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#1
Hey
sorry if this should be in the Acoustic section but...
My uncle gave me a 1960s/70s Electa 12 string acoustic on semi-permanent loan and its in pretty bad condition, not cosmetically, but structurally. Im slowly adjusting the truss over time to correct the neck, but Unfortunately over time the body itself has been pulled up and the bridge is being pulled off the body slightly. I think this is due to the tension of the 12 strings so im thinking of making it a 6 string.

Anyway, how can i remove the bridge to re-set it, what glues should i use to re set it, what calculations should i make in terms of were the bridge sits, how can i carefully remove the front of the guitar (if possible) and flatten the front (if possible and if question before is possible), and then build it back onto the body?

I know this may seem like a bit of a stretch, but the guitar is worth around $100, took it to an acoustic guitar repair man and he quotet $500 to fix (he would make the body flat again for free) so i thought i might as well have a crack, iv got nothing to loose!

If you need me to i can post pics and i understand im asking alot of questions! Even if you only know the answer to one, any help will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Rob
www.myspace.com/funkmecrazy
Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Bonham's number one fan

"how do you make a 15 watt solid state amp sound good?"
Quote by p o e
step one, insert screwdriver into speaker
step two buy a good amp
Last edited by Robbieeggo at Oct 28, 2007,
#2
Many questions. Tough project.
First about the conversion to six strings. It's seems an easy way out, but then you should also consider that the construction of the guitar is ment to cope with twelve strings and needs the high load to get to work. Without this tension it may be that some brightness and sustain will get lost.
Then about the bulging. This depents a lot on how bad it is. A good guitar can bulge a bit while nothing at all is wrong, while a twelve string always bulges no matter what. It is the condition of the bracing underneath the top that determines whether or not it needs repair. Problems with cracked or loose braces must be corrected, but that is a tricky job that requires serious expertise and craftmanship, mainly due to the the lack of accessability of these parts. (If you decide that it is not possible to do the job working through the soundhole, you'd better remove the back and leave the top fixed to the sides)
Getting off the bridge and re-attaching it is the relatively easy bit. Use ample masking tape to protect the surrounding wood AND to mark the current position of the bridge. Remove the two bolts and nuts that probably hide underneath those abelone dots on the bridge and then carefully and patiently work the bridge loose with a warm/hot filler knife. Clean the surfaces and slightly roughen them (but don't sand them down) with sandpaper. Then glue it back on exactly the same place where it came from. Clamping is the tricky bit here that needs some preparation. You'll need a big clamp here with a lot of reach, but these are rather heavy and tend to pull the workpiece out of shape by their own weight. You'll have to figure out a way to support the clamp. You'd also need to make a spacer to get the beak to push underneath the bridge without it touching the bracing.
If you did remove the back of the soundcase, glueing back the bridge becomes a lot easyer, but then you'll have to cope with reattaching the back plate and renewing its binding.
The best glue to use is hot hide glue. Regular white wood glue is a good and easy obtainable alternative.
You see that is not at all an easy project. You'll have to decide to either work through the soundhole, which is difficult, or to remove the backplate, which is difficult too. A good alternative might be to give it some time. There's nothing wrong with putting away this guitar get to work at it after having succesfully handled less complicated jobs.
#3
first of all... Thanks heaps!
that was a huge help and a massive post so thank you for your time
I'm going to post some pictures of the outside of the guitar and the inside as soon as my camera battery is charged!
And thanks for your comments about the 12 string part, i think i would like to keep it as a 12 string, just thought that maybe that would not be possible

I guess you are known as the "weilder of tools" for a reason ey
anyway il go get those pics!
www.myspace.com/funkmecrazy
Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Bonham's number one fan

"how do you make a 15 watt solid state amp sound good?"
Quote by p o e
step one, insert screwdriver into speaker
step two buy a good amp
#4
www.myspace.com/funkmecrazy
Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Bonham's number one fan

