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Thread: winter non-adjustable bridge

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    bergen, norway
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    Default winter non-adjustable bridge

    hello. being that I live in norway, I some times experience the need for a winter time bridge on my weber aspen mandolin. does anyone know of a good non-adjustable bridge (preferably 100% ebony, somewhat heavily built, with a broad base and no bone. just ebony) that can be fashioned/adjusted into a winter-time bridge by my luthier?

  2. #2

    Default Re: winter non-adjustable bridge

    I live in Canada with similar climate changes through the year. You could use a thin shim to place under your bridge to raise the bridge.
    I use a thin shim on my old my old Gibson teens mandola. It could be made out of wood if you want to be fancy, or simply cut one out of a thin piece of plastic using the base of your bridge as a template.

  3. #3
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: winter non-adjustable bridge

    A one-piece bridge can be carved from scratch with simple hand tools such as coping saw, a couple of files, and some small sandpaper blocks. Any good violin repairman should be able to carve a bridge for you.

    The only picture I could find of a Weber Aspen mandola had a bridge with a curve in it, but the curve is only cosmetic and is not functionally necessary. An alternative is to use a picture of a mid 1910's Gibson H-1 or H-2 bridge as a model. Those old Gibson bridges were actually built in two pieces; consisting of a base section and a compensated upper section that were laminated together. They are fairly easy to make; I have made several. You can adjust the design if you wish to, and make it thicker or longer if you please. The only essentials are that the base can be fitted to the top, the string compensation is reasonably correct, and the finished bridge is of sufficient height.

    An alternative is to have Bruce Weber or someone like myself carve you one, but it is better to have it carved by someone near you who can do the job with the instrument in hand.

  4. #4
    Registered User liestman's Avatar
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    Default Re: winter non-adjustable bridge

    Your luthier probably has a piece of ebony at hand - left over from an old fret board - and could make a bridge easily enough (or use a shim like Barry Canada recommended). Or, and this is what I do, just keep the room where your instruments are humidified. No changes needed and it is better for your skin and sinuses anyway. (Don't do the tea kettle method, get an actual humidifier device that delivers gallons of water into the air each day.)
    John Liestman -
    Eye new ewe wood lye kit!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: winter non-adjustable bridge

    so, have one made, or cut out a piece of an old credit card to place between the body and the bridge would be my best options, then? there actually are several violin and hardanger fiddle makers in my town. will try to get one of them to make me one.

    I dont only use it in one place, and the place in question also has lots of expensive electronics, so having it perfect at 50% just isnt practical, or indeed possible.

    thanks to you people for good advice.

  6. #6
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: winter non-adjustable bridge

    It sounds like you have a solution. Any decent violin or Hardanger maker can certainly make a good bridge for you.

    I don't like the idea of shimming with a piece of credit card. A piece of ebony, maple, or even rosewood or mahogany would be better.
    If you shim, it's a good idea to blunt the edges of the shim with a piece of sandpaper or a fine file. A sharp edge on the shim can leave a mark in the finish.

  7. #7
    Registered User Brian560's Avatar
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  8. #8

    Default Re: winter non-adjustable bridge

    Weber has the one piece adjustable bridges,
    The Brecke bridge...
    They are great!

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