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Thread: Sanding sharp bridge edge

  1. #1

    Default Sanding sharp bridge edge

    I recently purchased a new Eastman 815 and Iíve noticed that the bridge has uncomfortably sharp edges on top where I rest the heel of my hand. Whatís up with this?
    Why arenít the corners rounded? Iím sure other players must experience the same discomfort when playing. I am a beginner and certainly donít feel confident enough to work on the instrument myself if it takes any kind of skill! Is this something I can sand myself? Or would you recommend I take it to a luthier? If Iím doing that, I feel like I might as well have a Cumberland bridge put on the instrument since I have read nothing but good reviews about these bridges.
    Any guidance or advice would be much appreciated! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sanding sharp bridge edge

    Quote Originally Posted by Jfayne View Post
    Why aren’t the corners rounded?
    Time is money.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jfayne View Post
    Is this something I can sand myself?
    Sure it is if you are handy at all and have some reasonably fine sandpaper (180, 220, somewhere around there)


    Quote Originally Posted by Jfayne View Post
    Or would you recommend I take it to a luthier?
    If a luthier is close by and available to do the job, why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jfayne View Post
    If I’m doing that, I feel like I might as well have a Cumberland bridge put on the instrument since I have read nothing but good reviews about these bridges.
    That wouldn't be a bad thing, but it would almost certainly require taking it to a luthier to get a good for of the bridge to the mandolin top. If you are not familiar with doing that (fitting the bridge) I don't recommend trying it yourself.

  3. #3
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Sanding sharp bridge edge

    I've blunted the sharp edges on many mandolin bridges, high end and low end, new and antique, solid and adjustable. It comes with the territory.
    Banjo bridges need to be blunted too.
    A few strokes with a small piece of sandpaper glued to a popsicle stick or a small needle file will take care of it. If you don't trust yourself, cover the mandolin top in that area with a piece of cardboard. If you still don't trust yourself, see the luthier.
    I don't know how much difference there will be between an 815 bridge and a Cumberland bridge. In addition to fitting, the Cumberland bridge will have to be blunted also.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Sanding sharp bridge edge

    Yup I round all mine to be comfortable.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Sanding sharp bridge edge

    All mine have become rounded over time but I suspect sandpaper would do the job quicker and be easier on the hand.

  6. #6
    Likes quaint instruments poul hansen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sanding sharp bridge edge

    You can do it with a nailfile
    I'm not collecting, not collecting, not........OUMM.....
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Sanding sharp bridge edge

    Great advice here already. I'll add that I'm a big fan of Cumberland bridges and have put them on 4 of my builds. However, the Eastman mandos I've been in contact with had a big sound and sounded great with the stock bridge. Properly fitting bridges is a finicky and time consuming process and I'm guessing you'll spend well over $100 for a Cumberland bridge and having it fitted (and then may not be able to discern the difference). Look closely at how the feet of your current bridge mate with the top, if there's much of a foot with a gap of more than a sheet of paper's thickness, you may consider having a pro refine the fit. Otherwise round the bass side of the top and enjoy it!

    You picked a nice mandolin to begin your journey on, it should keep you happy for quite some time.

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