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Old 03-25-2015, 08:30 PM
chris.gotfunk chris.gotfunk is offline
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Default Need help - Hairline Bridge Crack

Hey guys. This is my first post and being a member of the Talkbass community, I figured I'd check here and see the input I can get.

I recently picked up a Martin OMJM (used), but after I got it home, I noticed a hairline crack in the bridge. Below are pics of the crack and the bridge plate. Is this severe and need immediate repair? How much should I expect to pay for a repair/replacement (if needed)?

I was informed by a friend that it may have cracked due to lack of being humidified properly. I thought the bridge crack was cause by someone pushing the pins in too far since the crack runs centerline along the holes in the bridge.

Your thoughts and advice are much appreciated. I love this guitar and it's my first "real" acoustic guitar and I don't want to have to return it.



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Old 03-25-2015, 08:52 PM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
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This can usually be repaired with thin CA (super glue) and a little bit of ebony dust. It is not an expensive repair.
This is not usually cause by low humidity. Pushing the pins in too far is a possible cause, but soft plastic pins do not add much force. Bone pins are a different story. The overwhelming cause is 150+ pounds of string tension, acting on a piece of brittle wood (ebony) with six holes in it.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:18 PM
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fazool fazool is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris.gotfunk View Post
Hey guys. This is my first post and being a member of the Talkbass community, I figured I'd check here and see the input I can get. ...
Well, here's one....this isn't Talkbass, but welcome.

I am assuming you simply copy-pasted your first intro from Talkbass.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:21 PM
chris.gotfunk chris.gotfunk is offline
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Originally Posted by fazool View Post
Well, here's one....this isn't Talkbass, but welcome.

I am assuming you simply copy-pasted your first intro from Talkbass.
Sorry. I wasn't too clear. I meant to imply that the two sites are identical in form and layout trying to give credibility that I wasn't a troll or anything. I've got the same username over there too.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:23 PM
chris.gotfunk chris.gotfunk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
This can usually be repaired with thin CA (super glue) and a little bit of ebony dust. It is not an expensive repair.
This is not usually cause by low humidity. Pushing the pins in too far is a possible cause, but soft plastic pins do not add much force. Bone pins are a different story. The overwhelming cause is 150+ pounds of string tension, acting on a piece of brittle wood (ebony) with six holes in it.
John. Thank you for the response. I'm hoping that's really the case. I don't want to take it back but I also don't want something that's got permanent damage if it was dried out.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by chris.gotfunk View Post
Sorry. I wasn't too clear. I meant to imply that the two sites are identical in form and layout trying to give credibility that I wasn't a troll or anything. I've got the same username over there too.
Ahhh OK gotcha.
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:10 PM
phavriluk phavriluk is offline
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I think the OP is owed a new bridge if he keeps the guitar, professionally installed. Speaking only for myself, I couldn't feel comfortable over paying for an instrument, finding it had a serious flaw, and being satisfied with home remedies as repairs. A broken bridge doesn't heal and I think it would have a serious effect on resale value, it sure would for me if I was shopping for such an instrument.
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Old 03-26-2015, 02:19 AM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
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Quote:
Speaking only for myself, I couldn't feel comfortable over paying for an instrument, finding it had a serious flaw, and being satisfied with home remedies as repairs.
I am not recommending a home remedy.

Quote:
A broken bridge doesn't heal and I think it would have a serious effect on resale value, it sure would for me if I was shopping for such an instrument.
The repair should be permanent and completely invisible.
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:36 AM
Tom West Tom West is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phavriluk View Post
Speaking only for myself, I couldn't feel comfortable over paying for an instrument, finding it had a serious flaw, and being satisfied with home remedies as repairs. A broken bridge doesn't heal and I think it would have a serious effect on resale value, it sure would for me if I was shopping for such an instrument.
Just to put this in perspective, I would think John A. has repaired dozens of bridges with this problem. He is a professional and knows guitars and repair work. The truth is if you or anyone else has bought a used guitar it may well have a bridge that is repaired in the manner John quotes and not even know it. Sorry to hit back about this but the " home remedies" remark was a bit out of line.
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:09 AM
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I've known people to have guitars with cracks like that that go unfixed for many many years. I'm not saying you don't need to worry about it, you should get it fixed but it's not a severe as you may thing. JA's method is what I would do in this case as well. No need to remove the bridge. The great thing about ebony is that it is so easy to hide the repairs.
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:40 AM
chris.gotfunk chris.gotfunk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
I am not recommending a home remedy.



The repair should be permanent and completely invisible.
John. thank you again. I agree. Many of the people I've spoken with stated the same thing. I'm re-hydrating the guitar now to get it back to about 45%-47% humidity before I take it in for repair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom West View Post
Just to put this in perspective, I would think John A. has repaired dozens of bridges with this problem. He is a professional and knows guitars and repair work. The truth is if you or anyone else has bought a used guitar it may well have a bridge that is repaired in the manner John quotes and not even know it. Sorry to hit back about this but the " home remedies" remark was a bit out of line.
Tom
Tom. I couldn't agree more. After doing a lot of research, it appears that while it isn't common for this to happen to all guitars, it is a relatively common thing. Most I've seen and researched are much more severe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redir View Post
I've known people to have guitars with cracks like that that go unfixed for many many years. I'm not saying you don't need to worry about it, you should get it fixed but it's not a severe as you may thing. JA's method is what I would do in this case as well. No need to remove the bridge. The great thing about ebony is that it is so easy to hide the repairs.
Thank you. I'm thinking the same thing. I'll get it repaired once I get the guitar re-hydrated and checked out by a really good tech. My biggest concern would have been if any extra damage could have been done to the bracing or top from the lack of being humidified properly.
I appreciate the input.
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  #12  
Old 03-26-2015, 10:02 AM
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I'm not a pro, but I'm fairly handy and have a pretty good eye for detail and spotting repairs. I've fixed several similar cracks over the years and I usually can't find the the repair even though I know where it is (was). None of my few such repairs have ever failed.

I'd expect to pay $50 or less for repair, perhaps nothing if the shop where you bought it has a good repairman.

Probably $100 or more to replace the bridge.

It bothers me a little that the crack extends into the wing, but I'd still rather have it repaired than replaced. Pulling a bridge is not rocket science, but there's certainly more risk than repairing the existing bridge in place.
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Old 03-26-2015, 12:53 PM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
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Quote:
I've known people to have guitars with cracks like that that go unfixed for many many years.
I would take care to loosen the strngs until it is repaired, simply because the crack does extend past the holes.
Quote:
Just to put this in perspective, I would think John A. has repaired dozens of bridges with this problem.
More.
I average 8-10 of these repairs a year, over the last 31 years. You do the math.
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Old 03-26-2015, 01:18 PM
Tom West Tom West is offline
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John: I was tempted to say hundreds but thought that might be over the top. So between 248 to 310 individual or 20.6 doz to 25.8 doz.
Tom
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  #15  
Old 03-26-2015, 01:33 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd Yates View Post
Probably $100 or more to replace the bridge.
Unless one can find a drop-in replacement, more like $250.
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