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 Post subject: Irish Bouzouki bridge
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:04 am 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:34 am
Posts: 41
First name: Steve
Last Name: Blower
City: Keighley
State: West Yorkshire
Zip/Postal Code: BD20
Country: UK
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I’m in the process of making an Irish Bouzouki for a client and need to fabricate a floating bridge.

Any advice from the mandolin specialists would be very much appreciated (I’m a guitar maker really).

My considerations are;

Do I make a split bridge to help if the client wants to fit a pickup?

Is there an advantage to making an adjustable bridge (and will it affect the energy transfer from the strings)?

Is there anything about bridge design I need to consider that I might not have thought about? :)

Many thanks in advance chaps.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:16 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo
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Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:25 pm
Posts: 104
First name: Tony
Last Name: Thatcher
City: Bozeman
State: MT
I've done a few floating bridges (archtop, octave mando, and flattop mando). One was adjusting, the other fixed. Fixed is certainly easier, but gives less flexibility in dialing in the setup. Neither are not too much of a challenge. The adjustable bridge had a bone saddle set into the floating/adjustable piece. The fixed bridges were both ebony. I think, if done right, you shouldn't worry much about loss of energy with an adjustable bridge. The key piece is to get the base to fit flush to the top of the instrument.

I've used internal pickups, so no help there.

_________________
Tony Thatcher
Montana



These users thanked the author mountain whimsy for the post: UKSteve (Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:29 pm)
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:38 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:34 am
Posts: 41
First name: Steve
Last Name: Blower
City: Keighley
State: West Yorkshire
Zip/Postal Code: BD20
Country: UK
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Cheers Tony.

I think I’m going for a none adjustable but I’ll provide two saddles, one low and one medium to high.

I’ll recommend an internal pickup if the client needs it.

Making the zouk has been an interesting project, I might have to do one for myself.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:24 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:46 pm
Posts: 184
First name: Mark
Last Name: McLean
City: Sydney
State: New South Wales
Zip/Postal Code: 2145
Country: Australia
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Steve. I have recently posted my first attempt at building a bouzouki. You can see the floating bringe I ended up with. I didn’t make my own bridge. I actually bought adjustable ones off eBay (there are a few different sellers, all in China, but they are probably all from the same source). I ended up removing the screw adjustment hardware and gluing the two halves together to make a solid rosewood bridge. They would not be too hard to make, but are very cheap to buy pre-fabricated and adapt to your needs. As you suggested, you can adjust saddle height to get the right setup. I found the ones that I bought had Tusq saddles of exactly the same dimensions as I had been using in guitar bridges (which are Taylor compensated saddles). The Taylor saddles just dropped straight in and are easily sanded down, or shimmer up to your desired height. So, my experience is limited - but I would endorse your plan.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:00 am 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:34 am
Posts: 41
First name: Steve
Last Name: Blower
City: Keighley
State: West Yorkshire
Zip/Postal Code: BD20
Country: UK
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Thanks for the reply, Mark.

Yours looks great. I think I’m going for understated with mine as it’s not for me.

More elaborate decoration next time if I do one for myself.

Cheers

Steve


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:02 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo
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Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:25 pm
Posts: 104
First name: Tony
Last Name: Thatcher
City: Bozeman
State: MT
Sounds like a plan, Steve. You'll end up building one for yourself as soon as you hear it! They are a lot of fun, but require some serious finger stretching to reach some of the chords that I play on the mando. Gives a way to play with a group of folks and not be just another of the same thing.

FWIW, if you have not bought a tailpiece yet, I ended up using one from Allen (http://www.allenguitar.com/tpcs.htm) after ordering and returning a bunch of lower cost tailpieces. The Allen's are solid and look great. Worth the price in the end.

Enjoy!

-Tony

_________________
Tony Thatcher
Montana


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:12 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:46 pm
Posts: 184
First name: Mark
Last Name: McLean
City: Sydney
State: New South Wales
Zip/Postal Code: 2145
Country: Australia
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
+1 for Allen tailpieces. I am very happy with mine.


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