Scott's Guitar Blog: January 11, 2014

Modifying a damaged Taylor Guitar Bridge

This lovely old Taylor Leo Kottke 12-string had a bridge re-glue performed by another repairman, who sanded down the bottom too thin, making the bridge’s wings so thin they were flexing and cupping.

The neck needed a neck reset also, and resetting the neck angle to a bridge that was too thin would have been a mistake; this bridge was simply not doing its job well, being too thin. So, I called my friends at Taylor who sent a new replacement bridge along to help this client out. My client’s guitar, however, is old enough that there was a tiny “footprint” visible at the top edge, where the original bridge was slightly larger, as you can see in the photo with the new bridge placed on top, circled in red. In order to preserve the originality and cosmetics, I needed to rebuild the original bridge to the correct height, making the wings thick enough, as if it were new. In the photos, you’ll see a thin layer of ebony, which becomes a new lower half for the original bridge. The bridge needed to be planed down on its top, after this lamination, to make it the correct thickness, and once this was done, the saddle-slot was too shallow for the transducer and saddle! So, was taken off to the milling machine to carefully deepen the slot. At the very bottom of this article there’s a short video of this.

You can see, if you look closely, the line between the top and lower half of the rebuilt bridge. Once this is fine sanded it will be invisible. The tone of the guitar will also improve, now that the bridge is back to its original specs, and the neck can now be set to the correct angle, in relation to the new correct bridge height. I’ll clean up the bridge, and re-glue it to the soundboard in the next day or two!