The bridge on this Seagull was literally falling right off. It appeared that someone had attempted to repair it but to no success (remnants of glue around the parameter of the bridge).
To be safe I used some heat to pry off the last of the bridge. It required a thorough cleaning and resurface before reinstalling. The guitar also required humidity treatment to settle the top (warped from being too dry).
I use a super sharp chisel to clean off the glue and prep the gluing surfaces. Once the glue is removed, I score both surfaces for better glue adhesion. Then I glue and clamp the bridge for a few days before stringing it up and getting it back to the customer.
This old Regal's bridge had been pullup up off the soundboard for years. Because of this, the bridge itself has actually warped and will need to be treated before it can be reinstalled. The guitar also has numerous cracks needing repair.
These guitars weren't top quality to start with so removing the bridge shouldn't be a problem. You can see in the pictures that there are two screws that need to be removed first. Once removed it pried right off. No heat needed (never force off a bridge- always use heat as required).
To treat the bridge, I soak it and press it back into shape. This will insure it seats on the guitar properly. Before gluing, score the underside of the bridge and guitar to to give the glue a better hold.
You can see, even from this view- that bridge is lifting off the corner. This particular bridge is lifting due to the instrument being too dry, causing the top to belly upward excessively. The pics below show in more detail. Apparently the bridge had been repaired prior, although I couldn't see any sign of it. All that had been left were scratch marks and glue residue.
After removing the bridge it had to be planed flat again. The second picture shows how badly warped it is. The areas unaffected by the sanding are warped upward significantly (several millimeters). After tons of elbow grease, I got 'er planed flat again - ready to be reinstalled.
This reglue was a challenge mainly because of the shape of the bridge. All the protruding edges have the tendency to pull upwards on a bulged top (or a top less than flat). I was successful in reseating the bridge - using epoxy for it's strength. Anything less would not work.
Similar to the last post, this bridge was lifting due to a bellied top. Someone had attempted to fix it (poorly). It wasn't seated very well after the fact. You can see all the separation in the pics below.
Usually a bridge will require some heat to soften up the glue for removal, but not this one! I had prepared to use heat (hence the water), but as soon as I put in my palette knife, if popped right off! The white inlaid dots covers bolts that keep the bridge seated (normally). I'm going to use those bolts to line up the bridge when I reglue it.
After removal, I'm going to clean the footprint of the bridge for a good string glue joint. I use a low tack tape around the area and cut out the bridge outline with an exacto knife. This also cuts the lacquer around the footprint of the bridge so after cleaning the area, it makes total contact with the top.
Glue and clamp back into place
The reglue was successful, mating the bridge with the top 100%. I torque down the bolts, reinstall the white dots - restring and setup. Turned out great!
This old Gibson came in with a few different problems. First off the bridge was lifting and the owner was concerned that it would get worse. After looking inside I could also see how chewed up the bridge plate was. It was so bad that it wasn't holding the ball ends of the strings very well any more. As you can see in the pic, that bridge plate hugs the bracing perfectly, which would make removing it incredibly difficult. I chose to use a Plate Mate, which could only improve the sound of the guitar. The Plate Mate is a brass plate that covers over the bridge plate - alleviating the need to remove it altogether. The other issue was a severely bellied top (the reason why the bridge was lifting). The bellied top made the action quite high. I only know of a couple ways to correct a bellied top, and chose to install a JLD Bridge Dr.
First trick in removing this bridge was to heat it up with an iron so that the glue melts enough to slice through it with a palette knife. This bridge was a breeze to remove.
What I discovered when I removed the bridge, was that it was cracked! Right along the saddle slot (from the stress of the bellied top). Now we need to replace the bridge as well.
After gluing (hyde glue) and clamping, I install the Plate Mate, and JLD BRidge Dr. Now these two devices aren't necessarily designed to work together, but with a little modification it worked, and worked well! I honestly have never heard a Gibson Acoustic with more tone and volume then this one after all that work was done! Played great too!