Custom Search


Fingerboard and Bridge

Finally I had figured out how to paste the finger board.
I had several issues with the fingerboard

1) The wedge shape wasn't symmetrical so I had to make sure the alignment is correct. I.e. the fret lines are perpendicular to the center line.

2) The neck angle is correct.
After adding in the bridge and measure the space at 12 fret, it's about 3mm.
Plus the 1mm at nut and bridge, it should be about 4mm at 12 fret.

3) How to glue the fingerboard without it moving around while clamping.
The solution: registration holes.

After figuring out the details, I proceed to clamping the fingerboard.
Clamping part was easy since all the minute details is ironed out.

Drilling the registration hole with 1mm drill bit.

Fingerboard ready for gluing

Applying the glue.
I use PVA white glue for the fingerboard for easy removal next time.
The glue didn't spread too well with that hardened brush...

Gluing it and putting the steel wires to align the fingerboard.
I didn't use paper clips 'cos I can't find one in my house.
Thanks to my late father's steel wire which he often use to fasten things with.

Another view.

Clamping the finger board.
I use my useful little wooden blocks, which I got at Daiso, to spread the pressure.

Another view

From the top

At the upper bout area. The blocks are useful for ensuring even pressure.

Close up at the upper bout region

At the nut area

Another view

Making the bridge
Then after clamping the fingerboard, I process to make the bridge.
I had a pre-made bridge actually, but that time when I buy the material, I choose one with a slanted saddle slot.
The slanted slot was common in steel string guitars for intonation compensation purpose, but for classical the compensation did not have to be so extreme.
A straight slot with variation in the saddle slot would suffice.
Now I just want a normal perpendicular saddle slot so I make my own bridge instead.
But the pre-made bridge was a good model for me to copy, so I didn't have to take much measurement; just copy everything based on it.

I wanted to make the bridge all by just using hand tools.
First I saw the bridge blank to size.
For the sawing part, a bench hook will be using.
I didn't had time to make one and so I just make a temporary one by clamping 2 woods together.
After which, I use the tenon saw to saw the bridge blank to size.
Then i proceed to saw the wings and chisel away the excess.
Suddenly due to the knot in the blank, I accidentally chip a corner....
I am left with big decision to discard and use the pre-made bridge or just stick with it.
I chose to stick with this blank and so I decided to round the corner's instead of the conventional classical bridge look, which had squared edges.
But to prevent further accident's I decide to route the excess away instead of chiseling...

For routing, always go for a few passes instead of 1 deep pass.
I nearly caused a 2nd accident with my deep pass routing...
Luckily the mistake wasn't too great to fix.
After removing the excess, I proceed to file the wings to shape.

Then I shaped the saddle slot region
I use the backed saw with a wooden block guide to saw the slot.
Chiseling the slot wasn't too easy but luckily I have the 2mm chisel.
Then I remove the waste using the chisel.
Now I use the bone saddle and found that it didn't seat well.
It was rocking so I spend some time flattening the bed of the slot using files.

Then I drill the holes for tying the string.
I wanted a 18-hole design, so I manage to drill 3 holes.
I did it free hand without any support.
But unfortunately, I didn't manage to see how deep I drilled and I drilled to the other side of the bridge, the back part of the saddle slot.
After which I put a tape on the level which I should stop drilling.
No choice, then I mixed some PVA white glue with some rosewood dust and fill the holes.
Well the patching looked pretty good actually.

Then I began to fit the bridge to the top.
My top was pretty domed so the sanding process took quite sometime.
The sanded dust was used to patch the drilling hole mistake.
After some time the wings still have some gaps but the central region was matched.
Well once I get my hide glue prepared, I should be about to glue the bridge.

Saw the bridge blank end.
I had to make a temporary bench hook for the sawing.

Close up view

Rip sawing the bridge blank.
To ensure straight saw line, I use a backed saw.

Sawing the wing section

Oops! A corner chipped off while I was chiseling the excess.

No choice I process to route the excess instead of chiseling
Wooden blocks are guides.

However, don't do 1 deep pass. Divide it into multiple smaller passes.

This I did with 1 pass, it is crooked.
Luckily for me not a 2nd big mistake..
Subsequent routing I did with 2 passes at 1/2 the depth each.

My bridge and the pre-made one.
Looks good? Well, except for the chip off.

Another view

Close up of the chip off.
It's not too bad actually.

Sawing the saddle slot. The wooden block is for guide.

Another view.

Chiseling the saddle block excess.

Drilling the string holes.
I use 2 block to clamp the bridge.
The pre-made bridge is use as a visual guide for the holes, though I have already marked the holes with pencil.

The end result - 18 hole bridge

Sanding the bridge to fit the top.

Pore filling? More of patching the drilling mistake.

Some dirty marks on the top. So how to remove it?

The answer, erase :)
(The eraser which I used is at the top left hand corner.)

The guitar (near finished)

The top with fingerboard glued

With the sound port view.

Lower bout area

Leveling the fretboard
I spend some time to level the fret board by sanding with a sanding block (my wooden plane)
After that I plane some relief into the fretboard.
The relief will start at the 5th fret.

Planing the reflief into the neck

Another view

Sanding flat the fingerboard

The ebony dust produced is sucked up by vacuum later on.

Close up view

Checking the neck relief using the backlight.

Another view

Another view

The weight of the bridge is about 21 g.
I bought the digital weighing scale for weight my hide glue mixture.
Next to come will be gluing the bridge... Stay tune