Scott's Guitar Blog: November 1, 2014

Rebuilding a too-thin classical guitar bridge

Here’s a series of photos of a classical guitar repair I’m in the middle of performing. It’s a nicely built, great sounding guitar, but the maker made a big mistake with the bridge: He made the bridge’s wings paper thin and it is not supporting the top correctly, so the tone is less than it should be. The wings were less than 1/16″ thick! The french polish finish under the bridge was also not completely removed, so there would not be a perfect wood-to-wood gluing of the bridge to the top. In these photos you can see the top correctly prepared, and the paper thin wings of the bridge. I cut a perfectly fitting piece of rosewood to laminate below the too-thin bridge, making it the correct thickness. When dry, I sanded and polished the re-built bridge so that the repair is nearly invisible. Also, this work is correcting a slightly flawed neck angle and will improve action and performance, as well as the tone and voice of the instrument. So, the photos show the original bridge, the layer I cut from a rosewood blank, the gluing of these together, the result, and the vacuum-clamping process which joins the bridge to the soundboard with even, perfect clamping pressure with no compression of the wood fibers in the soundboard. Thanks for stopping by!