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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been playing guitar for over 30 years but beyond changing strings, tightening tuning pegs, cleaning dead skin off of the neck, etc (regular guitar care), I have never attempted a more elaborate repair myself; preferring to leave it in the hands of a pro. However, I recently came across a beat-up Jay Turser (Jay Jr) 3/4 sized acoustic guitar with a broken peg and a raised bridge at a local thrift shop I visit (usually to find old records). 19 times out of 20 I will see something like this and it's not worth the money or repairing, however I liked the sound of it. They wanted $12, I offered $6...and they let me have it for $8 CAN...so please don't tell me to take it to a professional luthier :) I have a couple of Takamine acoustics that I will leave to the pros, but I decided to take this on as a low risk repair project.

I've done some reading and procured some granular hide glue from Lee Valley as well as 3 affordable deep throat clamps that will reach the 4 1/2 inches I need to clamp it. I've also procured a replacement white peg. I'll probably have to fashion some kind of "W" black to insert inside...I'll figure something out. I was thinking I would have to heat up a small 1" metal scraper to get the bridge completely off, but when I removed the strings and pulled out the plastic pegs (including the broken one), it came right off. It was no longer adhering in any way. I've watched a view YouTube videos since about applying the glue and clamping it down...I think I'm close to ready.

However, now that the bridge is off, the main issue seems to be that the body surface is slightly bulged. This is not just the wood burrs that were never cleaned after drilling the 6 holes; it is like the inside bracing is slightly lifted. Again, I realize that this is not an expensive guitar even brand new and so the cheap construction likely plays a part in this. Also, I have no idea how long the guitar was left strung up with tension that caused long term pulling and damage. There may also simply have been inadequate amount of glue in the first place. There were still 5 strings attached when I bought it. I tried to take pictures to demonstrate it and even have video of the bridge rocking back and forth in place.

For a guitar this cheap, I am not planning to attempt to open it up. I'm thinking I can just carefully sand the contact area flat and then glue clamp the bridge back on. As for the underside of the bridge, I would think a bit of water and vinegar should get the previous slight film of glue off (provided it's hide glue..). I'm in no rush to start as I have lots of little projects to keep me busy. If those of you with more experience have any recommendations, I would love to hear your approach.

What would you do?

IMGUR pics
 

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There is like zero chance of the previous bridge being glued with hide glue.

Not with that level of instrument.

So make sure you get below the glue or completely remove the old glue.
Sanding/ scraping/ chisel etc

Otherwise you are on the right track!

Nathan
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There is like zero chance of the previous bridge being glued with hide glue.

Not with that level of instrument.

So make sure you get below the glue or completely remove the old glue.
Sanding/ scraping/ chisel etc

Otherwise you are on the right track!

Nathan

Yeah, I suspected that these are assembly-lined out one after another with little attention to the glue application. I'll be sure to sand down adequately before bonding the two. I appreciate the feedback!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just circling back with more pics now that I've completed the repair. It took me a while to find affordable clamps and gather the glue etc. While it's far from perfect, the biggest lesson I came away with was working with hide glue. Next time I use it for anything, I plan to dilute it a bit more than the instructions directed. I found it was dripping like syrup or honey but it was still too thick and drying too quickly. There was no way I had my 3-5 minutes clamping time. I'd mix in a bit more water next time. I also now know to turn on the hot plate well in advance to give it the time to heat the surrounding water. However, I was definitely impressed with the grip (or bloom) strength. Anyway, here is the Jay Jr JJ43 IMGUR album with more pics added.
 

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Cool technique.

 

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since you're experimenting ,
a small bottle of dark red nail polish , one white and a black one .....
on a piece of white plastic bottle, mix a bit of the red with the white till the color is close then a dab of black to tone it down .... trim one of the brushes to a fairly fine tip , touch up the spots showing thru

blk magic marker the worn bridge spots.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
since you're experimenting ,
a small bottle of dark red nail polish , one white and a black one .....
on a piece of white plastic bottle, mix a bit of the red with the white till the color is close then a dab of black to tone it down .... trim one of the brushes to a fairly fine tip , touch up the spots showing thru

blk magic marker the worn bridge spots.
Hey thanks for the tip. I will give that a try!
 
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