How to make an easy string Ukulele Bridge.

Following is a really easy method to make 2 bridges for your cigar box Ukulele or equally good for a normal Ukulele. This bridge allows for really easy stringing method by simply tying a knot in the end of your string and slotting them in the back. You could follow this method for bridges with any amount of strings and depending on the toughness of the wood May be suitable for steel strings too although Ive only used it for Ukes. P.S The dimensions are by no means set in stone feel free to make it smaller bigger. Its up to you. This takes about 1/2 an hour to make two bridges using a bandsaw A pillar drill, slot cutting bit on the pillar drill and belt sander This should be fairly straight forward to do with handsaws and a hand held drill.

First you need a Block of Hardwood approximately 90mm long by 25mm square This is Aformosia
The next step is to mark cetre lines along one face this will be the rear or the bridge

 And then mark a line approx. 10mm from the rear  on either of the other faces which will be the top face
You can mark your saddle slot at this point to fit your saddle this one is 2mm from the front face and 2mm thick.
 On the rear centre line mark out your string spacing usually from 13 - 15mm these are 14mm
Then extend those lines to the line on top face

 Then 1mm in front of the line on the top face and at central points between the 1st and 2nd string line and 3rd and 4th string line mark 2 points. These will be the holes for your mounting screws.

Drill 4 10mm Holes on the centre point on the rear of the bridge 10mm deep

 Cut your saddle Slots. either with a saw chisel or I use a thin rotary slot cutting disc on a pillar drill.

 Cut the saddle slots to your required depth on both sides. You could probably just stick a fret or thin piece of saddle material on the top of the block forgoing the slot which can be a bit tricky without a slot cutting bit

At the points marked earlier on the top drill 2, 3mm holes right through the block
Then along the string centres cut 4 slots up to the 10mm line from the rear.

Then cut the block in half hey presto you now have two bridge blanks.

Then you need to sand the bottom just enough to get a flat surface
Then sand down the top so the Bridge is about 10mm thick You might want it a bit thinner or thicker to suit your particular build. You can leave the bridge square at this point or like I have on this one shape it. I do mine on a belt sander.
You may need to slightly widen the 2nd and 3rd string slot to accommodate the wider strings.
Finally countersink 6mm holes into the mounting screw holes about 5mm deep. Enough for the mounting screw to be recessed below the surface. the hole can then be filled with filler or plugged with a dowell or for a really nice touch put place a fret marking dot that matches the fret board in the top.
Finally fine sand and its ready to fit to your Ukulele

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Comment by Mark Bowen on March 11, 2019 at 8:01am

I'm going to use this approach for my next uke. I like to use a separate, floating bridge, so I'll do this to make just the string tie block. I bet this would work well with steel strings, too, and it can be glued to the back of the box with a bit of fret wire to reinforce the corner to keep the strings from cutting into the wood.

Comment by James R. Sober Jr. on February 16, 2018 at 9:52am

What the heck is a saw chisel or a thin rotary slot cutting disc on a pillar drill?  I'm no stranger to wood working and have a good supply of tools but I've never heard those terms.  How about a picture of the tools?  Maybe I know them by another name. 

Comment by Peter Otto on March 28, 2016 at 3:53pm

Thanks Anthony, a great post!

Comment by Bluesheart on March 19, 2016 at 11:13am

I made a pair like that out of a rosewood plate I found at the thrift. Have not used them yet though because they are a little tall.I should have just made the holes a little bigger so I could sand it down from the back (the tops are carved).

Comment by Robert Killen on February 25, 2016 at 12:01am

Wonderful! Thank you for the instructions. I am building a Uke for my dad right now. This should come in very handy.

Comment by Antony Moggridge on February 24, 2016 at 3:12pm

Thanks Glad its usefull :-)

Comment by Lane Martin on February 24, 2016 at 2:53pm

Rob, this could easily be done with just a drill and a thin-kerf handsaw (dovetail saw, fret saw, etc.) The saddle slots could be made with two cuts, then breaking out the center with a screwdriver or chisel.

That said, I am by no means discouraging further tool "acquisition" on your part. ;)

Comment by Rob Tabish on February 24, 2016 at 2:41pm

it might take a bit of imagination to figure out which common hand tools you can use in place of the power tools or specialty saws you mention. just when i think i have every tool i might need, to put something together, i catch myself needing to make another run to Harbor Freight. LOL.

Comment by Richard O'Connor on February 24, 2016 at 12:43pm
Nice one - very clear and the bridges look great. Cheers
Comment by Lane Martin on February 22, 2016 at 3:10pm

Outstanding. Much appreciated.

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