Removing and Re-glueing a Bridge… 1966 Epiphone Texan
This 60s Epiphone Texan came into the shop with a bridge that was starting to lift from the body. It was time to reglue the bridge to prevent the top of the guitar from further damage. During these years Gibson (and their Epiphones) had an adjustable saddle and two bolts that are hidden underneath pearl dots. This hardware needed to be removed before removing the bridge.
Once the hardware is removed, I heat the bridge to soften the remaining glue joint. I gently clamp the heating pad to the bridge. It only takes a few minutes to soften the glue. This also will melt the glue that holds the pearl dots in place. At this time dots and bolts can be removed without damage to the bridge.
Next a thin spatula is used to remove the bridge. I work carefully and pay close attention to the grain of the top. It is also a good idea to use a very thin piece of plastic as a top protector to prevent any damage to the finish around the bridge. It didn’t take much to remove this bridge since it was glued directly to the finish. I will now remove the finish and glue the bridge directly to the raw spruce.
After the finish and any old glue from the bridge has been removed it’s time to re-glue. It is always important to have all clamps and cauls ready to go especially when using fresh hot Hide glue. I always dry clamp first to see if everything fits and lines up correctly. Hide glue sets up quickly and I don’t want any surprises.
After the bridge is clamped with the bridge plate and bridge cauls in place any glue squeeze out is cleaned up with warm water. After the glue has dried all hardware will be installed and the guitar will be ready for strings. In this case the guitar needs other work so that will have to wait…