"how do you make a 15 watt solid state amp sound good?"
Quote by p o e
step one, insert screwdriver into speaker
step two buy a good amp
#5
Good shots Robbieeggo. Still it is difficult to tell anything conclusive from them.
As far as I can see there is no apparent damage to the bracing. This may not be clearly visible though untill you tune up the strings. Maybe you should try that to see if any gap or crack opens up under load.
There are several clues in the photographs that may point to previous repairs. Or perhaps the original builder allowed himself some sloppiness. Things like that can complicate matters. It's hard to tell.
On the bright side; This being a pegged bridge can make the clamping a lot easyer. Three bolts and nuts through the peg holes and some wide whashers underneath and on top can serve to press the parts together while the glue settles.
#6
awesome, thanks
As soon as im done with my exams im gunna start with this project. for now im just fixing things like tuning pegs and stuff, which are all very loose

also should i just leave the bubbling of the body? It doesn't look like much i guess
www.myspace.com/funkmecrazy
Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Bonham's number one fan

"how do you make a 15 watt solid state amp sound good?"
Quote by p o e
step one, insert screwdriver into speaker
step two buy a good amp
Last edited by Robbieeggo at Oct 28, 2007,
#7
Just checking to make sure...
You're not going to play the guitar before the bridge is firmly glued back in it's place aren't you?
Of course not.
Good luck with your exams.
#8
haha nah i wont be
but iv got the strings wound near to what they would be
should i maybe loosen them?

also, if i had time to remove the bridge soon, would it be safe leaving the neck and everything without strings? wont damage anything?
www.myspace.com/funkmecrazy
Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Bonham's number one fan

"how do you make a 15 watt solid state amp sound good?"
Quote by p o e
step one, insert screwdriver into speaker
step two buy a good amp
#9
Might I say that is a very nice looking guitar man. So you think it's worth only 100 bucks?

Hope it all works out dude
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#10
yeh apparently, 1 or 2 hundred but personally i love it and wont sell it anyway. Its a copy of a Gibson Hummingbird and they have done a good job to get it looking similar i think. The finish is looks great in person although in the pic it looks like its covered in grease and all the parts look directly copied from gibson haha. I doubt it has the quality of the real thing
www.myspace.com/funkmecrazy
Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Bonham's number one fan

"how do you make a 15 watt solid state amp sound good?"
Quote by p o e
step one, insert screwdriver into speaker
step two buy a good amp
#11
You can display it with the strings on. For decorative reasons you may wind them up till they are just running straight, but no more. You can leave the truss rod as it is till you finally going to do the setup. It may take a while to persuade the neck into a stable equalibrium if the guitar has not been stringed for some time. Whether or not the trussrod has been slackened doesn't matter very much.
Last edited by Marcel Veltman at Oct 29, 2007,
#12
ok mad
www.myspace.com/funkmecrazy
Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Bonham's number one fan

"how do you make a 15 watt solid state amp sound good?"
Quote by p o e
step one, insert screwdriver into speaker
step two buy a good amp
#13
I have to fix a few problems in terms of threaded wood. Spoke to dad and he suggested putting wood bits such as matchstick ends down the holes with some PVA (think thats the one... the white wood glue) or Araldite then re drilling the screw in (once dry), or the other alternative he suggested was screwing the screw in with some glue on it although this may present problems when removing the screw in the future.
What are your guys thoughts?
www.myspace.com/funkmecrazy
Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Bonham's number one fan

"how do you make a 15 watt solid state amp sound good?"
Quote by p o e
step one, insert screwdriver into speaker
step two buy a good amp
#15
haha good because i've done it
All the tuning knobs are now in place and the cogs inside are tight so they wont come loose.
Up next is the bridge. How much time do you think i could take it off in, and how long will it take to glue back on and clamp down not including drying time?
Considering weather to do it in a study break or wait until after exams
www.myspace.com/funkmecrazy
Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Bonham's number one fan

