Guitar repair – Going back on my word with this Cort!

After last year’s failed attempts at glueing up a bridge and a broken headstock, during these rainy months of July to October, here in North India, I had vowed never to attempt any glue-up job during these months.

In fact, I had returned a number of repairs asking them to be addressed elsewhere, or else, to be brought back after October.

As June was ending, this young man, a return customer brought in his guitar

which had this for a problem

This is the bass side of the guitar, while the treble side was fixed solid to the top.

The young man reminded me that when he had last visited me, I had found the bridge lifting but not very much. He recounted that I had said then that he should visit me a couple of years later, or earlier, if the lifting bridge made playing near impossible.

I told him about the July-Oct period and how it was fraught with dangers, but the young man wasn’t too convinced, and had quite set his heart on getting his guitar repaired. I wasn’t very comfortable looking at the hygrometer in the workshop

but I didn’t quite feel like breaking his heart so I accepted the instrument with the caveat, “Don’t kill me if…”!

When I took off the strings and the saddle, the health of the saddle concerned me.

But I realised that neck angles dictate such things. If the headstock had been any lower the actual saddle would have looked closer to the one below, rather than the actual saddle on top.

Also, as I pulled out the piezo element from the bridge, it seemed to have a kink in it.

As I began work on the instrument, pulling out my knives and such, I thought it would be a good idea to see how far the bridge was lifting on the bass side. This particular knife does the job well

So, almost a third of the length of the bridge was free. I rubbed my hands in glee at the prospect of another 30-second bridge removal, but maybe, I rubbed them a little too early.

Fifteen minutes later, I was still wiping sweat off my brow, working the blower on the treble side of the bridge, trying to get even the tip of the knife under the bridge.

All the time just one thought kept coursing through my mind: how can a bridge that is so loose on one end, be so tightly stuck on the opposite end? Did they forget to put glue on one side, or did they use all their clamps on one side???

More heat, more elbow grease and finally the bridge came off to reveal the horror underneath: SUPER GLUE!!!!!!!!!

The whiteness that you see (more on the bridge than is evident on its footprint on the top), is dried CA glue. Regular readers of this blog know how much I love it. Others will read for themselves, why.

And so began the arduous job of cleaning it off from both faces. Super glue tends to permeate surfaces and sink much lower than can be seen by the naked eye. You keep removing layers and it will still be there – though in lesser quantities.

Multiple tools and devices were employed to rid the two surfaces of the glue

And while this was in progress, preliminary work to glue the bridge in the right place began

When the bridge and its footprint had been cleaned, they were cleaned once with alcohol to rid it of any oil, grime and dust.

Now everything was ready for glue-up. Glue was spread generously on both surfaces and then the two were brought together. Clamps were strategically placed so that there was enough pressure to make the two stick together.

Also, a little prayer was said.

Given the rain and the moisture in the air, the instrument was left clamped for a little over four days, after which it was unclamped.

An hour or two’s rest later, strings were put on. The owner chose these

The guitar was strung up and then rested. The following photographs were taken after a couple of hours of the guitar being strung,



Amit Newton

An experienced guitar tech with over 10 years of experience working on acoustic Gibsons and Martins in the Gulf region. There is nothing that cannot be repaired; the only consideration is the price at which it comes. And yet, if there is sentiment attached, no price is too high! WhatsApp/Call me: 7080475556 email me:

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