View Full Version : Restoration Question - Removing Bridge

09-15-2011, 08:54 AM
I have an old Silvertone Baritone that needs some restoration. I like the sound of the instrument, but it looks pretty rough.

I am going to refinish it with lacquer.

The bridge is a mess!! The holes are all shot and the saddle is in need of replacement too. I'll probably make a bridge or order one from StewMac. The string spacing and height of their bridge is the same.

The question is how to remove the old bridge without tearing up the top. It is actually solid wood.


09-15-2011, 10:18 AM
Try this page from Frank Ford:


09-15-2011, 10:27 AM
If you aren't tooled up like Frank is, and if you're asking this question then I'm presuming your not, you can also find appropriate tools around the house. Glues release with heat and you need a way of getting the heat into the bridge but not the rest of the top. You can make a cardboard mask to protect the top that has only the bridge poking through. Cover the cardboard with al-foil. Use a heat gun or hair drier to heat up the bridge. You have to keep testing how hot you've got the bridge. By hand works just fine. It takes a little bit for the heat to transfer through to the glue underneath. Once up to temp. you use a pallet knife or fine spatula to very gently work under the edge of the bridge. If glued on with HHG originally dip the pallet knife in water to help release the glue.

It's one of those things that is a little hard to explain, but once done is relatively easy.

09-16-2011, 06:58 AM
It might be easier to cut it off if you're going to replace it. Chisel to remove most, plane to take it down almost to the top, then scraping with a chisel to remove the last fraction.

Michael N.
09-16-2011, 07:53 AM
I think you will be safer with a very sharp Block Plane. Chisels can easily slip through the. . . Top! Even with a Plane you need to take care.

09-16-2011, 08:45 PM
Allen's method is perfect for hobby/home restoration. Here's a video of a very slightly more "tooled up" method, but Alans's technique will do the job just as well.