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View Full Version : Removing a glued bridge



eleuke
10-11-2009, 02:28 PM
Well, my good friend decided to repair his old Kamaka tenor himself when the bridge snapped off. This makes the third older Kamaka that glue has failed on I've seen. Is this a known problem with Kamaka's? Or are these folks just leaving their ukes in the car parked in the Hawaiian sun too long? Anyway, he glued it back on himself and, of course, it's in the wrong place so the intonation is off. It's also starting to lift as he didn't get good glue coverage and didn't clamp properly. Unfortunately, where the glue did stick, it stuck hard. So how does one go about removing it? How much heat would one need? The soundboard on this uke is VERY thin and has separated at the bookmatch joint to make things even more delicate. I really don't want to make things worse. So, how much heat and from what source? I asked him what kind of glue he used and he didn't know. That's kind of scary... Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated...

Philstix
10-11-2009, 09:45 PM
Its hard to give advice without knowing what kind of glue. Since it is coming up in several places you should be able to see some of the glue. What does it look like? If it is carpenters glue hot water or steam will soften the glue. If it is an epoxy or similar glue water won't help. Either way I would use a thin bladed, round pointed pallette knife to gently work between the bridge and the top. Protect the top with thin card board and don't be in a hurry. You can heat the knife with boiling water. Most other ways to heat the bridge will also heat the top and you already have a problem with the top separating. Before you try this make every effort to identify the glue. The kind of glue used is the biggest determiner of what method you should use. Another issue is the finish. Heat can really mess it up. Hence the cardboard. Check back with any more info you can get about the glue.

eleuke
10-12-2009, 07:31 PM
Thanks, Philstix...

There were glue squeeze outs at the front of the bridge and it does look and feel like some kind of wood glue, not epoxy or the like. I'll try your hot knife trick tomorrow. Sounds like a good approach. Wish me luck...

Timbuck
10-13-2009, 07:43 AM
I just get a chisel... and remove the bridge in slices and remove the last thin bit with a soldering iron..Then make and fit a new bridge.

eleuke
10-13-2009, 09:00 AM
Yes, that would do, but this is a 40 year old Kamaka and besides the bridge problem, it's in pretty good shape, so I really want to save and reuse the original. All original would put it around $600. A replaced bridge would reduce the value significantly. Still, thanks for the tip. I'm sure I'll get a chance to use it on something else... I'll definately file that one away for when I'll need it in the future...

Matt Clara
10-13-2009, 09:04 AM
Yes, that would do, but this is a 40 year old Kamaka and besides the bridge problem, it's in pretty good shape, so I really want to save and reuse the original. All original would put it around $600. A replaced bridge would reduce the value significantly. Still, thanks for the tip. I'm sure I'll get a chance to use it on something else... I'll definately file that one away for when I'll need it in the future...

Has anyone gotten a quote from Kamaka?

eleuke
10-13-2009, 09:13 AM
The owner is dirt poor, like me. That's why I'm helping him. I'm not a pro or anything. I just enjoy the work and I do it for free. Otherwise, it would probably never get done.