The approach is that I will be making the bridge blanks without saddle slots. Once they are fitted and I have applied the finishes I will fit the strings, finally finish the nuts, and then work out the exact saddle positions for each string. With that done I'll cut the saddle slots and then finally cut and shape the saddles to ensure proper intonation.
So with that in mind, after doing some numbers and marking out on paper, I measured up and started cutting down the first saddle blank.
Masking tape comes in very useful with ebony. A pencil line on masking tape is a lot easier to follow than a scalpel cut on the ebony itself. So after rough trimming to length I sanded one edge flat and put a layer of masking tape over the top. Then I drew out the cutting lines on the tape. Then I used saws to trim close to the cutting lines and a fresh sanding disk on the bench belt and disk sander to sand back to the lines.
At this point I was joined by my new apprentice.
And this is what I was trying to take a picture of. The first blank ready for final shaping and fitting.
Tomorrow I intend to plane it to 9 or 10mm thick, sand a radius on the bottom to match the uke, and start shaping.
Usefully, I bought a pair of classical guitar bridge blanks and they are big enough to get two uke bridges from each. So I have a couple of spares for stock
When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.