Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Final Shaping the Granadillo Bridge for the Gretsch Ukulele

Got a lot done on the bridge last night.

I used my semi-trusty El Cheapo™ plane to shave the curves on the top of the bridge. It didn't do too bad - I sharpened it (again) and I was able to adjust it for a really thin cut.  I'm already window-shopping Ibex planes.  Not sure my wallet will like them, though.  Not cheap.

Almost there.  Just need to curve the wider (front) edge a bit more. 

I'm really enjoying this part.  I just wish my plane was more cooperative.

Now I need to cut the string slots and the little 'boxes' that hold the knotted ends of the strings. 
I cut the string slots most of the way with a coping saw.  Then I made a couple of cuts with a razor saw on either side of the slots.  I could then chisel/chop at the material to make the 'boxes.'

This is my smallest chisel - 1/4 inch.  Better quality chisels are on my shopping list.  A couple of smaller ones would be good too.

 Test fit on the ukulele. I think it's actually going to work!  The saddle fit is tight - I cut the slot to the width of a blank so I won't have to thickness sand the saddle.

I did the end bevels on the belt sander.  And I tested the string slots with actual strings - and made the third (C) string wider than the others.

Then I sanded the bridge with 320, 400, 600 and 800 grit paper.  It's as smooth as the bottom of a baby.

I wasn't sure how I was going to finish it - I thought about just polishing it, but then I thought Tru-Oil would be a good thing.

Here it is after one coat.  I'm going to do 5 or 6 coats I think - not too glossy but not flat either.

The granadillo is a good compliment for the mahogany.  More brown than red.  I wonder how it would sound if it were used for sides and back on an ukulele?


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