Guitar repair – Pain in the season of fails: the final chapter!

I had been noticing for a couple of years now that each year, during July and August, all glue-up jobs would take two or three tries to get done. I always attributed it to my fault somewhere in the process.

However, after two guitars this year led me quite a dance in the said two months, it suddenly struck me that it was not I but the weather that was to blame. And it had been the weather all along.

With the epiphany came the decision: NO MORE GLUE-UP JOBS IN JULY, AUGUST & SEPTEMBER!!!!!!

I guess that’s fair warning enough for all you readers and prospective clients that next year onwards, Lucknow Guitar Garage will not accept glue-up jobs in these three months. I will be happy to accept these repairs October onwards.

Out of the two guitars, one absolutely refused to be healed and had to be returned almost the way it came. Remember this?

Guitar repair – Pain in the season of fails

The saga of the other guitar follows.

This guitar came in: a simple case of bridge lifting and needing to be taken off and reglued.

It took me FOUR attempts and almost a month, no less, to get the bridge to finally hold on to the top. What I was doing wrong all the while and what I did right eventually, I don’t know.

Might I add that this was an outstation instrument and I even had to suffer the embarrassment of having called the owner to pick up his guitar, only to find the bridge yawning at me.

First time around, I took off the strings, made the owner choose new strings, told him that the artificial nut and saddle won’t do; change them to bone.

I took the bridge off and indeed not all of its footprint on the top had been cleared. Also, super glue (CA glue) had been used to keep the two together.

After both surfaces were cleaned of all the remanent of glue, good, old-fashioned wood glue was smeared over the two mating surfaces and clamped shut.

Now, I understood that being the rainy season, it would require longer for the glue to cure, and so I left the clamps on for three whole days.

In the meantime, I did the other stuff: measuring

cleaning and burnishing

putting in the bone elements and new strings

Set up the guitar to near perfection with an action so low that it even amazed me.

And after two days of staying under string tension, the bridge gave up!

The next three attempts were pretty much of the same, except I did a few things more, or, employed a different route. Nothing seemed to work. A scraper bought from the Stewart MacDonald too failed to get me success in the job.

I leave you with photographs of some of the different things that I tried.

On the third attempt, I even tried to straighten the slightly curved bridge by sanding the curve out of it. The first three photos describe that. The fourth is the Stewmac scraper.

In conclusion and to reiterate,  NO MORE GLUE-UP JOBS IN JULY, AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER!




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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