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 Post subject: Flat top bridges
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:31 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:37 am
Posts: 4
First name: Jean
City: Pittsburgh
State: PA
Zip/Postal Code: 15210
Country: US
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I’m working on a flat top kit and it’s time to make the bridge. I’m not confident I can carve compensation as precisely as it should be. And I don’t understand the variety of flat top bridges that I’ve found. The top photo is the bridge drawing in the plans I’m working from.

Attachment:
BA7F101E-7708-44CE-BFD8-A1458DBFBE96.jpeg


The second photo is a mock-up of that bridge I put together from odd bits. I can tune the mandolin with this rigger. So I think a solid bridge something like this is the way to go.

Attachment:
965CD34E-C074-4C09-B89A-B253B380DC27.jpeg


The third photo is a flat top mandolin bridge I bought online. The top white bar is about 1/8 or 3/16” thick. Is the idea to carve compensation into this? Could I get this one close to the drawing I’m working from?

Attachment:
DAF06207-03B7-4361-8462-28C9CCB42FDC.jpeg


And then there’s this one. I have no idea what the design principles are for this one but it was sold as a flat top bridge.

Attachment:
A49934CD-0E27-4729-ACB6-C0C9F36A022A.jpeg


Please advise or give me some links to resources that will help me understand how to carve with precision. And what is the logic of bridge design? Thank you


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 Post subject: Re: Flat top bridges
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 4:26 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:09 pm
Posts: 620
Location: Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
First name: Conor
Last Name: Searl
City: Duncan
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V9L 2E5
Country: Canada
Status: Semi-pro
I can't speak to the logic behind Mandolin bridge design, but I've found this to be really helpful in regards to compensation...

https://www.liutaiomottola.com/formulae ... sation.htm

If I was in your shoes, I'd build the bridge, leave the top flat, string the instrument up, stick a piece of a thick B string or something under the actual string where I think I'll want my saddle peak to be, check intonation and adjust. Once you know where the right spot is mark it with a pencil, and file away the saddle until your left with just a small area at the appropriate place.

I don't have as much experience setting up a mandolin as I do guitars, but one thing I've come to appreciate about intonation, compensation, and the compromises involved in tuning a fretted instrument is how dependant it all can be on a players technique. When checking the intonation on a guitar I can easily manipulate the note 5 or so cents sharp or flat depending on how I press the string down all within the realms of normal playing. So I aim for perfection, but realize this is an area that can be overthought.


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