Centerblock for Bellying Acoustic?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Layne Matz, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Active Member

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    My Ibanez Performance acoustic has been bellying for about 2 years. The bridge had slowly been seperating from the top and the bulge appears to be growing. The back appears to be bellying outwards slightly.

    A month or so ago i injected liquid nails under the bridge best I could. There has been zero visible splitting of the bridge from the top as far as I can see since injecting the liquid nails.

    MY IDEA: To solve the bellying I think i might measure and cut a solid block of wood into a rectangle, place this inside the body centered under the bridge running back tawards the strap button. I would then put screw through the top, back and bridge into the block. My goal is to stabalize the top.and back from further warping, or bellying.

    Do you think this will work?
    Ive read about the Thompson tool for bellying, as well as the bridge doctor, but i think that what i am suggesting will be all around more effective in presrving the guitars playability for years to come. I want to tune to open A or E without worrying about whether I am causing critical damage to the guitar.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  2. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Active Member

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    20180612_002632-1.jpg 20180612_002623-1.jpg 20180612_002719-1.jpg 20180612_002959-1.jpg
    Over the years my (now)4yr old sister has taken it upon herself to put stickers on my guitar. I recall when she put each one on there, I've been raising her with my mother since she was born. Im not a sticker person. That Grateful Dead one was an old sticker I found in an old mans basement, where I found the guitar. That old man toured with the Dead for 3 years back in the day. 20180612_003023-1.jpg

    Anyways, i just wanted to mention that someday when the turkeys wear off im going to sand down and paint turkeys on the spots where they were. May sound silly but its just the way this guitar is supposed to be.
    20180612_003030-2-1.jpg
     
  3. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Active Member

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    BACKGROUND:
    For 3 and half years I had been using
    Daddario phosphor Bronze .13- 54s. I now know the tension really did a number on the body. Not to mention I stole it(rescued it rather) from an old mans damp basement where it had been for god knows how long. I never looked up the serial number. Plus since I've had it its beem through both ends of the severe weather spectrum. Its spent a week in 96-102 degree humid heat,as well as in the sun while i played. Its also spent 4 days in 19-27 degree weather, i was not playing it then. These things were out of my control. AC died at one point, and our house almost burnt down last winter due to faulty electrical wiring and a high wattage space heater. Funny story, i had to smash the wall with a fire extinguisher and put out the glowing flames behind the wall. It was a god damn miracle I saw it glowing or I'd have nothing right now. A nightmare and a miracle. We couldnt use electricity for about 3 weeks until we could move out. It was very cold.

    I use this guitar now more than ever, I cant get very comfortable with slide on any other guitar. I learned to play on this acoustic. No way am I going to stop using it until it cant be reapired any further. I use this for Open G and A primarily, as well as standard a lot. I dont use open D or E as much as I'd like too. G and A are much more malleable and forgiving.

    Im looking for band members, and seek to start playing live at the local dive bars ASAP. I cant in good consiounce keep putting this guitar through hell unless i do something about the bellying.
     
  4. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Active Member

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    20180612_004313-1.jpg
    Its kind of hard to show the back bellying.

    I'll also show off my sweet psychedelic J.Garcia strap and old vintage Dead sticker. They came with the guitar... 20180612_004702-1-1.jpg 20180612_004616-1-1.jpg
     
  5. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Active Member

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    20180612_005037-1.jpg
    I think I may have gone overboard with pictures. This guitar is just so fine. I don't want to let it go.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  6. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    no,no, no. no no never put a screw through that guitar and install a block in there.

    solutions to follow
     
  7. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    I know a guy who is a pro at fixing old guitars the right way.
    If you want info I can pass it on to you.

    Here is an old Uke he did

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Can you see the pics?
     
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  8. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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  9. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    I've never used it, but I've heard good things of the JLD Bridge Doctor.
     
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  10. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Active Member

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    I cant afford much of anything. If I still lived in nashville i could have it fixed for free. What exactly would be wrong with a properly placed and delicately screwed in block? Can you please explain?

    I dont mind if it looks like an attrocity or if it changes the acoustic tone. I can live with that.

    I dont inted to fill the whole body, just a 2x7 block that would pull both bulges down and hold them steady. This isnt neccisarily a beater, but it has a lot of miles on it. Further alterations dont bother me as long as its still playable for years to come. This would be a free solution, aside from the bolts or screws i would use.
     
  11. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Active Member

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    Seems effective, however it would only deal eith the top bulge, not the back bulge. The back bukge is small and hardly noticable but logically its only getting worse. I seek to stabalize both top and button, or back and front however you want to put it. My only concern is with being able to tune to open A and E without making things any worse, so i cna continue to use this.

    Do you think my idea will be effective?
     
