Acoustic Guitar Kits & Luthier Supplies

How to Build a Guitar

Making Bridge Blanks

To make bridges for a guitar you have to start somewhere. As you will see I use my oscillating sander a good bit for this task as well as my belt sander. I start with a pattern that was a reject from Martin. This is my basic bridge. Here is the order of this process 1st stock material , It may be any wood you want , in this case I have ebony. I start by running it though my sander. How you do this can vary but you want to get your stock to about 3/8 inch. I also want it 6 inches long and about 1 1/2 inch wide.

Pattern Pattern Pattern Blanks

With sized stock you can start the production process. In all processes you want repeatability. I use a series of simple stop jigs that can be clamped to my sander. You can rig something similar to a drum sander on a drill press , or even work by hand. In this set I start with the sized blank and set up the stops using my pattern. Note the clamp setting the stop using the pattern as my guide.

Drill Press Drum Sander

Making the rough blank is not that hard . I will use a band saw to rough out the blank using a pattern to mark the wings. Then I will use the sander and sand them to the stop. flip the blank and do the other side.

Contouring the Blanks Rough Cut with Band Saw Drum Sand Contour Contoured Blank

Now that we have the wings we need to make them a bit more refined . I will set up another stop jig for this. In this process I will rough the shape on the saw and clean it up on the sander using the stop jig.

Rough Cut Profile with Band Saw Blanks Rough Cut Profile Rough Cut Profile Drum Sand to Finish Drum Sand to Finish Drum Sand to Finish

Now we have the wings defined , and we need to get the belly . I will mark this out with the pattern and sand this using the pattern as my guide. The trick here is to maintain square. As long as you are close you can refine later. I like to do these in a run of 6 to 8 as the repetition of this helps you to dial in muscle memory.

Bridge Blank Belly Drum Sand Bridge Belly

Now we need to set the radius of the top of the bridge. I use a 16 inch pattern I made from a bridge, I trace that and then sand it using the belt sander.

Guitar Bridge Top Radius Guitar Bridge Top Radius Complete Acoustic Guitar Bridge Complete Acoustic Guitar Bridges

Blues Creek Guitars is a CF Martin Authorized Repair Center

Bending forms, side benders, jigs, sanders