Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Removing Martin Bridge Pad With Steam

I'll give you a warning up front.  You may not want to see the pictures here if you're squeamish.

But having said that, I'll tell you that it's actually not as bad as it looks.

So I steamed the bridge plate (I'll have the Steamed Bridge Plate, please) and it's working!  I had to bite the bullet since I had already done a hack job figured on plugging the old bridge holes in the top.  And I had some extra holes in the bottom of the bridge plate.

After I steamed the plate from the top via the new access holes I had drilled, I cut a between the string holes with one of my new chisels so I could insert a removal knife. 

It went in easily, and I could really get behind it and push, which I just couldn't do from underneath.

It looks awful, but again, it will be patched, and it will be stronger than it was.   And of course, the repair will be hidden under the new bridge.

I got the knife all the way in and freed up the whole center of the plate.  Finally, success!

The bad news is the outside edges are still firmly attached to the top.  I'm going to have to drill a couple more holes on the outer edges so I can get the steamer nozzle out to them.

Martin stopped using hide glue on a regular basis in 1964, and began using aliphatic glue (Titebond). But I think they actually may have used concrete on this particular guitar.  I've steamed the plate a number of times, and I'm amazed that the outside edges won't come free yet.

As with most of this sort of repair, I just be patient and stop when I get stuck on a problem.  That usually works out well.  I'm really encouraged by this progress.

The Complete Martin Guitar Restoration Saga
Restoration begins
Repairing heel break
DIY chisel for bridge plate removal
DIY bridge plate removal iron, Pt.1
DIY bridge plate removal iron, Pt.2
Steam removal of bridge plate (This page)
Bridge plate removed
Tongue brace removal
Crack repair and brace scallop
New bridge plate Pt. 1
New bridge plate Pt. 2
Patching hole in top
Final fitting of top patch
Installing carbon fiber rod
Fret removal
Fingerboard crack repair, Pt. 1
Fingerboard crack repair, Pt. 2
DIY fret bender tool
Refretting Pt. 1
Refretting Pt. 2
Tuner shaft repair
Neck reset - dovetail fitting
Measuring neck set with DIY jig
Gluing the neck with hide glue
Tortoloid Pickguard
Fitting bridge pins
Brace reglue
Making bone saddle
Making a buffalo horn nut
Restoration completed


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