GS Mini 26


Wednesday, March 26th, 2014:

Two Cool Tools

Before I forget, I wanted to show you a couple of tools that I recently bought, which I am really jazzed about.

The first is a set of brad-pointed drill bits. You can't believe how much easier and more accurate this makes things!!! Prior to this, I just had a small set of Dewalt "pilot-pointed" drill bits. Even though those drill bits had a kind of "nub" on the tip, they still weren't as precise as these brad-point bits. And, I have a much wider assortment of drill bit sizes with this set. Cool.

The second tool is seen below --- the thing that kind of looks like a flying fish with fins. This is called the "Miter Master" --- its sharp blade easily cuts miters and straight cuts in wood or plastic. I use it now to cut binding and purflings. I first heard about it when I was watching Kent Everett's DVD on the arm bevel; he used one, so I looked it up on the MicroMark website, and purchased one. It really works so much better than the saws or chisels I had been using in the past, to cut bindings! A cool tool.



Making the Bridge

Yesterday and today I worked on making my bridge. At first, as I had mentioned before in my video, I was considering making a kind of "Kasha"-shaped bridge. But when I sat down to try to design it and figure out how that would work, I just couldn't see a way to make it work.

I didn't want to just do a standard Martin-style belly bridge, so I decided to just make a bridge with a simple curve on the bottom. I thought this would kind of complement the curve of the tail end of the guitar.

So, I first thickness-sanded my ebony bridge blank to 3/8" thick. Then I drew the saddle slot position and angle onto the blank, and the bridge pin locations. I used my Stew-Mac saddle-slotting jig with the Dremel to rout the 1/8" saddle slot.

Then, following the GS Mini-style plans I had purchased, I drilled the 3/16" holes for the bridge pins and used a countersink bit in the drill press to bevel the holes.

I then cut out the bridge shape on the bandsaw and used my belt sander thicknessing jig to shape the wings of the bridge.



However, the more I looked at the bridge, the more it seemed too chunky to me; also, I didn't particularly like how far the bridge pin holes were from the saddle. It seemed that there wouldn't be that much of a "break angle" for the strings with this first bridge. I redesigned the bridge. I made it 5/16" thick, instead of the original 3/8". I moved the saddle slot a little lower down (so the center of the slot at the treble end was 5/16" from the top of the bridge). And, I moved the bridge pin holes a little further up, so that the bridge pin line was 1/2" below the treble end of the saddle.

When I routed the slot, it didn't go as smoothly as my first bridge; you can see a little jaggedness on the left-hand side of the slot.

However, the 1/8" saddle fits in nice and snugly, and, when the saddle is inserted, you can't really see the jaggedness, so I think I'm good.

Below, you can see that I have sanded and polished up the bridge with some lemon oil.








Here's how the bridge looks on the top:



Here I have bolted the neck (not carved or fitted yet) onto the soundbox, have clamped on the fingerboard, and have laid the bridge in its approximate position, so you can kind of see how it's gonna look eventually.