Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Gluing the Granadillo Bridge on the Gretsch Ukulele

So after about three days of applying Tru-Oil (9 coats), and two days for it to dry, it's time to glue the new granadillo bridge to the little Gretsch ukulele.

The new bridge is longer than the old one, so I need to remove a few millimeters of old finish where the back of the bridge will be glued down.  This way all the possible gluing surface will be bare wood.

Once again, I used on of my not-too-bad-but-not-great chisels to scrape some finish off.  I can see some new tools in my future.

I have two C-clamps to hold the bridge down with.  I taped some little cedar cauls to them where they'll contact the bridge pad under the top.  The pad seems to be more like a wide flat brace from what I can see.

I spread some Titebond on, and then clamped the bridge down.  That's another hunk of cedar used as a caul on the top of the bridge.

You'll notice I had also used masking tape for the outline of the gluing area.  The glue that squeezed out of the joint went mainly onto the tape and was easy to clean up.

After it dried overnight, I polished out the Tru-Oil finish with the pumice and rottenstone twins.

I could have let the Tru-Oil cure a bit longer, but these abrasives are so fine that they didn't take much off.  I didn't want the bridge too glossy - then it would really stand out from the old finish on the top of the uku.  The idea is to make it look original.

I did put on two thin coats of bowling alley wax to protect it.  No silicones, and it's easily removed with mineral spirits.  I managed to match the semi-gloss of the top fairly well with this method.

"One would have to go to a bowling alley to meet an ukulele of your stature."

The finished bridge.  Now to make a saddle.


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