Friday, May 27, 2011

Geoff's OO nears completion

The bridge (the design of which was discussed in a previous post) was glued on to Geoff’s OO this week. As I’ve said before and make no apologies for saying again- this stage is the most nerve wracking of them all. There are so many opportunities for completely wrecking all of that hard work; what if you drop something on that polished soundboard, what if you glue the bridge in the wrong place!!!!

Assuming the bridge fits the contour of the soundboard, the first task is to mark out where the bridge goes- if, like me, you cut your saddle slot before gluing the bridge on, you have to take into consideration the compensation needed for correct intonation. The marking out is achieved with masking tape, a soft pencil, various rulers and straight edges. One quality that you need to be a good luthier is spatial awareness; you don’t have any straight edges to take as datum- everything is measure from an imaginary centre line that floats about 7mm above the soundboard.

Once I’m happy with the position, I cut around the bridge with a scalpel; through the masking tape and polish and not into the wood.

The next step is to scrape the polish away from the exposed area so that you get a good glue joint. Notice that I’m wearing cotton inspection gloves; I always wear these once the guitar has bee polished to protect its surface from accidental scuffs and fingernail marks.

With all signs of polish removed, the bridge can be glued on- I like to use Titebond for this and have never had any problems with it. The tape stops the bridge moving until the glue grabs. A top-tip is to fold back the end of the masking tape on itself- that way you have something to easily get hold of when removing the tape. The tape comes off before the glue hardens so any glue that’s oozed out should come off on the tape.

Next step- get it playing!

The Standard Mandolin

The Standard mandolin is coming along nicely too. The flamed maple body has been bound with cocobolo which makes a stunning combination.

Cocobolo is also going to be used for the fingerboard and bridge so it should be quite a striking looking instrument when it’s complete. The simplicity of the mandolin is really growing on me and that coupled with the light colours of the tonewoods used, seems to give the look of an early stringed musical instrument.

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Blogger Peter Brown said...

Nice work once again Gary. Sound clips soon?

2:49 AM  
Blogger jay said...

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6:59 AM  

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