View Full Version : Bridge/finish question

12-09-2016, 04:38 AM
I had previously thought the bridge should be glued on before the finish is applied to the body, but I have seen several You Tube videos where professional builders are finishing the body without the bridge already glued on. That seems easier, but how would you glue the bridge on if a finish is already applied?

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
12-09-2016, 05:08 AM
No one I know glues the bridge on before finishing- with nitro or poly. French polishers sometimes do it though.

The issue isn't quality of sound etc- it's more about (1) negating the possibility of finish build up around those tight corners and edges of the bridge, and (2) it makes buffing the top way easier.

Same build up issue arises when you glue the neck on before finishing- but the only people who do that are french polishes and as FP is so thin it isn't a concern.

Once the finish has cured,
1- locate the bridge,
2- clamp it in place
3- tape around it,
4- take the bridge off,
5- scrape/chisel/dremel the finish off.
6- glue bridge on

Note- You can either leave a small ledge of 1 or 2/32" of the finish (safest method) or remove the full foot print of the bridge (you will need a new blade for this, and don't slip)

12-09-2016, 06:32 AM
Thank you! This is my first build.

12-09-2016, 06:36 AM
one more question, When using a bolt on neck, do you rely on the bolt(s) to hold the neck secure or do you glue is also?

12-09-2016, 08:32 AM
Most people probably just do the bolt on but I glue with high test epoxy too

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
12-09-2016, 08:44 AM
Everyone glues the "tongue" (the part that extends off the neck) of the fingerboard down to the top. Glue isn't needed anywhere else, ie on the mortise/tenon).

12-09-2016, 07:16 PM
In the College Course I'm taking, we use Beau's method. I applied the finish before gluing for Beau's reasoning.
We have a jig that precisely locates the bridge
Its clear acrylic, so you may not be able to see it too well.
It has a nut installed in it-place the nut in the slot of your neck
A centerline is scribed in it to keep everything centered.
There is a slot that the saddle fits in to locate it.
Drill 2 holes thru the bridge into top where G & A string go
Put small nails thru bridge to keep it from moving when clamping
These are just temporary.
Glue and clamp. I used opposing wedges under the caul to keep clamping pressure on the 'wings'
DISCLAIMER: this is my first build, but the Course instructor has years of experience.

Dan Gleibitz
12-09-2016, 08:44 PM
Thanks Pahu, that's very instructive.

I picked up a double-tape method from one of the YouTube builds. Something like this:
* Mask the top
* Put a piece of masking tape on the back of the bridge, trim it with a razor blade
* Glue the bridge in position with a small amount of superglue
* Check the bridge position
* Check the bridge position
* Drill positioning holes
* Draw around bridge
* Remove bridge with/without its tape (depends how much glue you use)
* Cut the masking tape a mm or so _inside_ the bridge outline using a razor blade/scalpal and remove this bit
* Sand/scrape
* Remove mask
* Glue and clamp