Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Preparing the Granadillo Bridge Block for the Ukulele

I'm going with granadillo for the new bridge on the Gretsch ukulele.

I measured the old one, and did some drawings for the new one.  It's basically the same except it's going to be about 2mm higher, and 6mm longer.  I decided to go a bit higher so I can make the saddle slot deeper.

On the left is the block almost ready to go.  I cut it within a millimeter or so of the final size, and thickness sanded it down to almost the right height.  Then I used an El Cheapo™ brand plane to plane it down.  In the shot, you can see a couple areas marked with pencil that still needed to be planed.

If I keep doing this, I'll need better planes.  This one came from the Despot, and it's not that good, but it did get the job done.

I enjoyed planing the wood.  It produced real nice-smelling chips and sawdust.  I'm leaving it on the bench for a couple days since it smells so good.

Here's the old bridge alongside the new block.  The new one looks crazy big.  It's the same width, but the length and height make it look huge.

Did the drawings in 1:1 scale except for the slot detail. That way I can use them as templates for cutting the bridge. 

I discovered that there is a little slot cut on the bottom that's designed to hold the little end of the string that you'd have after tying a knot in the string.  On most instruments with this type of bridge, you see folks letting the end stick out of the bridge, when in reality it's supposed to be inserted into the slot.  Now I know.

Here I'm trying to figure out how the heck I'll carve the top curve of the bridge.  I think between the ROSS, the plane, and a file I should be able to pull it off.  It's only a 2mm gentle curve from the front to back.

One final thing.  This has been bugging me for a while.  What IS it with this CSS code in posts with images?  Blogger puts this in:

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">
</div>

It's totally unnecessary, and it messes up spacing on some images - especially when you put them at the top of a post.  I wind up taking some of them out.  

 
 
 
 

Post a Comment 2 comments:

  • Sven Nyström said...
    February 7, 2012 at 6:53 AM
    I'd choose the plane to shape the top. If it feels shaky, a good move can be to shape the curvature before cutting it to length next time. Sometimes the ends wind up a bit lower, and if you cut them off after shaping you'll get the perfect mid portion left.

    The slot should be cut before shaping. Last slot I made I cut with a fretting saw instead of on my small table saw. The trick was to score two rather deep lines with a marking gauge (spelling?) and let the saw start in them.
  • Yr Fthfl Blggr said...
    February 7, 2012 at 10:54 AM
    Great advice on the plane.

    I did start the slot last night with my Dremel router. Mixed results - I will try again with a small saw.

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