reseating Martin bridge To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
31 messages

reseating Martin bridge

22 Oct 04 - 08:08 AM (#1303759)
Subject: reseating Martin bridge
From: mkebenn

I own a '71 D35, and the bridge is pulling away from the body. Any guesses on how much to expect to pay to get this done right? I am the original owner, but don't ask me for a 33 year old receipt, don't fancy shippin' her to Pennsylvania anyway.Thanks in advance. Mike

22 Oct 04 - 08:22 AM (#1303772)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: Leadfingers

I would suggest a first point of call would be your nearest Martin dealer , IF your guitar was registered to you on purchase Martin OUGHT to have a record of it , so the local dealer would be where I would start . I still have my letter from Christian Martin III thanking me for buying one of his guitars - And that was in 1970 !!

22 Oct 04 - 08:22 AM (#1303773)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: Bobert

I don't have a clue on the cosr but:

1. You might be able to get an after the fact Certificate of Original Ownership from Martin. They have some records also and if you know where you purchased the guitar that would be very helpful. They have been known to issue the Certificate with an affidavid.

2. You don't have to send it to Nazareth, Pa. since Martin has a long list of lutherers who can perform warrenty work.

3. Call Martin on 1 & 2.


22 Oct 04 - 08:42 AM (#1303793)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: Murray MacLeod

The maximum time any ethical luthier could possibly book against this job would be two hours, so bear that in mind when you get your quotes.

22 Oct 04 - 09:44 AM (#1303848)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: GUEST,cumbrian

Assuming that the bridge is just beginning to lift ( ie a small gap at the back of the bridge ) as opposed to the whole thing coming away, it should be possible for a luthier to force some glue in there and clamp it overnight, should come out as good as new.
If the bridge/top joint has lost it's integrity, it will be necessary to remove the old bridge, clean off the two surfaces, prepare them for glueing and then clamping the whole thing until is secure.
In some cases the old bridge has come off due the drying out and warping out of shap, in this case a new bridge needs to be made.

22 Oct 04 - 10:47 AM (#1303895)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: Once Famous

I recently had this done to my 1971 D18 by an authorized Martin repair station and a luthier whom I know and trust.

I have also had this done to a gibson J45.

What is generally the cause is that the top is bellying upward. The bridge will have to be removed and the top braced and clamped to "flatten" out the top again. Once this is done, the bridge can be glued and clamped. My guy wants these to sit in the clamps for both the top and the bridge a week or so each. He feels that his way will secure and hold for 50 years.

With the respect that I have for Martin instruments, I strongly suggest that you have this done by a qualified and experienced guitar repairperson. Expect to pay $200-250. For a quality instrument such as your D35, this is not something that you want to skimp on or shop around looking to save a few bucks.

Go with the best most qualified person that you can find.

22 Oct 04 - 10:58 AM (#1303908)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: GUEST,mkebenn@work

Thanks for the info. that 200to250 was about what I thought. I can still play it, but it needs doing. I had a local (Buffalo, N.Y.) rebrace and refret her about 15 yrs ago. They did nice work. Thanks again. Mike

22 Oct 04 - 03:04 PM (#1304076)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: Richard Bridge

Having a larf on the price.

Graham Noden, possibly the best guitar repairman in London, underneath the famous Andy's in Denmark Street did a WHOLE lotta stuff to a Hagstrom J-45 for me for well less than that including a new inner bridge plate (a much worse job than re-seating the outer bridge plate.

Unless US repairmen are a huge amount dearer than ENglish, I would expect GBP 50 (ish) so $us about 75. More than that I would ruck real bad.

22 Oct 04 - 03:15 PM (#1304085)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: Roger in Baltimore

I can't remember the cost, but I had this done to my 1958 D-28. The top had bellied up and you could slide a nickel under the bridge. The fact that I don't remember the cost means it seemed reasonable to me (I'm sure not more than $200).

Martins do this frequently, I'm told, because they used such a small reinforcement under the top.

Roger in Baltimore

22 Oct 04 - 03:51 PM (#1304112)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: Once Famous

Richard Bridge, you can "larf" all you want.

American craftsmanship and the "made in USA" stamp warrant the price of this repair by an accomplished American luthier.

