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Bridge Glue failure
Author
Post
Mark Forster-King

Total Topics: 10
Total Posts: 19
Hi Guys....well its warts and all time ...my recently built OM guitar has just had the Snakewood bridge glue-up fail...thats the bad news, the good news is that I have managed to remove the bridge all together, with virtually no damage to the bridge,the top or the finish so if I am real carefull regluing the bridge back on, there shoul be no/minimal damage to the finish.What would the forum reccomend about the type of glue to re-glue with? I originally used the white LMI Luthiers glue.
In hindsight I should have maybe used a solvent( Alcohol or Acetone??) to remove some of the Oils in the snakewood prior to gluing, as the literature seems to say that Snakewood is a bit notorious for getting a really good bond and lets face it the loading on an acoustic guitar bridge is a pretty fearsome test of any bond.OK so which would be the best option do you all think?

1)reglue with LMI white glue and use solvent to remove oils from snakewood prior to gluing
2)reglue with epoxy(2-pot) using solvent to condition snake wood prior to gluing
3) something else altogether?
I will also "rought up the bottom of the bridge to help adhesion as well.I realise that using epoxy will make any future bridge removal difficult although not necessarily imposible...the forums sage wisdom is, as always, a constant source of help.
Regards Mark

Mar 16, 10 | 12:18 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
don't use epoxy. I would use HHG or the LMI. How did you prep the area for the bridge ? Is it possible that you didn't get e clean wood to wood contact?

John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc.
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center

Mar 16, 10 | 3:01 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Mark,
I would use a different bride all together --- we know the problems with Snakewood and Cocobolo, the resins quickly leach to the surface regardless of sanding and cleaning (some say faster when cleaned with acetone) -- using these woods for this application is asking for trouble.
$.02

Ken

Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978

Mar 16, 10 | 4:14 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Hey Ken, ... I'd take your advice, but I'm sorta attached to my current bride ... been 26 years now.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Bill

Mar 16, 10 | 5:37 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Gosh -- Bride and Snakewood in the same sentence -- can I get sent to jail for that?

Ken

Mar 16, 10 | 5:47 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Probably depends ... have Bride and Snakewood been added to the "PC" list yet?

Mar 16, 10 | 5:56 am
deadedith

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 165
I have checked the PC list and sadly both terms are on the list. Sorry buddy - dang, that's on the list too, oops - so is dang, darnit..oops...
Dave B

Mar 16, 10 | 6:42 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Sorry Dave ... oops has just been added ...

Back to the regular thread ... Sorry Mark for the silly hijack ...

Mar 16, 10 | 7:29 am
Mark Forster-King

Total Topics: 10
Total Posts: 19
Hey John not sure what HHG is although I am guessing that the "HG" is hide glue but not sure what the first H might be...I did think that the bridge to top contact was pretty good, although, in hindsight the finish may have been a little undermasked, reducing the workable surface area for the glue slightly...

Mar 16, 10 | 10:34 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
"Hot"

Mar 16, 10 | 10:47 am
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Ken Cierp,
Are you saying that oily woods are not good candidates for bridges? (Or brides for that matter?) I have no intentions of using snakewood for anything right now, but this is information to put in the vault for future use.
I thought rosewood was oily too? But Brazilian is commonly used for bridges, isn't it? Is it less oily than snakewood or is it easier to control the oils prior to gluing?
I could easily avoid asking these questions by simply buying all of my kits from you Ken, and asking you to help me avoid these problems! However, a friend of mine has asked me to build a guitar for his brother as a gift, so he is going to be picking the wood. I am going to need to know what will and wont work if he decides to buy it from anyone but my recommended source in an attempt to save some shekels.

