You can make a workable guitar bridge with some small pieces of wood that you may already have around your house. A guitar bridge aligns and supports the strings before they attach to the tailpiece. On some acoustic guitars, the bridge cracks or slips. The constant action of the strings can also wear it down and the result is buzzing or noisy frets on the higher register. Replace that bridge with a homemade one. It may not look fancy like a factory one, but it will work fine at a fraction of the cost.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Wood clothespin
- Steak knife
- New strings
- Wood strip, 1/18-by-1-by 4-inches
- 2 nickels
- Dimes, quarters (optional)
Draw a fine pencil line around the perimeter of the old bridge. Remove the strings and the old bridge from the guitar.
Pull the clothespin apart into two pieces. Lay one of the pieces on its side. Lay the old bridge on top of the clothespin, also on its side. Center the bridge on the clothespin. Use a pencil to make a mark inside each string slot, transferring the slot locations to the sides of the clothespin.
Remove the old bridge from the clothespin. Using a small steak knife, cut grooves 1/32 inch deep at each mark.
Install a new set of strings on the guitar.
Slide the 1/18-by-1-by 4 inch strip of wood into place under the strings on top the guitar using the pencil lines to square it to the guitar top. Slide the clothespin-bridge under the strings, centred on top of the wood strip. Drop the strings into their respective slots that you cut with the knife.
Pry up on the bridge with the knife. Slip a nickel under each side of the clothespin-bridge. Play the guitar. If too high, replace the nickel with a dime. If too low, replace the nickel with a quarter or add another nickel to the top of the first nickel.
Tips and warnings
- Experiment with different sizes of coins to get the bridge at the right height for your guitar. You can also make the guitar's nut out of a clothespin as well. If you are concerned about aesthetics, stain the clothespin and wood strip before installing it.
- Don't slide anything across the top of your guitar if it is prone to scratching easily.
- If the new slots are not deep enough and the strings slip, loosen the tension on the string, slide it to one side and cut the slot deeper. You can make an electric guitar bridge just like this, but this bridge works far better on acoustical guitars.