Some views of
Loose Bridges
© Frank Ford, 1/1/99; Photos by FF, 1/1/99

Well, here's a loose bridge anyone would notice:

It's been loose a while, and the top has deformed considerably underneath. In fact, once I removed the strings and bridge pins, the bridge simply dropped off.

This one was a good deal less obvious.

In fact, without your reading glasses, you might not notice the slight gap at the back edge, which allows a thin slip of paper to slide right under.

Many guitar makers allow the bridge to overhang onto the finish for a nice clean looking glue joint.

But some manufacturers carry the overhang a bit too far, and suffer poor bridge adhesion as a result:

The bridges in these two photos might have stayed in place if they had a bit more gluing surface.

When diagnosing a loose bridge, it pays to know which makers tend to overhang the bridge to this extent, because sometimes the bridge will look loose at the back edge when the glue is holding very well. In these cases, it may be a slight flexing of the top under the bridge in the finished area. If in doubt, it's always safe to remove and reglue the bridge. When regluing, I always scrape the finish to the absolute edge of the bridge to allow the best opportunity for good adhesion.

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