"how do you make a 15 watt solid state amp sound good?"
Quote by p o e
step one, insert screwdriver into speaker
step two buy a good amp
#16
The toothpick and PVA works like a treat.
Have to go pick up a new screw as one of the screws holding in a tuning peg is bent.
www.myspace.com/funkmecrazy
Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Bonham's number one fan

"how do you make a 15 watt solid state amp sound good?"
Quote by p o e
step one, insert screwdriver into speaker
step two buy a good amp
#17
Quote by Robbieeggo
haha good because i've done it
All the tuning knobs are now in place and the cogs inside are tight so they wont come loose.
Up next is the bridge. How much time do you think i could take it off in, and how long will it take to glue back on and clamp down not including drying time?
Considering weather to do it in a study break or wait until after exams


Take ample time to take off the bridge. It doesn't matter if it takes an hour or two hours or the whole day. If you hurry up things you'll be bound to heat up the filler knife too much, scorching the wood, or pull the bridge off without properly melting the glue, thus peeling layers of wood off the top. This will set you back big time.
Compared to that the glue cures in the blink of an eye. Follow the instructions on the flask. It may state that the clamp can be removed 20 minutes after applying the glue and that the joint can be stressed right away. I would suggest to wait 24 hours before fitting the strings, just to be absolutely sure.
#18
sure thing, thanks for your advice. I might mould my exersize break and lunch break on the weekend to remove the bridge carefully and slowly, as every second day i dont go to the gym and instead give myself free time. In terms of letting the glue set, im happy to wait for as long as possible.

Went to the hardware store to get a replacement screw for one of the tuning pegs and they didnt have one small enough but theres a specialist store near my place i will try when i have the time. If that fails il try a guitar store.
So far iv been in and fixed/tightened up all the tuners and they work perfectly (only half of them have strings tho haha) Must get a pack of strings some time soon

edit - also what sort of glue do i need to reglue the bridge back on?
www.myspace.com/funkmecrazy
Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Bonham's number one fan

"how do you make a 15 watt solid state amp sound good?"
Quote by p o e
step one, insert screwdriver into speaker
step two buy a good amp
Last edited by Robbieeggo at Nov 1, 2007,
#19
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b21/bobbyeagle/Guitar%20stuff/PB020087.jpg

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b21/bobbyeagle/Guitar%20stuff/bridge.jpg

hey hey
got the bridge off the guitar. Unfortunately some of the wood in the middle same off with the bridge but not much, also the tool dug in a bit to the guitar but i think it should be alright. Might have to patch it up with some more wood or something but its very small
www.myspace.com/funkmecrazy
Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Bonham's number one fan

"how do you make a 15 watt solid state amp sound good?"
Quote by p o e
step one, insert screwdriver into speaker
step two buy a good amp
#20
Any luck with making the top flat again?

I have a 12 string with the EXACT same problems. Arched (not in a good way) top soundboard, bridge was bending off (I already took mine off. Also had a bikt of the guitar wood taken away.)... I've used wood filler on it since then, but I haven't done any work to it past that.

I plan to make it into a 12 String again, though, and get a new bridge off of AllParts.


Nice pickguard on it, btw.
#21
havnt done anything to the top and im not sure i will. Marcel Veltman says i dont really need to flatten it and the bridge is more important.

and yeh i love the pickguard, infact the whole guitar. they did a good job at copying gibsons hummingbird
www.myspace.com/funkmecrazy
Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Bonham's number one fan

"how do you make a 15 watt solid state amp sound good?"
Quote by p o e
step one, insert screwdriver into speaker
step two buy a good amp
#23
Is the chip that came off the top still on the underside of the bridge? If so, leave it there. If it is no longer attached to the bridge, glue it back on where it came from. After all this chip has exactly the right size and shape and is made of exactly the right wood. You didn't dispose of it, did you?
#24
nope the wood is all still attached to the bridge, and quite firmly as well.
What sort of glue should i use when it comes to re gluing the bridge back on? Wanna see if dad has any in his tool shed

Quote by forsaknazrael
Yeah, that's what someone else on here had told me. Cool.

