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Attaching the Bridge


The Unpacked Kit
Ribbon Lining
End-Piece Set
Guitar Top
Top Bracing
Guitar Back
Back Bracing
Attaching the Back
Attaching the Top
Edge Bindings
Fitting the Neck
Truss Rod
Fitting the Nut
Grain Filling
Attaching the Neck
Attaching the Bridge
Saddle and Nut
It's Done!

Locating the bridge in the proper place is one of the more critical placement procedures in building the kit. If you screw up the bridge location, you've pretty mush destroyed any possibility of playing the guitar without having to somehow remove the bridge without destroying the guitar top, repairing the damage to the lacquer, and relocating the bridge correctly.

The instructions that came with the guitar kit were pretty good, and I augmented them with the directions in the guitar making books. Basically, you position the bridge such that the middle of the slot for the saddle on the low-E string end will be located at twice the distance from the nut as the 12th fret, and the middle of the slot for the saddle will be located at slightly less than that distance. The saddle is angled so that when you press the higher tensioned strings, by the time your finger hits the fret board the tension on the string is increased enough to raise the pitch of the string to the correct pitch for that fret. The high strings pitch increases more when pressed than the low strings, so the distance to the saddle needs to be a little shorter. This is all explained quite well in the directions and the books. I had no problem correctly placing the bridge using the directions and a standard aluminum yardstick.

Once you've gotten the bridge located in the correct spot, you carefully scribe a line in the lacquer using a sharp pin, and then scrape away all the lacquer from the top at that location. Glue is applied, and the bridge is clamped in place with a few deep-throated C clamps. A 3/4" thick clamping block is placed underneath the top of the guitar to help spread the clamping pressure more evenly.

Once the bridge is located, you move on to shaping the saddle and slotting the nut.

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