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Bridge repair on a 1902 Mason and Hamlin upright
#2909234 11/07/19 04:21 PM
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TimboD Offline OP
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Im trying to search the web, but have not had much luck finding out how to properly remove a bass bridge for repair. I obtained a 1902 Mason and Hamlin 54" upright. It needs some action work, among a few other things, but the big issue for me right now is that the bass bridge has a large split about the top half. I know where I can send it for repair, but dont know the best way to remove it without destroying the SB. The bridge does have an apron. Id love to hear some success stories on doing on the spot repairs on jobs like this, but not sure how practical that would be. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Re: Bridge repair on a 1902 Mason and Hamlin upright
TimboD #2909276 11/07/19 06:17 PM
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One quick fix is to remove bass strings and bridge pins.
Clean out the split as best you can.
Get a good quality epoxy like west system.
Also get the west system adhesive filler.
I like slow set hardener as it gives more time to do everything.
Mix up a batch that is thin enough to run into and fill the crack/s.
Fill and clamp and let it set up.
Reinstalling bridge pins can be a little tricky.
If you wait till it sets up you need to redrill.
If you insert before epoxy sets you got to clean the squeeze out very carefylly.
It’s possible to do this without removing bridge pins but I like to so I can be certain to remove any dirt that could prevent a perfect fit.
Go to west system web site and read up on epoxies before spending your money.
If you have not used two part epoxy before, practice on something first that will do no harm

Last edited by Gene Nelson; 11/07/19 06:19 PM.

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Re: Bridge repair on a 1902 Mason and Hamlin upright
Gene Nelson #2909353 11/07/19 11:21 PM
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Thank you very much! Do you know a good place to find instructions on redrilling for the bridge pins? Should I get new ones or keep the old? I just need to be sure I have the right tools and supplies when it comes to that. Itd be nice if there was a drilling jig of some sort to properly do the job. Thanks!

Re: Bridge repair on a 1902 Mason and Hamlin upright
TimboD #2909359 11/08/19 12:28 AM
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Drilling an attached bridge requires one to make their own jig. Some have used a dremmel type tool others modified a bench top radial drill press. I would not try it by hand. It requires some precision.
I’m not aware of a tool marketed for this.
Written instructions for bridge work/repairs has appeared in past PTG journal articles, can’t say which ones I learned it working with rebuilders.
I would not recommend extensive bridge work to a diy-er.
Have you had a qualified rebuilder look at it?
I’m certain it can be repaired even recapped without removing it.

I’d keep the existing bridge pins as long as they are not damaged. Finding replacements the exact same size may not be so easy.


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Re: Bridge repair on a 1902 Mason and Hamlin upright
TimboD #2910320 11/10/19 10:06 AM
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I've used PC-7 for many years and have never seen it fail. After removing any potential loose wood and cleaning the split, press the paste in and trim it. It remains workable for a long time. Set the pins back in place and trim again between the pins. It will fully harden after 24 hours, preferably more. Put the strings back on and slightly tap then on both pins. Done. Re tune in s couple of weeks.


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Re: Bridge repair on a 1902 Mason and Hamlin upright
Steven Bolstridge #2910707 11/11/19 09:23 AM
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Thank you Steven!


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