Well, it was back in exactly the same condition as when I first laid eyes on it – with its bridge lifting!!
And why? Because of one silly strip of useless wood in the wrong place.
What you see in the mirror is called the bridgeplate – the one with the six holes. I am afraid it is not a very good photograph but look closely at the top left corner of the strip and you can just about see that it is no more than 2 – 2.25 inches across. Also, it is not made of a hard wood like rosewood or maple but an inferior variety of spruce (I am guessing).
Its purpose is to help the top of the guitar bear the 70 – 80 kg tension that tuned-to-pitch strings exert, by providing support. So, a small, thin bridgeplate is incapable of doing its job, and thus, why this instrument returned.
The flip side is that if you put in too big or thick of a bridgeplate, it compromises the sound of the instrument, for it hampers the movement of the top.
After I took the bridge off the first time, the top was like this:
This time, when I took off the bridge, it looked like this:
Now there were two things that could be done: a) make a new, better bridgeplate, or, b) give it more, a lot more of the earlier treatment. With a more expensive guitar I would have ventured to replace the bridgeplate, but with this one I decided to take the second route.
But I needed something that would support and straighten the bridgeplate, as also the top to straighten out – something that would help the bridgeplate behave itself over at least half a decade of the instrument’s life. So, I had some fashioning to do: the right sized block of wood. To know that I marked the cross brace impression on the top with a whiteboard marker. In between the two red lines and under the top, my block should be able to fit in.
This piece of wood would sit against the bridgeplate, while another block of wood would sit against area where the bridge would be. But before I locked everything in, it needed some heat to give a chance to the bridgeplate and top a chance to straighten out. And so, boiling water to soak the bridge area as also the bridgeplate.
But before I soaked it, I pushed in an old tee-shirt to soak in the extra water and to protect the back of the guitar.
Clamp everything together and let it rest for a couple of days. And that is exactly what I did.
After clamping everything together and leaving it for three days, it turned out like this
I repeated the process and left it for another four days before I loosened the clamps and left it to dry for four days. Later, glueing the bridge back on was a piece of cake.
An oiling and cleaning of the fretboard and bridge, some new strings and Snow White’s ready to sing again!!