A Martin D35 is a $2400 instrument and is one of the world renowned Martin Standard Series. In my 40 years of playing and meeting literally hundreds of musicians I am hard pressed to have ever seen a pro at least in America use a Hagstrom.

An original J-45 is of course a Gibson.

22 Oct 04 - 06:49 PM (#1304246)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: cumbrian

Martin Gibson, a Martin or a Gibson ( or a Hagstrom for that matter ) are just like any other reasonable guitar the world over. While some of them are very nice ( I have quite a few amongst the 30 or so currently in use)they can be good or bad. Martin bridges lift , just like Hagstrom bridges and need the same expertise to put right.
A luthier is a luthier, American or not, ( bearing in mind the european origin of most some of the greatest names around ), therefore your response to Richard Bridges comes across as less than enlightened.
As for your comments about pro musicians in America and the guitars they use....well it's just as well they don't hand out talent only when the name on the headstock is on the approved list.

22 Oct 04 - 09:02 PM (#1304367)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: The Fooles Troupe

I didn't know he had stood up...

23 Oct 04 - 03:49 PM (#1305001)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: Once Famous

cumbrian, I didn't know you were Richard Bridges attorney.

It has nothing to do talent being handed out. It has to do whith what people know.

People in America know that a Martin or a Gibson is generally a pro quality instrument. Yes, they need repairs occasionally like all others. People here know that investing in a Martin will never cause you any depreciation in your instrument should you want to trade it in.

A luthier in America is certainly the choice for someone to repair a Martin guitar, especially if he is authorized to do repairs by the factory to honor a warranty. Perhaps because they do not extend their warranties overseas says something about the quality of the luthiers in genral outside of the U.S. Generally speaking, of course.

23 Oct 04 - 06:00 PM (#1305097)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: Murray MacLeod

Martin Gibson, just as a matter of interest, how widely travelled are you?

From your postings on Mudcat, one gets the impression of somebody who has never ventured further than say, thirty miles from their hometown ?

I am sure this is a false impression, however, and it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest to learn that you once journeyed over fifty, or even a hundred miles from the ole' shack ...

23 Oct 04 - 06:34 PM (#1305127)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: cumbrian

Martin Gibson, you are very amusing, if nothing else. keep it up

23 Oct 04 - 06:44 PM (#1305135)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: Juan P-B

OK! Own up! Who dragged Martine Gibson away from the photographer's studio? Another afternoon being pictured with your guitar MG?

This guy is so far up his own ar*e he can wear himself as a wig!

Well said Cumbrian! I don't suppose Martine realises that Richard B doesn't need an 'attorney' - He ARE one!

I'm afraid that as far as Martine is concerned there are ONLY Martin & Gibson Guitars worth looking at - He really doesn't believe that both of these well respected makers CAN and occasionally DO turn out a piece of crap! Whatever you do don't mention Taylor guitars - He'll cr*p himself with horror

I bet he votes for George Dubya again too


Juan P-B

23 Oct 04 - 09:36 PM (#1305264)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: Richard Bridge

Martin, you only display your ignorance. Elvis Presley used to play a Hagstrom Viking. Was he professional enough for you?

You sound a worse jackanapes than a somewhat better known American who displays all of your tact and intelligence in his foreign policy. But you seem to beat even him for ignorance. If you don't know about Hagstrom guitars, do your homework.

And if you don't know about the quality of luthiery coming out of England, you are not fit to discuss quality guitars.

Want to buy some tea?

Oh, by the way, I post in my real name. Visiting soon?

24 Oct 04 - 08:47 AM (#1305513)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge

Oh yeah Richie, I used to like Beppe, Doc, Hedges, Chet, Tony Rice, and a few other bangers, but now when I want to hear some really, reaaly good picking, I always get out my Elvis CD's

24 Oct 04 - 09:04 AM (#1305518)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: bigchuck

As a luthier/repairman, I usually charge about $50 for a routine bridge removal and reglue. Martins actually tend to be fairly easy reglues since they don't use any space-age glues in assembly. It's usually best to remove the bridge entirely because you can't get a good glue joint unless you remove the old glue to get wood to wood contact. You can find a lot of good information from


24 Oct 04 - 06:33 PM (#1306002)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: Richard Bridge

Dear Gibson,

You said you had never seen a "pro" (by which I assume you meant "professional") use a Hagstrom. You may denigrate Presley, but he meets your definition. Or did you, like your simian hero, manage to "mis-speak"?

