After a couple of weeks, allowing the French polish to
harden, the bridge has now been glued on to Roland’s guitar.
I’ve said before and make no apologies for saying it again-
this stage is the most nerve wracking of them all! After the bottom surface of
the bridge has been sanded to fit the contour of the soundboard, you have 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 a datum- everything is
measured from an imaginary centre line that floats about 7mm above the
With the bridge positioned, I cut around it with a scalpel;
through the masking tape and polish but 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.
With all signs of polish removed, the bridge can be glued
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.
Labels: Gary Nava handmade guitars and mandolins, Luthier, nylon string parlour