How a dBridge is made
Each dBridge is made by me, in my workshop here in Glasgow. Here, I’m building a slimline aluminium bridge to fit a Gretsch Duo Jet. Let’s see how it’s done…
First, I take the order details (radius, post specs, string spacing, overall height) and build a CAD model of the new bridge.
I copy the saddle positions from the customer’s photo of their adjustable bridge into the CAD design – so the final solid bridge will have exactly the same intonation as the original bridge.
Starting with a solid block of (in this case) aluminium, I first engrave a unique serial number.
Then, the block goes into the CNC machine to be milled to the rough shape.
Don’t worry, at this stage it’s supposed to look rough!
Next, drilling the post holes. This is done by CNC to allow a slightly conical shape (not to rock, but to provide a snug fit at the base whilst preventing the post from buzzing against the inside of the hole).
Now, I run a second pass on the CNC, to clean things up. We can now see the final shape starting to appear.
Here’s the bridge after the CNC work is complete. Nasty looking!
Next, I spend some quality time with sandpaper, a Dremel and polishing compound to transform our scrappy lump of aluminium into a mirror shine.
Now we’re near the finish post – time to slot the bridge! This needs a steady hand and a good eye – one slip, and our shiny bridge goes into the trash!
Slots are filed to slope gently towards the Bigsby or tailpiece, leaving a little of the wound strings protruding (like a well-finished nut). Together with the vertical shelf of the dBridge saddles, this prevents any buzzing.
I use good Japanese nut files for this step, and polish the finished slots with 1000 grit sandpaper.
And here’s the finished product, ready to be packed and shipped to another happy customer!