Bridge lifting, Guild 12 String

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Bridge lifting, Guild 12 String

Postby Andrew Porter » Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:33 pm

I have a Guild 12 string. I have noticed that the back of the bridge (tail side) has lifted slightly, just enough to slip a piece of paper under. My thought was to glue and clamp it before it gets worse. I don't know how long this condition has existed as it was only on close inspection that I noticed it. The guitar did receive a good bang five or more years ago. Any thoughts and what glue would you recommend?
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Re: Bridge lifting, Guild 12 String

Postby John E Giarrizzo » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:13 am

I had the same situation with my Guild 12 string. The repair was beyond my ability, so I took it to a pro who removed it and reglued.

On yours: I don't know what type of glue was originally used. If it was Titebond, then as I understand it, all the old glue has to be removed, as titebond does not adhere to itself once dried. This means it has to be removed to clean all the old glue off to bare wood. If hide glue, then perhaps use hide glue to reglue without removal?
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Re: Bridge lifting, Guild 12 String

Postby Brian Evans » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:32 am

It might be perfectly stable. I have one flat-top guitar, and it's bridge has had exactly the same very minor lift for 20 years.
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Re: Bridge lifting, Guild 12 String

Postby Andrew Porter » Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:52 pm

Thanks for the responses.

Brian - Good to know. On a guild by chance?

John - This looks like an easy job except for the caveat you mention. I wonder if super glue or epoxy might work.
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Re: Bridge lifting, Guild 12 String

Postby Bob Gramann » Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:30 pm

No no no no no. No superglue, no epoxy. The Guild 12 string is a reasonable guitar. Using odd glues on it will make it harder to repair later. If you don’t know what you’re doing, please take it to a knowledgeable luthier. A professional bridge reglue doesn’t cost that much and will preserve the playability and value of your instrument. The danger of not repairing it is that the top and/or bridge might deform making it harder to fix later.

If it was originally built with hide glue, sometimes it can be glued back down with hot hide glue without totally removing and refitting it. Rarely am I so lucky.

A drop in humidity can often loosen the bridge as the top contracts across its width and across the length of the bridge. I consider that having the bridge pop off is much better than having something crack. Keeping the guitar in an environment with proper humidity is even better than that.
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Re: Bridge lifting, Guild 12 String

Postby Freeman Keller » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:52 pm

Andrew Porter wrote:Thanks for the responses.

Brian - Good to know. On a guild by chance?

John - This looks like an easy job except for the caveat you mention. I wonder if super glue or epoxy might work.


Remove it, remove every bit of old glue, remove any top finish that the manufacture might have left on it (you would be surprised how many do a poor job of prepping it) and reglue it with a good set of cauls and clamps. This, unfortunately, is one of the most common failures I see but it can be fixed correctly.

Fwiw, I just had 3 at the same time, a Fender 12 string (factory left a lot of finish on the top, where they did clean it off it pulled the top ply of the laminated top loose), an Epiphone classical that some bozo tried to fix with epoxy (I charged extra to clean up the mess he left) and a charming little '63 Gibson with one of those bad idea plastic bridges (I fitted a new rosewood bridge with HHG).

Here it the Fender as it came to me and ready for the glue up

IMG_4757.JPG


IMG_4767.JPG


IMG_4769.JPG


The white thing is a piece of industrial plastic called UHMW that fits between the X brace. It is adjustable for different pin spacing and locates the bridge with respect to the pin holes. It also provides a non stick internal clamping caul. I do enough of these that I machined several different UHMW cauls
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Re: Bridge lifting, Guild 12 String

Postby Alan Mapes » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:34 pm

Don’t be too quick to do a fix. On Guilds, you can typically get paper under the bridge just a slight way. They glued them on with a narrow bit of fininish under the perimeter of the bridge, so it’s not glued all the way to the edges. I’ve been through this with 1970 and early 1980 guitars. They probably would have been fine if left alone. I did a full reglue on a mid-80’s G-37 that was really lifting. I took John Hall’s advice and routed a slight relief around the perimeter of the bridge, so the central area would contact the bare wood of the top. Seemed to work like a charm.
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Re: Bridge lifting, Guild 12 String

Postby Andrew Porter » Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:06 am

Again thanks for the replies.

I'll do a closer inspection of the crack. I leaning toward documenting the extent of the separation and monitoring it.
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