Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Repro Synchromatic Bridge Build

1

I've always admired the post art deco stylings of the old synchromatic brides so I finally decided to build one. I'll put it on my convertible and it's being built in Brazilian rosewood to match the old bridge and fingerboard. I'm mostly copying the base and will be building a top section with an inset compensated bone saddle. (heads up to the vintage correct sticklers ) Here it is with the one dimension roughed out and mostly fitted to the curvature of the top

2

Here it is , fitted to the top and with the other dimension roughed out. Live in 3 D!

4

Looks great Bernie! Are you going to leave it with sharp edges or round them off for a well-worn vintage look like mine?

5

It won't look as worn as yours but also won't have really pointy corners It's in roughed out shape right now and until I build the top section , won't be finish sanded. The top definitely won't look like yours because it will have a bone saddle.

6

I figured yours will have the usual bone tips. I wonder what mine would sound like with bone tips on that nice old rosewood bridge???

7

Beautiful work. Those are wonderfully elegant bridges.

8

Thanks! As you say it's a lovely design.

Further progress Rough square top piece made , riser holes drilled and extra wide (4.5mm) bone saddle inset 8.4 mm (top piece is 12.25 mm tall) and will to taken down quite a bit!(probably about 2-3 mm as well as curved to match the fretboard contour. As well as obviously shaped further Base need to be thinned out a little too

9

And from the side, my fickle flash decided to work!

10

and closer...by the way, except for drill and some dremelling of the saddle slot. ALL hand tools.

13

And, excuse the tape residue. I took the bridge hilotron off to sand teh bridge base.

15

Looks fabulous Bernie!! Just enough of the sharp edges removed to give it a warmer, and older look. I'll bet it has a wicked acoustic tone with the bridge being bone and not wood and given it doesn't have the 'sound post'. This has become a special guitar and IMO, a hell of a big improvement over the original version.

16

Thanks Dave It sounds good, has a little more zing on the top end, the way i like it. And most importantly...it looks cool! Here it is again with the hilotrons re-attached. Not so rough and tumble looking Pickguards arrived from Paul(Thanks Paul) and clear surrounds should arrive in the next few days. Onwards

18

Looks like an improved version of the greatest looking archtop bridge ever. Can't wait to see the final version. Are you putting surround around the HiLo's? If so go with the '58 Filter versions - thick lucite - looks great.

19

HI lx Where could I come by a pair of those and do they have the same basic footprint as the 60s ones?

20

Very nice! Love the Ebony, too.

21

HI lx Where could I come by a pair of those and do they have the same basic footprint as the 60s ones?

– Toxophilite

They seem to be a little more narrow, but way taller; as thick as a vintage pickguard as I think they are cut from the same lucite. Paul probably can make some. If he doesn't have a template, let me know as I can remove the one off my Streamliner and send him one for his files. I think the screw holes won't line up to the regular ones. It's funny that the polystyrene molded ones are called "sculpted" but they aren't. The earlier ones don't look as dramatic when photo'd but look much better live. It would add a distinctive touch to your already distinctive and cool 6199-and-a-half.

22

That's a goo0d idea I might make some similar up here I find the repros(60s type) to look a little big on this guitar, especially to either side. Something narrower and a little taller moght be the thing There's a plastics shop down the street.

23

Got some measurements for you:

the top and bottom (long sides) is 1/4" wide

the sides (short sides) are 5/16"

The thickness is 5/16"

The inside hugs the pickup with almost no gap. The outside curve is subtly rounded. The top is very slightly beveled and rounded. Screws go in dead center to the curve. I made my own pickguard after seeing a '57 jet pg go for $350. My plastic cost me $.75. Not as good as Paul's but it will do for now.

25

Got some measurements for you:

the top and bottom (long sides) is 1/4" wide

the sides (short sides) are 5/16"

The thickness is 5/16"

The inside hugs the pickup with almost no gap. The outside curve is subtly rounded. The top is very slightly beveled and rounded. Screws go in dead center to the curve. I made my own pickguard after seeing a '57 jet pg go for $350. My plastic cost me $.75. Not as good as Paul's but it will do for now.

– lx

Cool I'm making one as we speak we'll see how it turns out Inside dimensions done, just have to take the outside down to it's final dimensions and then shape and polish and give it a try


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