(What is that symbol? Infinity? Ex?) A little help in the nick of time!

Just a quick one this week to keep your mind off everything going on around us – for a little while at least!

I have often made my distaste apparent about locally made instruments selling in the range of Rs 3.5 – 5.5K. However, I have also said that there are exceptions to my generalisation. I see them often enough: laminate guitars, unheard names, but they look alright and play alright.

One such instrument came to me recently with the youngster who brought it complaining of how the action of the instrument was increasing steadily. Alarm bells go off in my head as soon as I hear that and sure enough, as I checked, I found that the bridge on the instrument was lifting.

That is just a little slip of paper and the mark on it tells you how much it goes under the bridge at that point. That was approximately the average right along the bridge.

Also, in the photograph above, I wonder if you will be able to make out, the saddle is trying to fall over: a sure sign that the saddle slot is much broader than the saddle itself.

So, the first job was to try and see if I could get glue under the bridge without having to take the bridge off completely. Of course, the proper way to do it would have been to take off the bridge, clean the two mating surfaces and then glue the bridge back on. But that is serious money.

So that it was easy on the youngster, I decided to try pushing glue underneath the bridge. But this method is a hit-and-miss thing: it could work, or it may come apart in a couple of months, at which point the original method would need to be employed (thus, causing double the damage to the pocket). Here is the baby, all glued and clamped.

And, of course, something needed to be done about the tilting saddle. Why not throw it and the nut out and replace them with bone elements? Sure!

But as I pulled out the saddle, I saw something.

Yeah that plastic strip was hiding under the saddle.

Measuring the saddle, I had this much to take off

The nut, however, seemed to sit in its slot just fine (longer by a hair though).

That done, I turned my attention to the tuning machines. I tightened them and then gave them a rub with some ‘love potion’!

They turned out like this

And before I strung this baby up, I shaved the bridgepins some (stops the ball-ends of strings for catching on the ends).




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: guitarguyhelp@gmail.com

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