Gluing the Bridge

Sunday, August 31st, 2008:

Today, the first thing I did was to fit the nut to the slot, in preparation for determining the bridge location. Here's the fitted nut (final shaping will come later):

Now I could figure out exactly where to position the bridge. I used Luthier Suppliers' "Simple Centerline Finder" to do this. First, I had to figure out where the front of my bridge should be located — it was 9/32" in front of the string length (my 24.9" scale length + .10" compensation at the center of the high E string). Once I did that, I scribed that front-of-bridge position onto the bottom of the jig and placed the jig's "Bridge Squaring Attachment" to meet that scribed line. Then, it was really easy: I simply placed the jig onto the neck, centering it with the little dowels/knobs, and butted my bridge's front up to the jig's bridge-squaring attachment edge, matching the bridge's centerline with the jig's scribed centerline.

The bridge now properly positioned, I taped it down securely and removed the centerline finder jig. Next, I drilled two 3/16" holes into the 1st and 6th string holes in the bridge. These two holes were for the bridge clamp, which I would use later.

Now it was time to remove the finish underneath the bridge position. I taped all around the bridge with masking tape, then did my usual process of using paint stripper to remove the finish within the masked area, scraping away the bubbled-up finish with a chisel and wiping the scraped area with a damp paper towel to neutralize any remaining stripper residue. I let it dry.




Now it was time to actually glue on the bridge. This time I used, for the first time, a bridge clamp from John Hall of Blues Creek Guitars. It worked wonderfully! It consists of an aluminum caul which goes inside the guitar, underneath the bridge plate, with two threaded rods through the 1st and 6th string holes. You position the bridge (with glue) onto the two threaded rods, clamping a piece of Lexan down onto it with a couple of threaded knobs, then place another, longer aluminum caul above that; this caul has two threaded rods at the ends to clamp down onto the wings of the bridge. This clamp eliminates the need for using bridge clamps through the soundhole and allows you to easily get to any glue squeeze-out that might occur.

Here are a few photos:











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  1. A Little Detour....A Tour of My Workroom!!!
  2. Joining the Top
  3. Starting to Bend
  4. Bending, Day 2
  5. Bending, Day 3
  6. Neck Block, Center Strip, Cutaway!
  7. Bracing the Back, Gluing in the Blocks
  8. Shape Back Braces, Glue Neck Block, Make Spreaders
  9. Spreader, Rim, Kerfing
  10. Rim-Sanding, Brace-Shaping, Go-Bar Modification, & Obon!!!
  11. Side Strips & Rosette
  12. Beginning the Top Bracing
  13. Bracing, Continued...
  14. Gluing the Back
  15. Gluing the Top
  16. Trimming the Overhang
  17. Routing for Binding : Day 1
  18. Routing for Binding : Day 2
  19. Fitting & Gluing the Bindings
  20. The Soundbox is Done!!!
  21. Truss Rod Slot, Peghead Veneer
  22. Peghead, Start Heel
  23. Threaded Inserts, Neck Trimmed
  24. Fitting the Neck!!!
  25. Truss Rod Cavity, Heel Cap, Fingerboard Trimmed
  26. Finishing and Gluing the Fingerboard / Peghead Inlay
  27. Carving the Neck
  28. I Feel Good....The Basic Building is Done!!! (Now on to the Finishing....)
  29. Pore-Filling
  30. Sealing
  31. Finish Coats
  32. Finishing the Finish!!!
  33. Gluing the Bridge
  34. It's All Done!!!




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