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Thread: How do I remove a superglued bridge?

  1. #26
    Registered User Wes Brandt's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I remove a superglued bridge?

    Or you can try this.

    Use spray adhesive to glue aluminum foil to 4 pieces of regular or extra thick, "quality" corrugated cardboard. Or in this case, make one piece and cut a slot the size of the bridge base.

    Arrange around the bridge, using weights, low tack tape etc. (the cardboard itself acts as insulation)

    Get a 250 watt infrared bulb, put it in your swing-arm lamp, position 3 inches above bridge for 5 to 7, 8, 9 etc minutes... until it's too hot to touch. Quickly turn off bulb, remove cardboard and ...Carefully insert "separating" tool (super thin artists pallet knife?) into glued joint and work it.

    I suspect some finish may come off with the CA in this case, but I use this system all the time to remove guitar bridges, fingerboards... etc. doing half of a bridge at a time or moving along a fingerboard a 4 or 5 inch section at a time.

    You can easily use many configurations of cardboard, like to cover the binding along a fingerboard edge and not be as likely to melt it or cover a 1/8" perimeter around guitar bridges so you don't heat the top finish ....I have a Martin bridge shape cut into one edge of a piece and for the odd shapes of the back of some bridges, I stuff in loose foil to fill the gaps. I have specially ground, former putty knives, that I dip in hot water to separate hide or yellow glues... just a tiny bit of water goes a long way.

    Having said all this... I myself would probably try whacking it a few times first... either way I think the finish will be damaged.



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  2. #27
    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I remove a superglued bridge?

    Seven iron? Nine iron?

  3. #28
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: How do I remove a superglued bridge?

    If you want to practice removal without damage to finish I'd suggest carving the bridge away very carefully and scrape away the rest with thin flexible scraper blade. I removed many things glued to soundboards with CA and often the damage done by the glue alone is just on the surface, and is easily polished or lightly sanded flat and polished clean. Even if CA eats into finish it blends nicely with natural finishes. Often CA is used to fill dents in finishes. The other methods would work fine but may lead to some damage to finish or wood that will be harder to repair. The choice of method is yours.
    Adrian

  4. #29

    Default oops

    Last edited by rico mando; May-04-2012 at 9:18am. Reason: wrong thread .

  5. #30
    Registered User Leroy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I remove a superglued bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by belbein View Post
    Leroy: It does help. I wondered about using heat. I may try it. The only question I have now is ... what's a "silicon heat pad"? (Hot damn, more things to buy!)
    Here is a photo of what I did to remove the fretboard. The heat pads are most often used to aid in bending the sides of acoustic instruments. A rheostat regulates the heat output.

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    Some of you seem to think I was suggesting that this is the way to remove belbein's bridge. I only offered this example to show that heat will liquify the CA glue. StewMac sells a bridge heater and finger board iron for doing this type of work on guitars. Something like that might work for him. Refinishing, at least, the top is probably going to be necessary no matter what is used to remove the bridge.

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    Leroy Beal

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    Eat it all, use it up, wear it out

  6. #31
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I remove a superglued bridge?

    FWIW, I use heat to separate guitar bridges fairly regularly, and to remove fingerboards from time to time. Heat will melt superglue, but it has to be HOT!, and the finish may not survive. Knocking the bridge base loose (as I suggested) may remove finish, but the fact is, removing mandolin bridges removes finish more often that we'd like anyway because the finish sometimes adheres to the bottom of the bridge, so touch up of the finish is not that uncommon anyway. Knocking the bridge base loose may simply sheer the superglue and leave the finish intact. As I see it, "the hammer" would be the method least likely to cause damage, for me.

    Also, FWIW, superglue will withstand so much heat that I recently used it to glue some small cracks in a set of guitar sides I was bending. I glued the cracks, let the superglue cure, then bent the sides over the hot pipe as usual and the glued cracks stayed glued, no problem.

  7. #32
    Just another picker Andy Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I remove a superglued bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by sunburst View Post
    Also, FWIW, superglue will withstand so much heat that I recently used it to glue some small cracks in a set of guitar sides I was bending. I glued the cracks, let the superglue cure, then bent the sides over the hot pipe as usual and the glued cracks stayed glued, no problem.
    Bob Benedetto talks about doing that in his archtop DVDs. I was a little surprised to hear it. Then a couple of months later, I cracked a maple side and put that advice to work!