Would you prefer me to cite Martin Carthy, who said of my late wife's Hagstrom J-45 "That's a smashing guitar"?

Your bigotry and chauvinism seem as apparent as your ignorance.

Yours, etc.

24 Oct 04 - 08:16 PM (#1306106)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge

C'mon. You really think Elvis could play more than 4 chords?

24 Oct 04 - 09:00 PM (#1306134)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: Once Famous

I have only seen Elvis pictueed with a Martin or a Gibson.

I have been to every state in the US and most of Canada.

I don't care if Richard Bridge is an attorney. Most attorneys like the sound of their own voice anyhow. Perhaps this thread should be retitled: "Reseating Richard Bridge."   And yes, I love tea, but Chinese tea is by far the best choice for myself. Not as bitter.

I wouldn't plan to go to England as they are known for not being overly friendly to Americans.

And Juan PB (which is either for peanut butter or is the chemical symbol for lead) who I vote for is really none of your business. Oh yeah and for your information, I believe Taylor guitars are extremely over rated and have as much soul as perhaps an Englishman in Detroit.

25 Oct 04 - 03:45 AM (#1306375)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: Richard Bridge

Gibson - then try looking. I rebuke you only when you deserve it. You should also ask yourself (if it be true) why the English might not welcome Americans. Could the uninformed arrogance you typify be part of the cause?

Guest - think before speaking. Gibson said he'd never seen a pro use a Hagstrom. His test. Whatever Presley was, he was a professional perfomer. The issue of how good a guitarist he was was not under discussion.

25 Oct 04 - 11:21 AM (#1306634)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: Once Famous

Either was tea, Bridge until you ridiculously brought it up in an attempt to me smarmy and at a loss for anything else to say.

The Hagstrom Presley played more than likely was just a prop for a picture.

25 Oct 04 - 11:24 AM (#1306635)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge

Hu hu hu

26 Oct 04 - 01:23 PM (#1307786)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: Juan P-B


The P-B stands for Phatt-B'Stard - And don't let Leadfingers see you being derogatory (that's de-rog-a-tory) about the old Plumbum.

And... peanut butter? Use it as a cheap lubricant do you?? Or as a wig glue?

I see you've been to all states and Canada - What's up, old chap? Can your own people not stand you being around them ?

Which particular 'china' tea did you like or are we mistaken in thinking there are more than one - Less bitter! Ha!

I have met many of your countrymen all over the world and none of them seem to posess your particular anal retentiveness - Are you by any chance from one of the southern states and if so are you elated to your mother at all?

Go on! Own up! You can't play guitar can you? You just collect the brochures!

Juan P-B

26 Oct 04 - 06:00 PM (#1308019)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: Once Famous

Juan Fat Bastard

I prefer to use the complete appropriate spelling.

I'm trying to think of which magpie you remind me of:

Heckel or Jekyl. I'm trying to remember which one was the English one who used to say "I say old chap."

Oolong is my favorite. Have never found an English tea that could compare to it.

I could give a crap about Leadfingers.

26 Oct 04 - 06:45 PM (#1308057)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: Juan P-B


Tea isn't grown in England - You really ARE well travelled aren't you?

Well, I'm just off for a two week tour of Europe with my cheap English guitar made by the registered Martin repair man for western Europe so I shall be missing your hilarious banter while I'm away (not).

Have you covered any more of Canada in your travels since yesterday

Juan P-B

26 Oct 04 - 11:13 PM (#1308262)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge

Elvis Presley-Professional singer or professional guitarist? You make the call Ricky.

27 Oct 04 - 03:27 AM (#1308411)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: s&r

Martin -re your post above - we love Americans. Talk to anyone who's been here. We share a similar language, and a different sense of humour, but we're nice people. Find a session at an old pub anywhere in the British Isles, and you'll be more welcome than you would believe.


27 Oct 04 - 04:43 PM (#1308962)
Subject: RE: reseating Martin bridge
From: Once Famous

Perhaps, and thanks for the invite.