I made my bridge out of a block of rosewood. I relied on Natelson and Cumpiano’s book to guide me through general sizing and saddle positioning, but I ended up borrowing from Sevy with the recessed pin placement idea, which I needed since in order to get my action down to a reasonable height I had to thin down the overall height of my bridge as I discussed in an earlier section. But overall I found making the bridge to be quite enjoyable. I felt like I was really able to shape the wood with my hands.
I started by planing the bridge down to the correct thickness, I just used a vice and a hand planer for that. Next I made the groove for the saddle with my dremel and router base.
I followed that up by drilling the holes, putting a nice little chamfer on them as recommended by Natelson and Cumpiano. After that I cut out the rough shape with a coping saw and went to town with chisels and course grained sandpaper. After a little while I ended up with the near completed bridge shown below. I finished it off by using finer and finer sand paper eventually finishing it with some steel wool.
The bridge attaches to the soundboard which had a slight curve to it, so in order for the bridge to sit flush I had to apply the same curve it. I did this by putting some sand paper on the soundboard and carefully sanding down the back of the bridge as shown in the picture below. It seemed to work pretty well and after a while I got the bridge to sit nicely.
After I’d completed the bridge I began to realize how little room I had to play with in the saddle height. Unfortunately I was going to have to bring the saddle down close to the surface of the bridge in order to get the string action down to a reasonable height. So to help keep tension on the strings to keep them from moving around on the saddle I decided to recess the holes in the bridge as shown below. It actually worked out okay, I used a router to do the work (I set the bridge in between two boards to give the router base something solid to sit on while I carefully made the cut) and then finished it up with chisels and sandpaper.
With the bridge completed I move on the last major construction task.
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Planning and Design | Fret Spacing Calculation | Template and Workboard | Building the Neck | Making the Body Plates | Soundhole Rosette | Soundboard Bracing | Bending the Sides | Gluing Sides to the Soundboard | Creating and Installing the Back Plate | Binding the Body | Making the Dovetail Neck Joint | Carving the Neck | Making the Fretboard | Making the Bridge | Creating the Headstock Inlay | Finishing | The End Product