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Background:

I recently found a guitar in a dumpster, a steel-string acoustic. It's not the best guitar--an Galveston WJ-750, probably discarded by someone who gave up on guitar lessons--but it has a decent sound, and I think I can find a home for it.

However, the bridge hasn't been glued on all that well; I can slip a piece of paper into the corners, showing that the bridge wasn't glued on all that securely. (The problem is symmetrical, i.e., the same gap exists on both sides of the bridge, the corners on the side furthest from the soundhole.)

Guitar

As a temporary measure, I've put on a set of "silk and steel" strings, which are of lower tension than standard steel strings.

Question:

In the longer term, is there any way for me to reinforce the bridge that doesn't require removing and reattaching it? I don't want to go through a lot of effort for what is likely a $70 guitar, but it would be nice if I could make it last more than a few years before the bridge started peeling off by string tension.

Edit: As a side question, how can I tell what glue was used to glue the bridge on? It it's a good glue like, say, hide glue (unlikely), I'd be more inclined to leave the bridge as it is. Or am I better off in the long run removing the bridge and reattaching it, despite my desire to do this on the cheap?

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2 Answers 2

I'd suggest checking out the Frets.com site for repair tips:

http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/pagelist.html#Luthier

That link is to the "luthier" section.

The problem is getting the glue "in there", and then clamping it without the special tools used by repairmen. Cyanoacrylate (super glue) can be used for such repairs as it flows into small spaces well, but it has the problem that it makes parts very difficult to remove if that becomes necessary. Tends to tear the wood.

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If you don't want to remove the bridge the best way is to get some glue in the gap (original titebond works well) and clamp it somehow.

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