Go Back   UG Community @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com > Instruments > Gear Building & Customizing
User Name  
Password
Search:

Reply
Old 09-30-2012, 03:13 AM   #1
Anteara
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Reinforcing classical guitar for steel strings (Risks are known)

Hi all, I recently acquired my sisters old acoustic guitar, I've been playing electric guitar for 7 years, and I like acoustic guitars but never had one until now.

Note: It's a really bad guitar, the neck was split when I got it, so I fixed that with glue and reinforced it with a screw. I know the risks of putting steel strings on a classical guitar: Bridge being ripped off, no steel rod in the neck so it could warp, tuning pegs breaking, etc.

The guitar is old so I don't really care if the neck warps, etc, anyway. The problem is that I really dislike the sound of nylon strings and it definitely does not suit my style.

I'm simply looking for a way to reinforce the bridge, so that it doesn't get ripped off by the tension put on by the steel strings.

Does anyone have any ideas how I could do this?

Thanks.
Anteara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2012, 03:53 AM   #2
Boysie8
The best kind of spice
 
Boysie8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Taupo, NZ
Two options I can see:
1) Make a new bridge with a tab on the base, and cut a hole in the guitar top to fit this tab - it'll take up the horizontal loading.
2) Add a trapeze tailpiece, and use the current bridge for the saddle.

Good luck with the conversion, make sure you post pics of the result
Boysie8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2012, 03:58 AM   #3
Kevin Saale
Talks to empty chairs
 
Kevin Saale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: In a desert, next to a chair
I'm sure you've already considered this, but use light gauge strings, .009s or .010s
__________________
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not.

Quote:
Get three coffins ready.

My mistake, four coffins.
Kevin Saale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2012, 05:53 AM   #4
Anteara
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boysie8
Two options I can see:
1) Make a new bridge with a tab on the base, and cut a hole in the guitar top to fit this tab - it'll take up the horizontal loading.
2) Add a trapeze tailpiece, and use the current bridge for the saddle.

Good luck with the conversion, make sure you post pics of the result


The first idea definitely sounds easier. I'm not that guitar savvy when it comes down to the construction level, so could you please elaborate on the first idea?

And yeah Kevin; I'll definitely use the lightest gauge strings possible
Anteara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2012, 01:27 PM   #5
Boysie8
The best kind of spice
 
Boysie8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Taupo, NZ
I'd say the second option would be easier actually, just screw in a new bridge. However for your consideration:



You would have to reinforce the hell out of the top still, to take up the extra tension.
Boysie8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2012, 01:41 PM   #6
Robbgnarly
Registered User
 
Robbgnarly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: NSB, FL
dont tune the strings to E, use D instead. and use med-light gauge or smaller
__________________
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
Robbgnarly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2012, 09:00 PM   #7
Anteara
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbgnarly
dont tune the strings to E, use D instead. and use med-light gauge or smaller


I might do that, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boysie8
I'd say the second option would be easier actually, just screw in a new bridge. However for your consideration:



You would have to reinforce the hell out of the top still, to take up the extra tension.


How about something like this to reinforce it:
I'll use an analogy with cargo doors in pressurised aircraft (lol) - the inside of the door is BIGGER then the opening, i.e. when the door is closed, it CANNOT open when the airplane is pressured because the door will simply be pushing on the fuselage, instead of open space.

Similarily, I could do this with the bridge: Have the bottom of the bridge extend past the hole, which means that when there is tension on the bridge, it will push on the base of the guitar, and allow that to take the force of the strings.

Like this:



However as I said I don't know too much about the construction of guitars so I don't know if this would work. But what do you think?
Anteara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2012, 12:04 AM   #8
Boysie8
The best kind of spice
 
Boysie8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Taupo, NZ
That's not a bad idea, the trick is installing it. You could just glue a square bit of reinforcing timber to the underside, then screw the bridge down into it - mounting the screws under the saddle so they're invisible once assembled.
Boysie8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2012, 12:54 AM   #9
RebuildIt
Registered User
 
RebuildIt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Hope, BC Canada
Use 9's and dont do anything special unless you see a problem. If the bridge has been holding its own with nylon strings, it can probably hold 9's. If the bridge does start to lift off (or the wood around it starts to bulge and dip), drill two holes and put dowels through. there are a number of ways to attach the dowels to the back, or (slightly prefered) to support them without touching the sound board.
RebuildIt is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:52 PM.

Forum Archives / About / Terms of Use / Advertise / Contact / Ultimate-Guitar.Com © 2014
Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.