Nathan Gallardo

Sound Design || Music || Audio DIY || Game Dev

Resonator Guitar [Part 13 – How to install the sound well, cone and bridge]

I’ve had a few questions about how I installed the sound well, cone and bridge, so here’s a cross-section diagram.

The sound well is glued the the inside of the front of the guitar. I built this out of layers of MDF. The top layer is slightly wider to add more surface area to glue it to the front of the guitar. The bottom layer is made of plywood and is the same width as the other pieces, but the inside diameter is less, so it forms a ridge for the cone to sit on.

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I cheated a little with the bridge. It is what’s known as a biscuit bridge. It is a circle of maple, with a channel cut across it, and another block of maple sits vertically in this. I had this laying around and couldn’t be arsed making my own so I used it. I drilled a hole in the middle of the resonator cone (read: frying pan) and screwed the bridge to the cone. There are ridges cut into the top of the bridge for the strings to rest in.

If you’re improvising a resonator cone, make sure you think about the height the strings will be at once the bridge is installed. The height of the cone will dictate the depth of the sound well.

Hope that clears it up!

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