3/06/2014

Workshop: Wide Bridge


This is an old 1880s gut/nylon guitar I'm fixing up for a customer. Its original pin-style bridge was replaced long ago with a much wider classical-style tie-block bridge. That one is shattered so I made this new rosewood one to fit instead. This will have a fret saddle installed as was the fashion for the most part back then.

Note that I've cut the slot for the fret tang oversize so that the string pressure is really what holds it in place. I also haven't drilled pin holes yet because what I like to do is have that bridge on the guitar first so I can make sure placement is 100% accurate when I do drill them.

The blue masking tape is obviously for proper placement, here... but I just wanted to show it in place so folks know that it's fine to use such a dummy tool to do reglues. It's not rocket science. The benefit of the blue ("painter's") tape is that it tends to not pull up the finish, but you sort of have to have a feel for whether or not tape will put up your finish before you start plopping it down everywhere.




Here's the saddle in place... note that the wider top sits nicely on the edges of that saddle slot. I tend to cut new saddle slots with a scribed line plus various small chisels. I find the incremental control I have with them much more to my liking and faster vs. using a Dremel rig to rout it.

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