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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 12:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm
Posts: 264
I have three tenor ukes on the go and need bridges for them. Not sure why but I like the tieblock style of bridge, and like the look of the one from Stew Mac. I set out to make some, and decided to do extras for future use. I used scraps of hardwood; a piece of what I think is Bois d'Rose, a piece of Arbutus (Madrone) to try, and some scraps of walnut from discontinued picture frame material from my wife's business. I also included some pine scraps as test piece. I made a crude sled to run the blanks on the flat and on edge through the thickness sander. They were cut and sanded to match the dimensions of the SM bridges. I used a Veritas plunge base with edge guide, and the SM/Foredom handpiece with a 3mm bit to cut saddle slots.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 1:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm
Posts: 264
I was not sure how to cut the groove behind the saddle, and wanted to avoid the skilful but slow hand-cutting techniques I had seen for classical guitar bridges. I found a router bit through Lee Valley (Their number is 16J5201 but I'm sure similar bits are elsewhere). It's called a lettering bit. The 60º angle is very close to the angle on the SM bridges, and it is available with a rounded nose. I bought a tilt base for my Bosch Colt router and set it to a 30º angle. It gives a very nice groove with a rounded bottom, but the profile requires more space in the bridge blank than two intersecting straight cuts, so I could not set it as deep as I would have liked. If I do this again I might make the bridge blank a little wider so the groove can be deeper without narrowing the wood behind the saddle slot, and keeping the 90º angle at the front edge of the tie block. I could also tilt the bit more but I was reluctant to lose the 90º corner at the tieblock. I'll see how these turn out. I'm not sure yet how I will do the wings. Next step is to rout rabbets on the front and rear of the tie block for bone strips, which I have cut out of bone nut blanks. SO at this point it probably would have been quicker/easier/cheaper just to buy the bridges from SM, but it's all part of the learning . . .


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