  12. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    The problem with a block is that you are messing with the soundboard. You need a solution that leaves the soundboard unrestricted.
     
  13. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Active Member

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    Well what difference would it make structurally?

    I know it would impact tone and weight but those things are secondary to me given the circumstances. When playing with others I use this plugged in for slide, using the magnetic pick up and almost never the piazzo.
     
  14. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    If you aren't intersted in the acoustic sound, go ahead with the block. But understand it will no longer be sellable. Why not get rid of it and buy a proper electic?
     
  15. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Active Member

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  16. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Maybe put a block in it that is a tight fit so that no screw is required. Then later down the road you have the option for a different solution if the block does not work out. You could also wedge shims between the block and inside of soundboard to make it a tighter fit if needed.

    It may seem an unconventional method to others, but you do what you have to do if your resources are limited. Nothing wrong with that. Making the guitar functional so that you can focus on playing music is paramount.
     
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  17. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Active Member

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    The acosutic with the electric pick up is a unique sound in and of itself. I have an upgraded strat as well as an Epi G400, the thing is that i cant get the same thing out fo those aa i can with this acoustic electric that I've been playing for 4 years. I doubt there is much monetary value in that acoustic but it has more sentimental value to me than any of my instruments. Its where my playing began. I love my electrics but there is something different about an acoustic with a magnetic pup.

    Gasket, the problem is that the front and back are pulling away from the center. I dont need a block to drive them further apart, and glue is too permanent- plus i would need just the right size block. The screws wont bother me. If you look at the pictures, the guitar is already a little rough looking. Naturally reliced with age I would say. Ill figure out when it was made later. There is a stamp inside.

    Thanks you for the advice guys, thank you for the support Gasket!
    20180612_152749-1-1-1.jpg 20180612_152801-1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  18. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Active Member

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    Heres what i got for the serial number:
    Your guitar was made at the
    KWO Plant, Indonesia
    on May, 2002
    Production Number: 723

    Sounds about right I guess. I assumed it was made in the late 90s but never checked, I didnt and dont care too much.
     
  19. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Active Member

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    Couple observations and comments -

    All guitars can handle 13-56 strings, some will belly more than others. Some bellying is expected always. Many believe some amout of bellying is desirable, and increases the volume of the instrument. In general, the imports overbuild their guitars, and less likely to belly that much, while expensive finely built, cusp-of-exploding boutique models are more likely. If yours was built in the last 20 years, its overbuilt. But...

    Your guitar has a laminate top. Yours is likely *delaminating*. That's what caused the bridge to debond. The top layer ply is pulling away from the other plys that are still glued to the braces. Once that happens, and you don't catch it early, the top and braces give, and deform, permanently. If it continues to delaminate, it will eventually REALLY belly to the point of crack formation in the top ply.

    The best conventional solution is to pull those plys together with [hidden] bolts and nuts thru the bridge, top and bridge plate, clamping them all together as intended, and then deal with the permanent belly. A JLD Bridge system will do that, and it will pull the top down flat, and the braces with it, so it will serve two purposes. I'd still add two more bolts at the ends of the bridge, similar to Gibson's design, and hide them with some pearl dots. If you choose to install a JLD, install the single screw version first, pull the top down, and THEN install the other two bolts. If you install the bolts first, it will try to keep the top in the bellied position, working against the JLD.

    If its not debonding, you can still flatten the top with a JLD system. Or, you could clamp it flat, and glue a tall thin transverse brace to the top [underneath] at the edge of the bridge plate. The transverse brace is the strongest way to reinforce the top, with the least impact to the volume. Other fixes like thicker bridge plates, other braces and blocking will mute the instrument - not necessarily a bad thing, but it will make it much quieter, and the sustain will increase and begin to favor a solidbody more than a flattop.

    PS - gorilla glue and similar glues aren't the best for joints that need to retain shape. Gorilla glue is strong, but its pliable, and will stretch under tension over time. A bridge would slip, and lift a little just from the elasticity of the glue. Wood glue like Titebond will move too, but much less. The best glue with the least stretch is hide glue. It doesn't move at all, an super stiff compared to common construction adhesives.

    But I'm wagering it had delaminated. You might look at this as an opportunity to trade up, or enjoy the challenge of salvaging it. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  20. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Active Member

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    I only have liquid nails wood glue right now but when i can afford it I intend to get tight bond. I think gluing anything inside the body is going to become a nightmare for me and an error could permenantly F up my guitar.

    For you to tell me that it would be more like a solid body than acoustic doesnt seem bad to me. Blocking with a block of wood and long bolts would allow me to a adjust it when neccisary to slowly pull the bulge back down to a more acceptable level. And of course prevent future bulging. Its a fair price to pay.

    Thanks for the advice
     

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