The full size drawing arrived from Scotland and I pinned it to the wall near the garage. My wife says I canít hang it in the living room. I canít overstate how much easier working off a full size drawing is. The full size drawing also exposed some inaccuracies in measurements that are now glued firmly in place.
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The bridge was difficult for me. On the seventh attempt I had finally discovered a path, process and technique that addressed various failures on the previous six bridges. It still has flaws. I am pleased with the profile, it closely matches the drawing, the pins are aligned nicely except the one at the bend is tilted a bit out of vertical.
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To position the bridge onto the soundboard, I made a measuring stick. Using the lowest bass hitch pin as a reference (and the full size drawing) I marked the stick where a sampling of the bridge pins should be located. I did this twice. The first time was before installing the bridge pins or gluing the bridge. The second time was after gluing the bridge, after installing the bridge pins, and in preparation for the final placement of the soundboard.
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I pre drilled the wrest pin block holes using a drill press before gluing the pin block into place. (I glued the wrest pin block to the frame before installing the soundboard) After drilling the pilot holes, I removed a thin slice from the pin block and am using that as a guide to drill the holes through the soundboard with a cordless drill. Because the pin block is tight against the right side case wall, I should be very near dead center.
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The soundboard mouldings are 6 mm x 2.5 mm. I used the band saw to rip strips, then I made a jig to hold the strips and used a hand plane to produce a group that were equal width and thickness.
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I used a shooting board to cut the miters. These are so small that the table saw is not the best tool. (See previous post about table saw and fingers!)
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I used some small sticks to apply pressure to the moulding while the glue dries.
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The drawing specifies oak for the balance rail. On my first attempt, I made a cutting error that I was able to patch and there was a small section of tear out on the back side of the rail. It actually looked pretty nice and the imperfections were the kind that casual observers would not notice. But I knew they were there. I had a scrap piece of 6/4 hickory that allowed a no cost opportunity for no regrets. Using the oak rail as my guide (it fit perfectly) I was able to make the hickory version without taking a single measurement. Having already worked out the various saw blade angles, it was fast, easy and fun making something with measuring.
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