Classical Bridge Replacement

Here I show the repair of a bridge of a classical guitar, also showing how the bridge is made

Bridges on classical guitars do not have to offer the same resistance as steel strings. The gut strings used on classical guitars do not build up such enormous string tension and also do not notch the saddle inlay as much. When damage to bridges occurs, it is usually due to the top gluing coming apart or the wood of the bridge itself being damaged (e.g. cracks along the wood grain). In the case of the specimen shown here, the owner was probably very eager to do his own work and replaced the broken knob bridge part with a stiletto construction.

The only thing that can help here is a complete replacement. With a hot knife, you carefully detach the bridge. You work your way slowly from one corner all the way around, taking special care not to splinter the ceiling wood when you lift it off.

Age web and new web timber

The outer dimension of the old bridge (29.5x190) is marked onto a 10mm thick piece of rosewood and cut out with the band saw.

Cut the raw mass

Using a fine saw, cut about 6mm deep to the left and right of the center piece. To make sure you cut perpendicularly, it helps if you clamp an angled piece of wood to the sawing point. The width of the center piece is predetermined by the string inlay. The plastic piece measures about 82x2.2x10mm.

Sawing of the center piece
The next step is to drill the 6 string holes, each 1.5mm thick and 11.4mm apart. It is helpful here to set the vice at an angle so that the drill enters from behind at about 2.5mm and exits in the middle section at 4.5mm.
Drilling the string holes

The next step is drilling the string holes 6, each 1.5mm thick and 11,4mm apart. It is helpful in this case to provide the vice far inclined that the drill at about 2.5mm enters from behind and re-emerges in the middle part at 4.5mm.

Rounding the tailpiece

Now file the rounded transitions on the front and back of the center section.

Rounding bridge feet

The side parts are also rounded with the file.

Attaching the chamfer

A bevel is applied to each side panel and everything is then sanded again with sandpaper to 240 everything.

Polishing of the web

The bar is polished to a shine on the coarse polishing wheel and is thus ready for gluing.

Gluing the web

With quick clamps and white glue, the new bar is glued exactly on the surface of the old one.

Classic view