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  #1  
Old 01-18-2021, 01:59 PM
Benstang Benstang is offline
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Default Reversing a shaved bridge?

I'm new to the group here but have been learning a ton from this board over the years. now I'm hoping to get some help on a specific point.

My 1951 gibson LG2 got a bit of a bridge shave to lower the action before I took it over and could probably use a neck reset at some point soon. Its not an available item to buy a new one of course.

I know I can have one fabricated so thats an option but also thinking about recycling.

Is it reasonable to remove the bridge and install a spacer on the bottom? I want a total height increase of 0.10" and thinking to get ~ .07 of that with the bridge and the rest with a new and taller saddle. I'd use rosewood to match the bridge. There is still enough slot to hold a taller saddle, but not a very tall one.

I have a picture but its not clear how to post it (its on my computer, not on a website.)


This seems like a pretty/obvious easy fix, but I've not seen anyone ever chat about it, so maybe I'm missing something. The bridge being a little thicker should not be too big a deal as its not so wide?


Also, a separate and related question. Does a neck reset typically change the geometry enough that you need to relocate the saddle forward? Or can shaping the saddle typically get you intonated.

Thanks in advance for any ideas / inputs.
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Old 01-18-2021, 02:38 PM
Skarsaune Skarsaune is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benstang View Post
Is it reasonable to remove the bridge and install a spacer on the bottom?
....

This seems like a pretty/obvious easy fix, but I've not seen anyone ever chat about it, so maybe I'm missing something.
The reason you've never seen anyone mention it is, it's not done.

By the time you remove the original bridge, you've done half the work of replacing it with a new one.

If you can't find one that's an exact enough replica, making a bridge is a minor bit of wood working that's very common for a luthier or repair tech.


2nd question - No, neck resets don't generally involve saddle relocation.
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Old 01-18-2021, 06:34 PM
Benstang Benstang is offline
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thanks for the feedback. Not sure if "its not done will dissuade me, but it might.."

I'm comfortable with bridge removal an reinstallation and the woodworking associated with adding a flat rectangle to the bottom of a bridge and poking some holes in it. I'm less sure I can make a whole nice looking new bridge. The guitar has been refinished so its a player, not a super valuable piece.

The bridge is a good looking old piece of wood with some nice pearl markers and I'd like to keep it "in play" and I'd like to keep the extra few hundred in my pocket so I'm considering this option. I think I could make the seam look natural and if it looks like crap I'll be able to tell before I glue it.

I'm wondering if there's a technical reason why its not done...
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Old 01-18-2021, 08:11 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is online now
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There is no reason that i can think of that prevents gluing a piece of wood to the bottom of the bridge.

The Pearl dots are concealing bolts through the bridge.
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Old 01-19-2021, 12:25 AM
mirwa mirwa is offline
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No reason not too, we in the field simply hand make a new one out of one piece of wood

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Old 01-19-2021, 05:33 AM
Skarsaune Skarsaune is offline
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By all means you can. Itís just not what most folks do.

As stated, the pearl markers cover up bolts that attach the bridge to the top. Take a mirror or a cellphone and look inside for the other ends of them. Removal of the markers is usually destructive, IE, drill through them. You can buy replacement markers.

Another consideration - if the bridge has been shaved, the saddle slot is shalllower by the amount thatís been shaved off. Elevating it wonít change that. Making a taller saddle will then increase the leverage the saddle has on its slot.
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Old 01-19-2021, 06:47 AM
JonWint JonWint is offline
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Adding to the bottom may end up being more work than making a new one. First you have to find a decent matching piece of wood. Then the flat wings should be lowered, and as mentioned before, the saddle slot lowered as well. Then the end result may still look like a two-piece bridge.
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Old 01-19-2021, 08:34 AM
dbintegrity dbintegrity is offline
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OK... I have done it... it worked out fine... would I recommend it? No, it was a PIA... but wanted to keep it original. I have made bridges too... as the other folks here have said its the better way to go... it wasn't too difficult just take your time or have it done....
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Old 01-19-2021, 09:53 AM
Zigeuner Zigeuner is offline
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There is a reason that the bridge was shaved in the first place - the action was too high and the guitar needs a neck reset.

Adding wood under a shaved bridge would not be difficult, but should only be done if it fixes an action problem. That doesn't seem likely under the facts given.
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Old 01-19-2021, 11:19 AM
Benstang Benstang is offline
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Thanks all for the feedback and input. The neck adjustment is coming, that's why I'm looking at options for bringing the bridge height back up. Seems like once the bridge is off it will be easier to decide the path forward.
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Old 01-19-2021, 12:41 PM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
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The main issue has been mentioned. The wings will need to be cut down from the top so that they won't be too thick. Wings on Martin bridges are usually around 0.110", but some Gibson bridges are thinner.
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Old 01-19-2021, 07:33 PM
capohk capohk is offline
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I ended up replacing the whole thing on my '46 LG-2 for lots of the reasons above, but mainly that I would have to further shave the top to get the wings to be the right profile. As it is, I just kept the original intact and put it in the case for safekeeping.

The bridge will be BRW which may or may not be a pain to source a replacement for - IRW probably won't be a good match so maybe look for Madagascan or Cocobolo?
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Old 01-20-2021, 12:03 PM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
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Brazilian RW bridge blanks are available, if you look around.
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  #14  
Old 01-20-2021, 02:00 PM
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Frank Ford Frank Ford is offline
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We do often see that modification, although it's more often as not a bit unsightly.

I see no particular problem with adding material to the bottom of a bridge other than the cosmetic appearance. As others have said, for those of us who comfortably make replica bridges, it's potentially as time-consuming as making a new bridge, especially if we need to work on the saddle slot as well.

Interestingly, Gibson made some new stock bridges that way during the dark days of the 1970s.
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