  8. #33
    Just another picker Andy Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I remove a superglued bridge?

    And to the OP - I've removed things with a lot bigger footprint than a mandolin bridge from a poly finish using acetone to soften superglue. But you really have to slop it in there and it takes some time. If you choose the solvent route, test the solvent/finish interaction on an inconspicuous area first. Then it's gloves, respirator, well-ventilated area!

  9. #34
    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I remove a superglued bridge?

    UPDATE (Pictures to follow): First I tried a few gentle raps. No dice.

    Then I attached a sharp Xacto knife to my wood-burning tool, hoping to melt the glue. This was more effective: at least it managed to melt the finish, but not the glue.

    So then I tried a couple of sharp raps. The first two or three had no effect. The next one split the bridge. The next few after that (these were of the "Oh, f$%# it" variety) took the bridge off. And all coats of finish under, around and near the bridge.

    What did this teach me about removing super-glued bridges? That a sledgehammer is the best bet. Luckily this was an instrument I'm just planning on disassembling, reassembling, and refinishing, just for the fun of the thing. (?)

  10. #35
    ...but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I remove a superglued bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by belbein View Post
    What did this teach me about removing super-glued bridges? That a sledgehammer is the best bet.
    What does this teach the guy who super-glued it? That it is wise to try and comprehend an unknown construction concept before blindly messing it up with ignorance, or else a sledgehammer is not far away. Works not just with instruments but with virtually everything in life.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

  11. #36
    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I remove a superglued bridge?

    "Teach the guy who glued it"? You have to be kidding me. He's a guitar player. He's never gonna learn nuttin' 'bout nuttin'.

    (Guitar players: Just kidding. My other instrument is a banjo. I have no moral highground on ignorance.)

    Seriously--at my advanced age, I have come to the conclusion that 99.875% of people DO NOT learn from their mistakes, because they see mistakes as things to bury and ignore. With three exceptions, humans are mistake-phobic. The exceptions: (1) scientists (thank you, Dr. Dave); (2) artisans (into which class I put all of you) and (3) musicians ("mistakes"=jazz).

  12. #37
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    Default Re: How do I remove a superglued bridge?

    How about removing the saddle and threaded bits, and applying solvent through the remaining holes. Should weaken the glue from the inside of the bond. then work the outside of the joint with a blade. Might help to open the hole in the saddle prior to adding the solvent.

  13. #38
    Café habitué Paul Hostetter's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I remove a superglued bridge?

    Perhaps I haven't read patiently enough through all the responses so far, but to me the most effective and time-saving solution would be to skip the obvious hazards of heat and chemicals and just remove the bridge in the form of particles. Saw it to pieces, chisel it, whatever it takes, abrade the final millimeter of the feet until there's nothing left, then fit a new bridge.
    .
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  14. #39
    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I remove a superglued bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Hostetter View Post
    Perhaps I haven't read patiently enough through all the responses so far, but to me the most effective and time-saving solution would be to skip the obvious hazards of heat and chemicals and just remove the bridge in the form of particles. Saw it to pieces, chisel it, whatever it takes, abrade the final millimeter of the feet until there's nothing left, then fit a new bridge.
    And now we know Paul. And knowing is half the battle. Believe this was one of the four ways suggested to remove it. (hammer, heat, solvent and plane it off) Lessoned learned; If bridge Super Glued= plane and scrape.

