Cracked Bridge Repair

Our team of luthiers here at N Stuff Music are experts at taking care of any instrument problem that may come across their bench. In this article Chad Gerbe, one of our highly skilled guitar techs, talks about how we went about repairing a cracked acoustic guitar bridge that came in recently:

Cracked Bridge Repair 1CG: We see this kind of break pretty regularly. The stress of the string tension has cracked the bridge between the bridge pin holes along the grain of the ebony on this Taylor 12 string acoustic guitar. If the crack is severe enough, we usually recommend replacing the entire bridge. However, many times we are able to repair the original bridge.




Cracked Bridge Repair 2First we seal the crack with water-thin cyanoacrylate glue (Super Glue) and then fill the crack with ebony wood dust.





Cracked Bridge Repair 3After the ebony dust has been packed into the crack tightly, we carefully drop more of the water-thin super glue onto the dust-filled crack. We have applied a layer of tape onto the bridge plate inside the guitar to prevent super glue from making a mess inside the soundbox.




Cracked Bridge Repair 4Once the glue has dried, we use a razor blade as a scraper to remove the excess build up of dried, hardened ebony dust. We use tape to expose only the amount of blade necessary to scrape the excess flush. As you can see, when it comes to guitar repair, taking the utmost of care is always necessary!




Cracked Bridge Repair 5We then sand the area to a clean finish and flush with the rest of the bridge to remove any glue residue.





Cracked Bridge Repair 6We use hand tools all the time in the guitar repair shop. Having a high degree of skill in the use of hand tools allows us to be efficient, flexible, and precise in the repair of any problem that may come our way. In this picture, I am using a reamer to clean up the inside of the bridge pin holes.




Cracked Bridge Repair 7With a fresh application of conditioning oil, this bridge looks great, is structurally intact, and now this guitar is ready to be setup. We’re positive that this customer is going to be very happy with this repair.




-Chad Gerbe, Luthier, N Stuff Music Guitar Service Department


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