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What finish on the bridge?
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Dennis Weatherly

Total Topics: 73
Total Posts: 654
Now that the 000 is nearing the end of the finishing process, it has dawned on me that I have absolutely no idea what I need to do to finish the bridge. I'll dig into some reference books tonight, but though I'd post the question here as well.

What do folks use on the bridge? Nothing at all? Fretboard oil after sanding really smooth? Shellac? Lacquer? TruOil? With all of the shiny and sealed wood around it seems odd to not have some kind of finish on the bridge.

Jan 17, 10 | 4:35 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Dennis,
I think customarily you would sand it to a fine finish, and perhaps polish it. Then it is common to oil it as you do the fretboard.
Personally I see no problem with putting a finish on it, but the normal satin finish on a bridge usually looks pretty good against the gloss finish on a top...my opinion of course. I sealed my last EIR bridge with clear finishing wax. With multiple applications, it sealed the wood, darkened it and gave it a nice luster. The cocobolo bridge I made I just sanded it to about 240 grit and then polished it on my buffer. This is how I finish Coco on my knife handles. It looks great this way; there are natural oils in the wood that allow for this kind of finishing. I think a whole guitar of Cocobolo might look really sweet finished like this, but I am going to put a lacquer finish on the Coco dred I'm building now. I think Ebony is hard enough and has some natural oils in it that you could probably sand and polish and it would look very nice.
What is your bridge made of?

Kevin

Jan 17, 10 | 5:35 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
I normally don't finish my bridges, but the last batch of macassar ebony I got did not have the same richness that the previous batch did, and for a number for a number of reasons we won't go into here, I am using both kinds on one guitar. One peice looks very rich and lustrous, the other looks sort of dull and dry.....this is the bridge. I ended up rubbing a very small amount of Howads Restore-A-Finish into the bridge, and it looks gorgeous. I have the walnut colored kind, and it just deepend the darks, coffee'd up the lighter bands, and give it a rich lustre It didn't have before. When I rubbed it into the better looking ebony, I got the same effect. They look identical!
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Jan 17, 10 | 7:45 pm
Dennis Weatherly

Total Topics: 73
Total Posts: 651
This bridge is rosewood, as is the fretboard. I'll sand and polish and see how it looks. I can always add some finish to it later if needed. Thanks for the input, folks.

Jan 17, 10 | 9:15 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
99.9% of bridges are not finished....just sanded and polished. (Steel string guitars, anyway...)

Jan 19, 10 | 6:14 pm
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
Dr. Ducks! I don't finish my bridges. Just before stringing up, I'll hit the keyboard and bridge with Dr. Ducks oil. Then periodically when I restring, I'll do it again.

Ken

Jan 21, 10 | 5:22 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
I use Dr. Ducks also on my fretboards, bridges, and as a polish on the rest of the guitar. It is a great product.

Kevin

Jan 21, 10 | 6:28 pm
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
Sanding to 320g then finishing off with very fine steel wool can really bring out the shine in rosewood.

Ken

Jan 23, 10 | 5:58 pm



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