This 1984 Martin D-3532 came into the shop with some loose braces. Check out the illustration and photos to see how many braces have lost their hold on reality… or at least the soundboard.
During the initial inspection, we found that the guitar strings have worn the bridge plate down so much that they are beginning to wear through the wood. Left unattended, they will eventually wear all the way through to the top of the guitar’s soundboard (not a simple or inexpensive repair). There are a couple ways to take care of it.
Option 1: Replace the worn bridge plate. This involves heating up the current bridge plate and carefully removing it. Then making a new bridge plate and glue it into place.
Option 2: Install a bridge plate patch. This involves making a custom patch that is glued directly on top of the bridge plate over the worn string holes. New string holes are drill once the glue cures. The strings will then rest on this new patch (and not the existing worn plate). I typically suggest this option for less expensive guitars.
This Martin however is a good candidate for replacing the bridge plate. And since it already has a lot of loose braces that need to be re-glued, replacing it with a stronger bridge plate and fresh glue is the safest option.