Monday, April 27, 2015

Further work on the guitar project

You may remember the work I did earlier with a friend on his flea market $3 special 12 string Guitar project ? There was some broken or loose ribs under causing the top to caved in under the stress of the strings. Well after a while our reglued job on the ribs failed and the bridge is once more pulling out, so time for a more drastic approach.

The bridge pulling out caused by the failure of the ribs under the soundboard.

My friend Mark carefully cutting around the side purfling in preparation to unglued the bottom.

Then it was a matter of applying heat and steam on the side to remove the plastic purfling.

Which was then removed with a chisel 

Once completely removed we applied the heat to the back, 
we now have access to the sides of the back. 

The back removed, yes it was a bit messy, it is a plywood bottom, but we did it. 
Just keep in mind its a $3 guitar and we are strict amateurs :-)

With the bottom of the top exposed we can now assess the damages. Someone drilled thru the braces in an attempt to bolt down the bridge. Failed! Not only is the bridge still pulling out, the brace has cracked and is becoming unglued, causing the top to sag under pressures and making matter worse.

The good news is, the brace was easy to separate from the top. Now its time to make new braces.
Hopefully we can get the the top flat again.


  1. Bob do you know who the patron saint of lost causes is? I think with that bottom being plywood and not a solid piece of wood that regluing and making new ribs isn't going to last. Still, you have my curious attention to see if this works out. For $3 I would probably do the same thing. (St Jude is the patron of lost causes BTW)

  2. I found some issues similar to those you guys encontered.
    I got a broken guitar for free, and i embrasse that lost cause as well. It turns out I fix it, polish (kind of :) ) and it was got for my step-daugher first tunes.

    A few weeks ago the guitar won't tune properly. So we found that the bridge is getting to much stress and is pushing the top, and also some inicial glue is failling.

    It's time for another fix or maybe... a new guitar! lol
    Never the less That's a great fun project!

    Carry on

  3. LOL, yap, maybe a lost cause, but I'm learning new skills as I go along. I certainly would not be trying this on a real expensive guitar (my wife had a C.F. Martin for years) but heh, for a modest $3, we are having fun in the shop, reading about it, then trying it. Will see how this shake out in the end.
    Bob, the eternal optimist.

  4. Very cool to hear that someone else is going to similar tribulations :-)
    Even if your guitar and my friend's one don't work out in the end, it is still fun to give it a try isn't it :-)
    Carry on indeed! Good luck