Friday, December 11, 2015

Bridge on!

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 soundboard.
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 on.
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.

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Anonymous Bobby said...

Love reading these updates Gary! Fantastic work. When I was much younger and living in the UK, I visited the Patrick Eggle facility and, inspired by it all, nearly went into luthiery myself. Anyhow, keep up with the blog posts. I really enjoy reading them.

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