :D

Hopefully I'll post some pictures tonight or tomorrow. I haven't tried closing the crack.

I figured the neck would be easy. Heck, I've had to do it four or five times on the acoustic I built. :D

Thanks again for your help.

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I'd be worried about getting glue right in to that crack to glue it up with it being so tiny. Still, if you think you can get enough glue deep in to it and if it pulls up nice and tight with clamp pressure (could be tricky!) it could be worth a shot.

Cam clamps lying on their side on the top of the instrument may work for clamping it up. Making a curved caul for the back of the bridge so could can apply pressure in the right places will be a good idea.

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Thanks Jammy. I think I'll try just repairing the crack. I've used a pin before to get glue into a crack, but this is thinner than that. I may try a piece of cardstock or paper, or... well, I'll get glue down in there somehow.

Thanks again for your help. :D

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Well, the crack won't come together with moderate clamping pressure, and I don't want to force it. It looks like the bridge will have to come off after all. I'm by no means a professional repair person (although I know "how" to take off the bridge and repair it), so my brother may be more comfortable taking it to the local shop.

And wouldn't you know it, two of the three bolts attaching the neck need a different sized allen key! :D I guess I need to get a complete set...

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