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Bridge Fixed
Author
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Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3594
Okay, all better now. Below are before and after photos.

I used LMI's bridge heater, Luthier Suppliers' Centerline Finder (with new attachment from Jeff Suits), and KMG's (Ken Cierp) SS Bridge Clamp Kit was from John Hall. Everybody got into the act.

This reminded me of my first routing of binding and purfling channels. Harder to make yourself start doing it, than doing it.

For the whole story, go to: http://www.nichebooks.com/bridge/index.html (Click any photo to see the large version.)





Oct 21, 08 | 5:31 am
Hugh

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 309
Graphite bridge? How does that sound?

Oct 21, 08 | 6:12 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Nice fix, Bill,. looks great!

Oct 21, 08 | 6:29 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Hugh -- sounds fine so far. Sounds the same as the guitar did before, as far as I can tell. I kept the same strings on it. The only difference I might be able to discern is that with this slightly heavier bridge (about 2/10 ounce heavier), the bass might not be as pronounced, but it is still very good. (More than any other guitar I've ever played, this one sounds the most like a Goodall TROM, which is the one guitar I have wanted ever since I played one; I'd love to go and A/B this against a TROM sometime.)

If I had had an ebony bridge, or could have found one with the right string spacing, I would have used it. As it turned out, that lefty bridge had 2 1/4" string spacing. The only bridges I could find with that spacing were pyramid bridges, and they would have left a bare spot on the top behind the bridge. (LMII and Stewmac do not offer premade bridges with 2 1/4" spacing, and I didn't feel like making one from scratch.)

The graphite sounds just like the previous bridge did. The bridge material itself doesn't have much influence over the sound of the guitar -- maybe about as much as bridge pins. I know people differ on that, but the bridge, and the pins, are both basically anchoring parts, not sound-influencing except insorfar as their weight affects the mass of the top and therefore its responsiveness to the strings. Just my opinion -- anyhoo, I can tell no difference int he sound of the guitar.

Thanks Ken -- it wasn't really very difficult once I got started.

Bill

Ps. Oh, yeah, for you guys who asked about the intonation. It's now as accurate as it should be all over the neck.


Oct 21, 08 | 8:12 am
Herman

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 480
From now on he also is a guitarfixer

Oct 21, 08 | 11:10 am
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Bill,
That looks like a real clean fix. Is there much chance of loosening up the glue on the bridge plate underneath?
The top looks beautiful..what finish did you do there?

Kevin

Oct 21, 08 | 11:25 am
Terry

Total Topics: 41
Total Posts: 220
Nicely done Bill... Nicely done.

Oct 21, 08 | 11:54 am
Terry

Total Topics: 41
Total Posts: 220
Oh...
What kind of glue did you use on the old bridge? Was it Titebond?

Oct 21, 08 | 12:03 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Thanks guys.

Kevin -- I used Zinnser Clear Seal shellac (mixed with a touch of Zinnser orange tinted shellac) and one coat of Minwax Wipe On Polyurethane gloss on the top.

Terry -- The glue on the original bridge was LMI White Instrument Maker's Glue. This time, after much research into what would stick to graphite, I used Titebond Aliphatic Resin -- took some digging to find out which of the Titebond glues were AR and which were PVA.



Oct 21, 08 | 12:07 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Bill,
I have Tru-Oil on my top, but not satisfied with it. If I sand it back do you think the Minwasx Wipe on Poly would work?

Kevin

Oct 21, 08 | 1:22 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Hi Kevin -- the thing with the Wipe On Poly is that it dries thin and shows EVERY little flaw underneath it. Here's a picture of the back of the guitar with just the shellac, sanded wet with micro meshes all the way up to 12000. So, the preparation is the thing with the wipe on.


Oct 21, 08 | 3:30 pm
Andy

Total Topics: 57
Total Posts: 350
Bill, You should be really proud of that guitar. As an alternative to nitro, that's the "deepest" finish I've ever seen.

Do you know / remember how many hours you clocked up on that finish ?

Oct 21, 08 | 10:32 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Thanks Andy -- I'd say the finish took about 12 hours, total. It seemed like longer, waiting for the shellac to dry. (On the back and sides, I did 2 thick coats of 1# shellac and then sanded all the way thru 12000, 2-3 more thin coats and same sanding, and repeated once again. On the top, just 2 coats of 1# shellac, sanded up thru 12000. Then Poly on the whole thing. I don't thing I really needed the poly, but I wanted a hard finish.)

Oct 22, 08 | 4:28 am
Andy

Total Topics: 57
Total Posts: 350
Bill, after seeing your Jumbo finish I reckon I really need to get on to micro mesh. I found this guy on Aussie Ebay, but I'm not sure which polish kit to get from him.

Micro Mesh

If I read this correctly he offers sets as : 3" x 6" cloth backed, 3" x 4" double sided with foam core or 2" x 2" double sided foam core.

He also recommends a special sanding block.

Which set is similar to what you're using ?

Oct 22, 08 | 11:39 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Andy -- I have a set of 3x6 cloth backed from Woodcraft (and Stewmac offers it also) and a set of the 2x2 foam core. Either one will do the same job, but for sanding wet on th ebody, I use the cloth backed. For smaller areas, like parts of the neck and headstock, I use the 2x2 set, dry. (It could be used wet, too.)

Bill


Oct 22, 08 | 12:01 pm
Andy

Total Topics: 57
Total Posts: 350
Bill, when you say "wet" do you mean just dampen the micro mesh with water and then sand with each grade and wipe off any residue as you go. Then apply another coat of shellac and go thru the same procedure until you're happy that the surface is ready for the Minwax coat?

I wasn't aware that shellac and water were a good mix, but we learn all the time :)

Oct 22, 08 | 12:49 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
I don't think shellac and water are a good mix, unless one of them has dried completely .... :-)

I let the first coat of shellac dry for 3 hours, then apply another one, and let it dry overnight, then sand up thru the grits, then do the shellac again.

I got from another forum member the technique of avoiding a brush and just applying the shellac with gloves and a clean cotton rag (I use blue shop towels) not in strips, but spreading it liberally all over the surface and being able to wipe it smooth before it gets tacky -- thus avoiding the ridges I used to get by doing it with a brush. Saves a heck of a lot of sanding woes not having to deal with those ridges.

Not that it's the expert way, but ... The way I sand "wet" is to put a little bit of liquid soap (five or ten drops) in about a half pint of water in a squirt bottle. I squirt it on the surface enough to keep it wet as I sand, and then sand for a little bit, wipe it dry, and redo it for the next higher grit.

Sometimes I need to re-sand with the same grit if it doesn't look right when I put my stronger reading glasses on.

I found out I don't need to sand very much, or very hard, by sanding through the finish on about five previous guitars. On this one, I finally took it easy enough. I've found that the micromesh cuts more aggressively when it's wet than when it's dry. I usually sand with a sanding block of cork or dense foam (like the one that comes in the micromesh sets).

Bill



Oct 22, 08 | 2:13 pm
deadedith

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 165
Bill, I saw no mention of filler. What did you use?
Thx
Dave

Mar 07, 10 | 2:40 pm
longbow

Total Topics: 4
Total Posts: 74
Bill where did you get the zinnser clear shellac out here everything they have is bullseye? Dave L.

Mar 10, 10 | 4:42 am



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