Seeing yours kinda makes me wanna work on that thing again..


ahh thats good, i hope you do start work. Make sure to post it up here so i can watch PM me the link if you do

I'm finding this project really fun. I've never done repairs on guitars before in the likes of wood. So the results should be interesting. I'm also refurbishing a drum and that is going to be a tough one, with the bearing edges and all
www.myspace.com/funkmecrazy
Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Bonham's number one fan

"how do you make a 15 watt solid state amp sound good?"
Quote by p o e
step one, insert screwdriver into speaker
step two buy a good amp
Last edited by Robbieeggo at Nov 2, 2007,
#25
probably going to use titebond to reglue the bridge but i need to get the bridge back into shape. dont quite know how im gunna do this... the bridge is bent slightly at the wings and along the back, furthest away from the strings. iv concidered a new bridge but warmoth doesnt sell acoustic parts and Stewmac only have 6 string bridges
www.myspace.com/funkmecrazy
Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Bonham's number one fan

"how do you make a 15 watt solid state amp sound good?"
Quote by p o e
step one, insert screwdriver into speaker
step two buy a good amp
#27
Quote by Bobbieegay
probably going to use titebond to reglue the bridge but i need to get the bridge back into shape. dont quite know how im gunna do this... the bridge is bent slightly at the wings and along the back, furthest away from the strings. iv concidered a new bridge but warmoth doesnt sell acoustic parts and Stewmac only have 6 string bridges


Laying it on a flat table may be deceptive. Unless I've missed something, the chip that came off the top is still underneath the bridge, preventing a flat tabel measurement of the shape. Instead see if it fits in situ. If the top of the guitar is warped and bulged in the same fashion, this faulty bridge will possibly fit better than a straight one.
If you decide that this bridge doesn't properly fit, you may consider planing it by rubbing it over sanding paper that is wrapped around a suitable sanding block. Extremely warped wood parts can be persuaded into shape by heating it up on one side with an electric paint stripper while cooling it on the opposite side with a wet cloth.
Now the last option is a bit tricky, so you may want to get a new bridge. 12 string pinned bridges are a regular replacement part. There must be a supplier near you.

Oh, and about the glue. Titebond these days has a lot of different glues. Of course you mean to take the Titebond Original white wood glue, not any of the modern stuff
#28
Might i add that the fantastic moderators of this forum have changed my name to 'Bobbyegay'... ha.. ha... ha... :|
www.myspace.com/funkmecrazy
Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Bonham's number one fan

"how do you make a 15 watt solid state amp sound good?"
Quote by p o e
step one, insert screwdriver into speaker
step two buy a good amp
#29
Quote by Marcel Veltman
Laying it on a flat table may be deceptive. Unless I've missed something, the chip that came off the top is still underneath the bridge, preventing a flat tabel measurement of the shape. Instead see if it fits in situ. If the top of the guitar is warped and bulged in the same fashion, this faulty bridge will possibly fit better than a straight one.
If you decide that this bridge doesn't properly fit, you may consider planing it by rubbing it over sanding paper that is wrapped around a suitable sanding block. Extremely warped wood parts can be persuaded into shape by heating it up on one side with an electric paint stripper while cooling it on the opposite side with a wet cloth.
Now the last option is a bit tricky, so you may want to get a new bridge. 12 string pinned bridges are a regular replacement part. There must be a supplier near you.