    On to the next problem.... As Bob the Builder says; "Can we fix it, Yes we can!!" (Oh, what ya learn from a 2 year old.... )

  15. #40
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    Default Re: How do I remove a superglued bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim simpson View Post
    This thread is very timely. I just finished setting up an old generic (Supertone?) flat top mandolin for a bandmate. It was missing a nut plus it needed a lot of other things attended to. I discovered that the bridge on this one had been glued to the top. I tried a number of good raps on it but it showed no signed of loosening. I checked the intonation and fortunately it's close enough to leave alone. I did lower the action on the bridge by sanding down and reslotting. I guess I could have planed off the existing bridge and started over had the intonation not been off. I just can't imagine gluing down a floating bridge.
    Jim, I also have and old Supertone ref: Dad's old mandolin, and I wish I was so lucky. Due, I expect, to the poor storage of this 85-90 year old instrument, it appears, from the marks on the finish, that the bridge has 'slipped' some, unfortunately in definitely the wrong direction - toward the tuner of the 'G' strings. I have discovered that the finish is a shellac base, but have no idea what might be holding the bridge so tightly to the top... any ideas? Billl

  16. #41
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I remove a superglued bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by belbein View Post
    Luckily this was an instrument I'm just planning on disassembling, reassembling, and refinishing, just for the fun of the thing. (?)
    Are you having fun yet?

    Guitar players... gotta love 'em! I could tell hair-raising stories about the (fortunately brief) encounters guitar players have had with my mando-kin instruments... ya gotta watch those people like a hawk! (shudder!)

    bratsche

  17. #42
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    Default Re: How do I remove a superglued bridge?

    325 degrees is overkill. CA begin to fail at 180 degrees. By contrast, epoxy fails at 142 and hot hide at 145 if I remember right. That being said, I believe Paul is correct that your best chance at saving the finish is careful piece by piece physical removal.
    Don

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  18. #43
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    Default Re: How do I remove a superglued bridge?

    Regarding whacking the bridge:
    The bridge, being maple, will perhaps survive the blow but the top being spruce may not be lucky... I suspect the strong possibility that the bridge may rip the spruce up as the bridge moves (tips).... I would use a model saw with a very thin fine toothed blade and cut the bridge close to the mando face. and then use sand paper for the remainder of the removal. You'll want to destroy as little of the spruce top as possible and in this case it is just a matter of refinishing the bare area. If you are super careful with your sanding then the new non-glued bridge should cover up the great majority of the spot where the old bridge was. But in any case I think this would be easier on the face of the mando. the major problem will be matching the original color of the mando face. The new bridge may cover most, but probably not all, of the sanded area under the bridge.
    Bart McNeil

  19. #44
    Registered User Rob Grant's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I remove a superglued bridge?

    Might I venture to suggest another, more "organic" solution to this vexing problem...

    Here in FNQ we have several species of termites that not only relish fine timbers, but will actually consume some types of plastics and rubber. Perhaps I could train a small mob to consume only the offending bridge and possibly the acrylic adhesive while avoiding the nitro finish below?

    Let me know and I will commence the necessary training immediately.<G>
    Rob Grant
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  20. #45
    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I remove a superglued bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Grant View Post
    several species of termites I will commence the necessary training immediately.<G>
    Can they remove politicians, too? Because we"ve certainly got a bunch...

    I have to say that I was shocked to see this thread revived. I originally posted it a year ago. In the interim I've finished my first mandolin, started an acoustic bass guitar, finished an Octave mandolin, and mostly recovered from a knee replacement. That poor sacrificial
    mandolin is long forgotten.

    Though of course the suggestions are still great!
    belbein

    Its all about tigers playing Bach on the harpsichord.

  21. #46
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    Default Re: How do I remove a superglued bridge?

    so what happened?

    kfh

  22. #47
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    Default Re: How do I remove a superglued bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim simpson View Post
    This thread is very timely. I just finished setting up an old generic (Supertone?) flat top mandolin for a bandmate. It was missing a nut plus it needed a lot of other things attended to. I discovered that the bridge on this one had been glued to the top. I tried a number of good raps on it but it showed no signed of loosening. I checked the intonation and fortunately it's close enough to leave alone. I did lower the action on the bridge by sanding down and reslotting. I guess I could have planed off the existing bridge and started over had the intonation not been off. I just can't imagine gluing down a floating bridge.
    Thank God, Dad didn't glue the bridge of my Supertone down. All it took was some gentle coaxing from a 'chisel-tip' xacto knife to break it loose. And, yes, I will put it back on the right way, even though there doesn't seem to be any 'canting'. Now, Dad might have painted the whole thing 'Sea Foam' green, as he did most everything else; God rest his soul...Billl

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