Mark,
I thought my bridge on my first kit was properly contoured to the shape of the top when I was dry fitting it, but I was concerned with how high it was sitting, so I e-mailed Ken Cierp (he sold me the kit and provided top notch customer support all through my build). After we e-mailed a few times and he asked me for some specific pictures, he informed me that I had not fully contoured the bridge. Something he saw in my pics that I did not notice in person. Anyway, after some additional sanding, my bridge was properly contoured and the height issue was gone. I have not yet glued it on, but had I tried before speaking with Ken Cierp, it surely would have failed.
Check your contour again since its off.

Bill..."hot" when taken out of context has also been added to the list. Please use caution when posting the word "hot" by itself. I would hate to see anyone banned from the internet by the internet police.

Mar 18, 10 | 5:46 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
In addition to Kenneth Michael Guitars I also owned and operated a company called "Wooldland Inspiration" We produced home furnishings and accessories, we also participated in art shows and took custom orders. My SW comments are mostly formulated from information I gleaned from other wood working artists -- which essentially was -- stay away from Coccoblo and Snakewood -- the glue joints fail and the finish chips off -- so I did and I do. As for EIR and Brazilian I have used both for bridges and fingerboards, the only prep was/is wiping them off with lacquer thinner -- I am not aware of any failures. As a matter of fact my brother has one of those guitars and it must be near it's 40th birthday!

Ken

Kenneth Michael Guitarsest. 1978

Mar 18, 10 | 6:15 am
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Ahhh...so snakewood and cocobolo are just very oily woods then? Its a shame because they look sooooo good! If anyone who has worked with them would like to chime in here, that would be great. How did you glue them?

Getting back to thread jacking, Ken...you should not refer to your brother as "it" as in, "it must be near it's 40th birthday." I really don't think that is the PC way to refer to a person. In that context, "it" is on the list. ;-)

All jokes aside, I have seen many guitars with snakewood bindings, peg head veneers, etc. How does one glue such an oily wood? There must be a way.



Mar 18, 10 | 6:27 am
Simon

Total Topics: 22
Total Posts: 67
Hi Mark,

My 2c worth. My bridge popped off my first build after a week or so. Turns out I had left too much finish under there (undermasked as you put it). It wasn't much, but was evidently enough. For the second gluing attempt, I also contoured the bottom of the bridge using Ken Cierp's method (stick a piece of sandpaper on the top and rub the bridge over it - details on his website).

It stuck fine the second time around. Sorry, have no experience using snakew**d :-)

Cheers,

Simon

Mar 19, 10 | 3:05 pm
Laurent

Total Topics: 9
Total Posts: 109
It happened to my guitar too, and it appeared I had done about everything wrong:

- used too little glue
- used too old glue
- didn't contour the bridge by ken's method

I reglued it taking all of this in mind, and it's still on now :-)

Mar 20, 10 | 7:39 am
Mark Forster-King

Total Topics: 10
Total Posts: 19
Hi all...after taking on board the forums comments and extensively reading the literature on-line,I have re-glued the snakewood bridge back on successfully( so far!) and it all seems to sit much better.I reduced the amount of finish under the bridge to a bare minimum( 1mm-1.5mm),checked the profile of the two surfaces and adjusted and pre wiped and dried the underside of the snakewood using acetone, which lifted some of the oils out of the wood( as evidenced by the colorful resins deposited onto the white cloth that I was using) and re-glued using LMI white glue.
I think that as snakewood is one of the prettiest wood available( who doesn't??) and also one of the densest(79 lbs/ft3 (1,265 kg/m3))... if I can get this to stick, then any thing else by comparison should be relatively easy( especially given the 180-200lbs of loading on an acoustic guitar bridge!)....quite a few luthiers such as Bruce & Matt Petros and Jim Olsen use snakewood for bridges and I am sure that their reputation would suffer horribly, if the snakewood bridges kept falling off especially at the prices that they charge for their instruments, so ,obviously, these types of woods can be used, but there is a learning curve to use them successfully and I am determined to try and solve this challange as I would like to have as full a palate as possible when working with woods..will update on this as time goes on and many thanks to you all ,for your willingness to share and bounce ideas off.

Mar 24, 10 | 5:46 pm



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