A flamenco ‘ukulele requires a classical guitar style bridge. I’ve built quite a few bridges for ‘ukuleles over the past few years, but this had to be different. Most of the bridges are pretty simple affairs. This was had to be a scaled-down version of a bridge designed for a classical guitar. To get the dimensions I first looked at the new ‘ukulele bridge offered by Stewart MacDonald, which is very nice looking and just about exactly what I wanted, but I really wanted to make it myself rather than to buy one. I then did some more exploring on the internet to read and look at pictures of classical bridges. Then I got out the book by John Bogdanovich (see Library) on Classical Guitar Building and reviewed the chapter on bridge building. I had a piece of ebony that I originally planned to use, but after reading that some builders considered ebony as a bridge was a ‘tone killer’ I decided to go more traditional and get a decent piece of Indian Rosewood. Lutherie suppliers typically charge $8-10 for a suitable blank, but you can also find wood like this at places like Woodcraft or Rockler. So I managed to find an excellent piece, 1/2″ x 3″ x 24″ which will yield quite a few bridges in the future.
It would have been better had I taken some progress shots, but I got started and became engrossed in the process and basically ‘forgot’! So here is the bridge after all the cutting, planing, grooving and adding bone strips along the edges of the tie block. Once all the construction was done I sanded it from 100 down to 400 grit:
then I put a coat of shellac on:
and after the shellac I knocked down the finish with a fine abrasive pad and added a coat of gun stock oil:
It will get one more coat of oil this week, but so far it looks pretty good. The finishing process is just getting started and I hope to have it done over the next 10 days or so and then I’ll let the finish cure for a couple of weeks before any final buffing.