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  #1  
Old 04-19-2017, 07:07 PM
PeteD PeteD is offline
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Default Bridge Removal Question

I saw a video somewhere on Youtube of a guy who used a rag soaked in vinegar, then placed over the bridge which he steamed with a clothes iron to remove the bridge. He claims it makes the job much easier.

I have also read in other places that vinegar injected in Titebond glue joints can soften the glue for removal.

Has anyone ever tried this vinegar soaked rag and steaming approach? Would this only work with Titebond type glues, or does vinegar work on other glues as well?

I was thinking about gluing on a bridge to a scrap top and then trying this out...but don't want to waste my time if this is not recommended at all.
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Old 04-19-2017, 08:27 PM
Ben-Had Ben-Had is offline
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I've used a mixture of white vinegar and K-Y Jelly (don't laugh) to loosen braces glued on with titebond and it works well. Sounds like the same concept.
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:37 PM
redir redir is offline
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How do you know the bridge was glued on with Titebond? Heat alone should be good enough imo. A wet rag on top of the bridge will just steam off and damage the finish I would think.
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:52 PM
PeteD PeteD is offline
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I'm not sure frankly. I have a call in to the builder to try to ascertain what type of glue he probably used. Its the reason why I asked if this method might work on other glues like white, etc.

If I don't know, I would start with just heat for sure and see if that does the trick. But if I knew it were a type of glue that this would work on (and if in fact it even does work...), then I'd like to ease the job along if possible to minimize potential damage. But don't want to cause damage to the wood in the process. The finish is coming off and will be re-finished....so as long as the underlying wood is ok in the process I might be willing to try it.

Gonna glue up a couple of bridges tonight on that scrap top to see what happens with vinegar versus heat (using titebond).
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:56 PM
Ben-Had Ben-Had is offline
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Pete, if you apply heat and just take your time with the proper tools it will come off. While i might use the vinegar on a brace I would not use that method on a bridge.
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Old 04-21-2017, 06:36 AM
redir redir is offline
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YEah I would say it's not recommended at all but practicing on scrap is always a good idea even just using heat.

But it begs the question... This is a hand made guitar? What exactly is wrong with it? Why do you want to refinish it? Why remove the bridge? Why not send it back to the builder if it's broken?

FWIW I use a heat bulp in a lamp as a heat source. One of those lamps on flexible arms that you can move around. Get some thick box cardboard and make a cut out the shape of your bridge, then line the cardboard with foil and place it around the bridge so only the bridge is showing. Put the lamp about 8in away and leave it on till the wood starts smoking (barely) then ease in a very very thin knife. Back to the lamp, knife, lamp, knife and so on till it's off. You have to be real careful about runout on the top and poking the knife under the spruce fibers. Don't ever force it. Period. Just don't do it
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Old 04-21-2017, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben-Had View Post
I've used a mixture of white vinegar and K-Y Jelly (don't laugh) to loosen braces glued on with titebond and it works well. Sounds like the same concept.
I would worry that the petroleum from the K-Y could get into the wood and inhibit future gluing. If I didn't want to re-assemble those pieces of wood I guess it wouldn't be a worry.

Similarly I'm not sure I want vinegar in my wood - I mean if it's acidic and attacks organic materials (like glue), will it soak into the wood and maybe soften it slightly?

Sounds hokey to me.
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:49 AM
Ben-Had Ben-Had is offline
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Quote:
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I would worry that the petroleum from the K-Y could get into the wood
No petroleum in KY.
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:59 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redir View Post
You have to be real careful about runout on the top and poking the knife under the spruce fibers.
If there is significant runout, you'll likely want to reverse the direction of work on each half of the guitar top. That is, for half of the length of the bridge, "attack" it in one direction. For the other half of the length of the bridge go from the opposite direction. You'll need to determine which is the right direction for one half, then the other half is the opposite direction.
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