Guitar Making Tip No. 534

Guitar Making Tip No. 534 is about getting the bridge to adhere to the soundboard. There is a lot of force that the bridge helps to control. Rushing this critical glue joint is not something worth messing with. Here is why.

The Book Store is Now Open!   Happy Building!

The Guitar Bridge and String Tension

guitar making tip number 534The bridge is under a lot of stress. Actually, it’s more like the entire bridge area.

The ball ends of the strings pull against the bridge patch below the soundboard, and the string tension exerts force forward on the bridge.

If you are using a guitar with a bridge where the strings terminate at the back of the bridge, then you are putting even more stress on that single glue joint.

Over time, this can weaken the joint, and even cause failure.

Sometimes, as guitar makers do things, they can rush a little. When you glue the bridge, this is one of the areas when you want to give it all the time it needs. Allow the joint for the bridge to cure overnight before stringing up the guitar.

Free Woodworking Tips Delivered Every Monday! Add Me to the List!

It’s one way to be sure that your guitar will not fall apart at the last minute…but this is why it will be hard for you.

Guitar Makers Love New Toys

It is going to be incredibly hard to wait to put strings on your new guitar. I completely and totally understand. On one of my first guitars, I strung it up before I even applied a finish just to play it a while.

acoustic guitar making how to make tools templates and jigs book beginner book for new guitar makers

As a guitar maker, or any instrument maker I bet, the urge to play this thing that you have created can be overwhelming. Resist that urge. Give the bridge enough time to completely cure before you tune the guitar up and start playing. The small gift of time for the guitar means a lifetime of great performance for you.

For Impatient Guitar Makers

If you absolutely cannot wait for that last bit of glue to dry, you can change your build. There are many guitar makers that glue on their bridge and finish everything together. This means you are going to have to wait a couple weeks anyway for the finish to dry.

When you make your guitar like this, the process itself forces you to wait. Since you can’t play a wet guitar, the bridge will be safe from your haste.

You can also start another build right away. This will keep you from having nothing to work on, and taking out the guitar too early. Most builders have a couple things going on at the same time. Switching to one of those things sometimes tricks the brain into thinking that there is still a lot of work to do before you can play the guitar.

More From Westfarthing Woodworks

woodworking and guitar making books
Buy My Woodworking Books on Amazon!

I give away the majority of my woodworking, wood finishing, and guitar making tips, but I also have several books if you want to take the next step.

You can see them in my Book Store, and they are all on Amazon.

Also, if you want to Join the Facebook Group, you can do that as well. We are just starting to grow a fantastic community and I would love for you to be part of it. 


Leave a Comment

An Exclusive Member of Mediavine Home

Westfarthing Woodworks LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.