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Author Topic: oh my belly!  (Read 134 times)
Gottaplay
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« on: October 07, 2019, 09:07:38 PM »

Wondering if anyone can guide me as to what is a normal healthy amount of sound board curvature measured from just behind the bridge? Laying a straight edge parallel to the butt side edge of the bridge reveals roughly 3/16" gaps at the maple binding of my 2008 L-03. The bridge is tilting a bit more each month and the previously feeler gauge width gap is opening towards pick thickness so I`ll be removing, slotting and ramping it and probably making a new saddle.

An earlier thread of mine tells the woefull tale of the previous owners neglect to keep this guitar humidified during our harsh Canadian winters after two years in the tropics. I`m thinking the two cracks from the bridge wings to the butt may have been "overfilled" and now under proper humidity conditions are helping hump up the sound board. They the repaired cracks themselves are certainly ridged up a bit. This is a player not a great looker so sound and stability are the priorities here.

If the belly concern is real a homebrewed belly reducer method is the next trick I`ll be trying to figure out.

Fun this lutherie stuff...kinda wish I`d gotten into it seriously like three decades ago.

Cheers.
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2008 L-03
K&K On board Trinity
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2019, 08:26:38 PM »

It's only a concern of it's affecting the bridge height or angle. Belly reducing devices affect the tone. I've had luck with the Thompson belly reducer from Stew Mac. It's a tool for belly fixing.
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D-09 Brazilian w/ Eagle inlay. D-02-12
Used to own and love; SD-50, J70 maple Mermaid, SD60sbt, D03R, LV03E.
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2019, 11:47:40 PM »

Yeah that's what I figured thanks. Comparing mine to a showroom LV-03 in town there's not THAT much difference in the top plate curvature so once the bridge is off I`ll likely just give it a few days to "settle in" before I match surface shapes and reglue.  Also thinking about bumping up the interior humidity during that settling in to allow the top the chance to get back towards normal.

The JLD bridge doctor is an interesting concept as well but hopefully it's not time yet to go that route.

Found a slab of lead ballast out of a sailboat that will make a great bridge removal iron a la the Stewmac chunk o'metal tool.. In all my years of carpentry I never would have foreseen ripping through 1 1/4" lead with a table saw. Old dogs new tricks good times.
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2008 L-03
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2019, 11:26:18 PM »

So is sound board curvature behind the bridge typical of the L-03 and other models?
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2008 L-03
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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2019, 12:48:03 PM »

Got the bridge off yesterday and discovered a couple of things. Larrivee used what appears to be white nylon bridge locator pins next to the outside 1 and 6 string bridge pin holes. The bridge itself came up pretty cleanly but it was definately a delicate operation. The bigger surprise was discovering the contact void underneath the saddle. Like many other brands this bridge was mounted after the top had been finished and close to an 1/8" of finish extended under the bridge footprint. The bigger surprise was discovering that the bare wood gluing area was actually routed down below the finished top by about a weak 1/16. Now this may have been done post purchase by another repair person doing a bridge reglue but it looked stock to my novice eyes.

With the bridge back in position and registered by the pins a careful tracing with a sharp exacto blade allowed the bridge footprint to be scraped flush to the recessed glueing surface. Now it's a good fit contacting close to 100% of the bridge. I may opt to shim this whole thing in an effort to bring it up a weak 1/16 and flush to the finished surface. Two reasons for considering this are: any attempt to remove the bridge in the future would run into trying to get under a bridge that's set into the top by a 1/16. As well the top if shimmed would debatably be strengthened by the increased thickness and added glue layer of a 1/16" bridge shim.What shimming would be to tone, volume and other stuff is beyond by pay grade, This is hillbilly lutherie at best so bear with me as I stumble through this experiment.

Yeah so the belly thing...Stringed up in tune there's about 3/16 gaps at either bout with a straight edge laid behind the bridge. Destrung and bridgeless the gap is close to  1/16 per edge. But wait there's more. Remember those two cracks that were repaired prior to purchase that run from close to the bridge back to the tail. Well they were in filled with spruce from a donor guitar and none to prettily. So now that Frankenguitar is well humidified darned if those two in filled cracks aren't ridging up a bit... crying  They were barely discernable to the touch six months ago.

Almost makes me think maybe buddy should have waited for the top to rehydrate after drying out and cracking and clamped and glued those cracks shut with glue and cleats. But he musta tried that right??

Eyeballing the worst crack with a loop reveals a darker soft wood in fill that looks like $h!t. I was fine with leaving it until more recently when both cracks started ridging up. I was looking at trying to flatten the top but with those cracks moving skyward any downforce probably isn't going to help the situation. Then again now is the time to try a reduce the belly and give this thing more longevity. Dunno. Fun...sorta. Interesting .. you bet.

I remember falling for the sound of this guitar the minute I picked it up so I`m satisfied if I can get back to that place and have it stay there. It may not be Willie Nelson's "Trigger" beat up but sounding great but it's headed down the same path. Save my guitar.
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2008 L-03
K&K On board Trinity
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