Bridge repair on old Yamaha c40

If you have a string instrument of any kind that needs fixing, a mistake you made in building a new instrument that you need to "disappear," or a question about the ethics of altering an older instrument, ask here. Please note that it will be much easier for us to help you decide on the best repair method if you post some pictures of the problem.
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Kurt Smail
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:57 pm

Bridge repair on old Yamaha c40

Post by Kurt Smail »

I was hoping to get a little help on a repair issue, I have an old beater Yamaha c40 that just recently popped its bridge and took some of the first layer of laminate with it. I know that the previous owner had attempted to reglue the bridge years before with less than stellar results and I'm not sure what type of adhesive he used. Should I just clean the old glue and laminate off of the bottom of the bridge and level the soundboard as best I can for reglueing with titebond? Or should I try to leave as much of the bonded laminate layer on the bottom of the bridge and try to epoxy it?
Any advice would be appreciated.

Chuck Tweedy
Posts: 1158
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:25 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Bridge repair on old Yamaha c40

Post by Chuck Tweedy »

Stunned silence.

To repair this properly,
First you need to remove the top wood that is stuck to the bridge - and replace it into the top. Smoothing it down to bare wood where you will re-glue the bridge.
With the top repaired, scrape the bottom of the bridge clean and re-glue it.

I've glossed over a ton of details that - if you do not have instrument repair experience - will make this job near impossible for a noob.

Have you ever successfully replaced a popped bridge? (no offense)
Is the guitar worth a ton of work?
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice

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Mark Swanson
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Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:11 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan USA
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Re: Bridge repair on old Yamaha c40

Post by Mark Swanson »

A C40 is a classic guitar, right? Someone probably put steel strings on it. That will rip the bridge off sure as anything.
If you can't get the wood off the bridge to glue back in, you can use new spruce to fill in the torn out areas too. You basically need to "inlay" the new spruce in there. I like to do that with a Dremel tool, just as I would inlay something. I use the tool to route out and flatten the area under the bridge, removing as little as possible while making the floor of the torn area flat. Then glue in a piece of spruce...then level and re-glue the bridge. I use hot hide glue and yes, Chuck is right, that is a simplified version- this is a tricky repair.
  • Mark Swanson, guitarist, MIMForum Staff

Kurt Smail
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:57 pm

Re: Bridge repair on old Yamaha c40

Post by Kurt Smail »

I really appreciate both responses that I received. I was finally able to find similar advice on the Internet when I wasn't seeing any response before. I already had the the feeling in my gut that this would be the only proper way to do it. Unfortunately I haven't attempted this level of repair before, so this will be bit challenging. The only reason I'm willing to attempt it on such a cheap piece is that I do possess reasonable woodworking skills and I'm just basically cheap at heart. I'll post some before and after pic's if it goes well, otherwise you'll never hear about it again :D

Thanks again.

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