Once I got the old spruce bridge plate off, I went to work on making a new maple replacement.
I used the old one as a template (not really hard, it was just a rectangle after all), and made the new one just a touch shorter.
Over to the belt sander and whoosh there you go.
It has a touch of flex to it, but nowhere near as much as the old original spruce on did. Maple is cheap. I'm still wondering why Kay used spruce instead.
This is the only actual luthier-like touch on this whole project. Otherwise, it's all my usual hack job.
Also see the two beautiful cocobolo bridge blanks I used for cauls. I covered one of them with waxed paper and then attached the plate to it with carpet tape. The other piece will be the caul for the top side.
I love cocobolo!
Then I spread the hide glue on the plate. See why I put waxed paper on the caul? The thought of that beautiful cocobolo getting stuck on the plate is the stuff of nightmares.
I'm pretty sure Titebond wouldn't hold like that.
I used 5 clamps to hold the plate into place. Again, waxed paper on the top under the caul.
Why did I use the cocobolo bridge plates? I just happened to have ordered a few of them, and they were out on the bench. I figured they'd be good cauls since they were already the perfect size and shape. And that one looks darn good! What beautiful grain.
Did I mention I love cocobolo?
This also gives you a good idea of the ladder bracing - the braces run across the top, unlike the more popular Martin X-bracing.
We'll see if it actually affects the tone, but in any event, I'm glad I replaced the old one since it was badly cracked and torn up.