Oh, and about the glue. Titebond these days has a lot of different glues. Of course you mean to take the Titebond Original white wood glue, not any of the modern stuff


yeh the bend in the bridge is actually visibly bent, and is bent when it sits on the guitar which is also bent due to bubbling. I'll look for a local supplier and chech prices

and yeh Titebond Original is what i plan to use, non-water resistent
www.myspace.com/funkmecrazy
Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Bonham's number one fan

"how do you make a 15 watt solid state amp sound good?"
Quote by p o e
step one, insert screwdriver into speaker
step two buy a good amp
#31
if you want to take the tension off iheard somewhere that most people who play 12 string actually tune down a step so that they have less tension on the guitar...you could do that to yours and it would help a bit
#32
Quote by forsaknazrael
I was wondering about your username...Haha.

Did you see my link to Allparts?


oh soz missed it
will check the site now

just checked it and they do have a 12 string acoustic bridge
however the bridge on mine is the other way around like a Gibson style bridge.
Would the bridge the other way around still work, even if the finish around it looks patchy?
www.myspace.com/funkmecrazy
Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Bonham's number one fan

"how do you make a 15 watt solid state amp sound good?"
Quote by p o e
step one, insert screwdriver into speaker
step two buy a good amp
Last edited by Bobbieegay at Nov 7, 2007,
#33
Hey
been thinking about options for the bridge.
to correct the bend in the bridge, what if i measured its thickness, sanded the bottom flat, and cut a veneer out that brought the bridge back to its original shape?
Im gunna take a trip down to a guitar store that i know has an acoustic guitar pro person and see if he knows were i can get a reversed 12 string bridge
www.myspace.com/funkmecrazy
Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Bonham's number one fan

"how do you make a 15 watt solid state amp sound good?"
Quote by p o e
step one, insert screwdriver into speaker
step two buy a good amp
#35
Its a copy of a gibson guitar. The bridges on gibson acoustics are generally 'the other way around' compared to matons and martins and so on

for example, the straight part of the bridge on a martin is closer to the saddle wereas on a gibson the straight part is at the back closest to were the strings enter a body


martin bridge =
http://www.fretnotguitarrepair.com/images/MartinBridge.JPG

gibson bridge =
http://www.gibson.com/Files/productImages/acoustic/thumbs_and_details/Modern%20Classics/Small%20Bodies/CJ-165_EC_Maple/Bridge.jpg


as far as i know the martin one is more common, and so far all i have been able to find is ones like that. It may be possible to install one of those normal bridges but it would leave patches in the finish. If i can, id rather have a bridge closest to the original
www.myspace.com/funkmecrazy
Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Bonham's number one fan

"how do you make a 15 watt solid state amp sound good?"
Quote by p o e
step one, insert screwdriver into speaker
step two buy a good amp
#37
yeh i could do that but chances are i would have to spend quite a bit
but yeh il try that, i might get lucky
www.myspace.com/funkmecrazy
Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Bonham's number one fan

"how do you make a 15 watt solid state amp sound good?"
Quote by p o e
step one, insert screwdriver into speaker
step two buy a good amp
#39
Quote by forsaknazrael
This is the closest I could find:
http://www.guitar-parts.com/products/1145/Bridge-for-Flat-Top.htm

I'm beginning to think that your best bet would be to try and contact a luthier in Australia, and ask him to make you one.


yeh same, all iv been able to find is rosewood 6 string bridges like that.
Iv even considered buying a blank and making it myself but il see how we go
www.myspace.com/funkmecrazy
Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Bonham's number one fan

"how do you make a 15 watt solid state amp sound good?"
Quote by p o e
step one, insert screwdriver into speaker
step two buy a good amp
#40
If you decide to put on a whole new bridge, chances are almost 100% that the contours don't match the original, whether the straight edge or the curved edge is up front or not. It can hardly be avoided that this will show in the finish, so you'd better not bother.
Main problem is to get the bridge piece in the right position. It should be in the middle, so the strings will run neatly along the sides of the fretboard. But it also needs to give EXACTLY the same string length as the original lay out. This will require precise measurements.
Practical tip: ample use of masking tape enables you to draw lines and put marking points on your guitar. You'll need a centre line and point from which to determine the required length of the E strings.
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