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How to repair/fill Bridge-to-Body Holes

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by TopJimmy, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. TopJimmy


    Feb 22, 2008
    Aurora CO
    By this I mean the screwholes that hold the bridge down to the body. When I took the old bridge off to replace it, I saw about 4 sets of 5 holes, each very close to one another and thus I cannot screw the new bridge in without filling it somehow. It is not a direct fit to the old one. What do you guys recommend I use or do? Wood Putty? Thanks in Advance.

    Edit>>> Im also looking 4 a talented top notch/reasonable rate refretter in the metro Wash dc area just in case any are reading this forum right now. I need a refret on a 5 string.
  2. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    In the past I have used wood putty and touch up paint of a very close color, worked alright for me.
    Maybe one of the luthiers on TB, will have a better solution than that.
  3. I'd want to go for something a little stronger than wood putty for holding a bridge firmly in place. Either cut some wood dowels to fit and glue in or fill with epoxy before rescrewing.
  4. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    1. Putty is more or less o.k. for cosmetic repairs. It offers NO structural integrity. It should not be used in or near the new bridge holes.

    2. Dowel rods are better. But they offer only end grain for the new screw holes. Anyone who has had a screw eye pull out of a handle knows that it just doesn't work. When the forces the strings exert on the bridge are considered it obviously a prescription for disaster. They are o.k. near the new bridge holes but should not be used in the holes themselves.

    3. For attaching a bridge, the plugs should be cut from a similar species with the grain in the same orientation as the body. This is the only way to have sure, safe fit. It might offer some tone dividends, too. Maybe.
  5. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    The only other good way is bigger screws, but what you could also do is put in some machine screw inserts...
  6. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Bigger screws is a good idea when they will fit through the bridge holes, given that the nearby holes are filled with wood so as to not allow a collapse of the newly enlarged hole.

    Threaded inserts are deluxe. The downside is that the installation requires a special tool. Even more importantly, the inserts must be precisely located for the screws and the bridge to mate up perfectly. A drill press is highly recommended.
  7. TopJimmy


    Feb 22, 2008
    Aurora CO
    Thanks for the info guys. I hear you on the bigger screws but they wouldnt fit through the bridge holes. Looks like Im gonna have to fill all the other holes in. When I had mentioned wood putty, I actually meant wood epoxy. I remember last year I had to fix a rotted doorjam and bought this stuff called "quikwood" at home depot. I let it set and man it was so rock-hard when it cured that I had to pull out the 60-grit sand paper and the belt sander to get it flush. I don't know if it can be screwed though. On the website, it says it can be machined, is that similar? You can take a look here and see what you think. I dont know, maybe it would work well for all the guys on here with strap issues:

  8. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006

    Even if (and it just ain't) strong enough, how do you propose to get this putty to the bottom of the hole? A partial fill is the best most folks will be able to accomplish with a clay-like product such as this. Same goes for strap button repairs.

    It might be advisable for to have this instrument repaired by a pro.
  9. TopJimmy


    Feb 22, 2008
    Aurora CO
    I hereby propose I would compact it in with a stainless steel chopstick until fully compressed to 200 psi. :bag:
  10. dman_113

    dman_113 Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

    Nov 4, 2007
    I would use a two part liquid epoxy myself, I filled and drilled my strap button holes and it worked like a champ.

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