Thompson Belly Reducer

Thompson Belly Reducer

Thompson Belly Reducer

Item # 1380
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$135.45

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Thompson Belly Reducer

About This Item

A lifesaving tool set for older acoustic guitars! Helps correct soundboard bulge caused by string tension, without replacing the bridge plate.

Excessive soundboard "bellying," caused by string tension, can make an acoustic guitar difficult to play. It can even damage the top, bridge plate and bridge. Replacing the original bridge plate to correct the problem is a time–consuming job that can unfortunately reduce the value of a vintage instrument.

Respected luthier and restoration expert TJ Thompson developed a simple tool set, the Thompson Belly Reducer, that can fix soundboard bulging without permanent alterations to the top or bridge plate.

The Thompson Belly Reducer is a set of five precision-machined aluminum tools: convex flatteners for vintage–style belly and rectangular bridges, and concave flatteners for the three most common bridge plate shapes.

Aligning the cauls is now easier—magnets are embedded right into the tools. Magnetic cauls stay in place (hands free!) while installing and tightening the clamps.

They're designed for use with the bridge removed from the instrument, and are effective for bridge plates that have been installed with hide glue, aliphatic (yellow) glue, or PVA (white) glue. Simply match the appropriate flatteners to your guitar, heat them to 150 degrees F, dampen the wood on the bridge area and bridge plate, and clamp the flatteners into place for a day or so.

Instructions included.

TJ Thompson recommends using three Ibex bridge clamps.



CALIFORNIA PROPOSITION 65 WARNING
WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.


Video

Trade Secrets!

Trade Secrets!

Fixing a potbelly with the Belly Reducer

Dan Erlewine's got a Martin with a potbelly: string tension has pulled the top into a hump on this 1928 0-18. To make things tougher, the guitar top's encased in a thick layer of epoxy finish! It's an interesting puzzle...

Instructions

Product Instructions

Thompson Belly Reducer Instructions

The Thompson Belly Reducer is a simple tool designed to get rid of the bellying without making permanent alterations to the original guitar top.

Customer Reviews

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4.0
  • 4.07 average rating from 29 reviews
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5.0

Will pay for itself in no time.

By

Verified Buyer


Had a cheap bellied dread and bought this so I can try it on a cheapo first. Great result, totally flattened a severely bellied top with a loose bridge. Bridge matched perfectly once flattened. Recommend this as a serious investment to your shop.

3.0

Magnet polarity

By

Verified Buyer


All magnets have been installed from the same side. When I flip the inside caul and place the outside bridge caul over it, the magnets appose each other and will not hold. They push away from one another. I'm gonna try to press them out, flip them over, and reinstall them.

5.0

Worked like a charm!

By

Verified Buyer


Bought the Thompson Belly Reducer after my friend asked me to fix his guitar. Bridge popped of because of belly issue and after going thought the motions with the Belly Reducer I had a flat surface to glue the bridge on and install the JLD Bridge Doctor. Now it's a player again and my friend was so happy with it, that he brought me another guitar with the same problem. And again it it worked and now we're going to have a talk on how to store his guitars. >)

5.0

Very Handy Tool

By

Verified Buyer


Invaluable for bridge belly issues. I've used these for all kinds of projects where heat can be handy. Forget using the glue pot to heat them. Using the microwave, I heat water to boiling in a large coffee cup and toss them in for a fast 150 degree shot.

5.0

Works great

By

Verified Buyer


I recently bought a Martin 1969 d 28 the bridge popped off and caused a beer belly on the guitar so I put the clamp on left it on for 2 days and it worked great now I can glue the bridge back on. I just followed the instructional video on it that is posted on the you tube channel.

5.0

Awesome tool

By

Verified Buyer


Wish I had this years ago; it is a fantastic tool that works as advertised. Easy to use and very effective. First job was a 1938 Gibson HG-0 that had a badly bellied top. It is now good as new. I can’t believe how well this tool works. I used my glue pot to heat the aluminum bars and it worked perfectly.

5.0

WELL DESIGNED AND EFFECTIVE TOOLS

By

Verified Buyer


I needed to correct the top on a 1966 Martin D-28, a guitar with great potential but abused in its past. The bridge had been shaved in lieu of a neck set so with the bridge removed, it was ready to test these belly reducers on. The reviewer that complained that they didn't hold their heat must have heated them improperly because I had no problems. The magnets are more than strong enough to hold their position. I backed the inside plate with a wood backing caul to get the clamps above the braces. I warmed them on a cast iron trivet atop my wood stove using the surface thermometer sold here. I heated them to the recommended 150F and could hear the moisture sizzle slightly as I placed them on the dampened bridge plate and top. Two applications and all the excess bellying is gone. T.J. Thompson knows what he's doing and these are great tools to have in the shop. I'll be using them with confidence and often.

1.0

belly reducer

By

Verified Buyer


1st impression is the magnets are not strong enough to hold the bridge plate piece in place. Nor do they hold heat. They were room temperature within 2 minutes.

Response from StewMac


Hi Peter,

Thank you for sharing your honest feedback with us. We're sorry the Thompson Belly Reducer didn't work for you as you expected. We stand behind our return policy -- if you are not satisfied with a product, you may return it anytime for a refund or exchange. Please call us at 1-800-848-2273. We look forward to helping you with this.

Response from StewMac


Hi Peter,

Thank you for sharing your honest feedback with us. We're sorry the Thompson Belly Reducer didn't work for you as you expected. We stand behind our return policy -- if you are not satisfied with a product, you may return it anytime for a refund or exchange. Please call us at 1-800-848-2273.

2.0

Good for it purpose.

By


I found the picture did not properly describe what you get when you purchase this.You have to read the fine print to know you don't get the C Clamp.The plates look fine.

5.0

Life Saver

By

Verified Buyer


Well worth the cost..the belly was so severe I applied two separate applications and man it returned it to a perfect scenario for getting a good set on the bridge re install

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