Today I want to talk a bit about one of those parts that really can make a difference to the sound and usability of your instrument, the bridge.
When one thinks of upgrades for a guitar or bass often shop bought tuners, pickups or bridges come to mind. There are plenty to choose from, many colours and finishes, vintage specs or highly exotic materials but every once in a while you stumble on an instrument, like this Beatle bass, which could use a part not found on a shop shelf.
The “problem” was the floating bridge, although adjustable, it simply was not sturdy enough. Only the top part needed changing so I set out to make one from ebony since it’s very durable and suited the colour scheme nicely.
After carefully measuring the original part and marking it out on a blank I started to file away material, checking every now and then the fit as I progressed. One has to consider several factors besides purely aesthetic ones, for example, fretboard radius and fine tuning to name a few. After getting the shape as I wanted, I sanded it (320-1200 grit) and applied Danish oil.
Lastly, I hand buffed it with some wax and installed it on the bass. Although there certainly are times when only using the best parts money can buy is the only way to go, having a part made by hand for a particular instrument surely is the “bees knees” as far as upgrades go.