1970s Bruko Quart Guitar

I've worked on a few quart guitars -- with the coolest being a Martin-made one from the '20s -- but have never had the chance to work on a German-made Bruko version. It's the same size as their baritone uke bodies but has a 3-piece maple neck of guitar width and a 20 1/2" scale length. Its owner tunes it up "as normal" which is like a classical guitar with a capo on the 7th fret -- ADGCEA low to high. This makes learning chords on it quite easy for a uke player!

The owner of this sent it in to get it buttoned-up and  humming. It got a fret level/dress, side dots, and an odd work-around for the saddle area as the bridge needed to be shaved to lower action and then I found out that Bruko hadn't installed the bridge in the correct place at all. They'd installed it a full 1/4" too far to the rear and the proper place for intonation was 1/16" in front of the bridge. Oh my! I'll detail that work when I get to the bridge pictures, but suffice to say it's now playing perfectly (hair-under 3/32" bass and hair over 1/16" treble action at the 12th fret) and feels great.

The top seems to be solid spruce (and ladder-braced), but the back and sides are ply mahogany. The bridge and fretboard are rosewood.

This has a 10 1/2" lower bout width and 3" depth to the body.

The nut is plastic and this has a zero fret (a nice bonus). Note the three-piece maple neck build -- this makes for a strong, sturdy, and stable neck. It's also allowed for a quite-slim D-shaped back profile for the neck. The nut has a 1 11/16" width -- just like a steel-string guitar of the time. It's comfy!

So... here's my bridge modification. I shaved the top of it until the original saddle slot was gone, then string-ramped from the string mounting holes to the front of the bridge. After that I polished it up and finished it to match the look of the fretboard.Finally, I cut an ebony saddle that I installed on the front of the bridge with two tiny screws attaching it.

It's worked-out really well and saved me from having to pull the bridge off, relocate it, and then have an ugly patch of bare wood behind it (or make a new bridge). It looks pretty tidy in person, too.