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Standard bridge radius?


polkat
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I think other factors have to be included in your calculation Addie.

Not really my calculation... just my analysis of commercial bridge templates... showing various approaches to a compound curve.

 

The “Burgess method” obviously takes string thickness into account, which gives better results.

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Not really my calculation... just my analysis of commercial bridge templates... showing various approaches to a compound curve.

 

The “Burgess method” obviously takes string thickness into account, which gives better results.

Apologies if I misunderstood.

 

I presume these are bridge crest curves which, in the end, are modified on adjusting the string curve anyway. The straightening out of the curve at the ends of the template has more to do with the fact that further curving is not necessary on the part of the crest that extends beyond the outer two strings. I like to straighten out this curve a little but it's done by eye. If the line is too straight, just as when it is too curved, always looks strange to me. 

 

Bruce

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I made this bridge template the first week I worked for David in '85 (copied one of his).  Similar to what I see many use, but the additional lower curve is used for checking/setting the radius at the top of the strings.

 

attachicon.gifBrdgg.jpg

What are the two holes for?

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Interesting.

 

I find that if the fingerboard radius or curvature is standard, and the neck is correct in tilt, or projection to the bridge - then the "string radius" is mainly determined by the different individual string heights above the very end of the finger board, as determined by their position or height on the bridge.

 

Many players (fiddlers are one group) like the string height above the fingerboard both lower and flatter than a "standard" radius bridge would provide.

In fact, they often require an E string so low, it is often hard to get it not to "buzz" when playing - and the fingerboard itself must be made very well and evenly scooped along that path, so there are no slight high spots on it to cause such problems.

 

Then too, I find that many classical players require slightly different curves, and often even use different strings, and various weird combinations of things, so I don't usually bother with a guide or template at all.

It seems that rarely is anyone that "standard" with their preferences or their requirements.

 

Normally, I'll start with a well seated, slightly tall bridge, fitted and cut with all of the strings slightly high (above the fingerboard), and then work the bridge height down to accommodate the player's individual preferences  - or, when putting a set of Dominants (which is what strings I put on automatically when I finish a violin, before it goes up for sale) on, I'll usually set the strings high to start, and then adjust the strings down individually very slowly for my own playing comfort, and then, when selling the fiddle, the player will have to decide if it's comfortable for him or not.

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I set my dividers to the width of the holes then transfer the measurement to the arch on the bridge.  I don't like the tracing of the upper curve on the bridge being interrupted by notches.  The reasons; 1) It's just the way I've always done it (If I had notches I'd still do it with my dividers, no notches or holes and I'd use a scale.).  2) & 3) Notches screw up my pencil point and the notches would never be "quite" in the right place anyway.   :)

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You need to learn Swedish ;)

 

attachicon.gifBridgeSetup.jpg

Hi Peter,

 

That is a completely different system that references the ideal height from above the string and from below it. Once you have a standardized set of measurements on a standard set of strings it can work but you will have a hard time repeating the same string bowing curve if you change any one string to a different diameter or modifying it to suit individual needs.

 

It's so much easier to control when your reference is on top of the string exactly where the bow hair will be contacting the string.

 

If I want to make a new bridge for a violin, perhaps experimenting with a harder or denser type of maple, I can define my old bridge curve very easily before I take down the strings so that it can be reproduced exactly on the new bridge. 

 

One could annotate as follows:

 

Height of E string:                          (measured as the least distance between the string and the board)

Height of the G string:                    (measured as the least distance between the string and the board)

Distance center to center E to G:

String bowing radius EAD:             (with all three strings in perfect contact with a given radius template)

String bowing radius ADG:            (with all three strings in perfect contact with a given radius template)

 

for example: 3.5 / 5.0 at 33 mm     r EAD = 42 mm   r ADG = 40.5 mm

 

EDIT: it is worthwhile to note if the strings are centered on the bridge crest or if they were were shifted toward the E or the G.

 

When you have a small series of reference radii it's enormously easy. 

 

Bruce

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The system that I posted (which I also use) is from an amazing swedish book that I bought in the 90's. http://hem.fyristorg.com/jandag/ The book has exact measures, drawings and blueprint. I still use it.

I can see what you mean! If you want to have perfect copies it is not the best way.

It's not only a question of perfect copies. it has to do with quick and accurate control over what you are doing. If you have to adjust a viola d'amore or a viola da gamba with the Swedish method you'll see what I mean.  ;)

 

Great for those who are setting up five string violas as well. 

 

Moreover, musicians are constantly experimenting with strings and these often have different diameters which can immediately be compensated for on the string bowing curve with the radii.

 

Bruce

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  • 6 years later...
On 11/9/2013 at 12:11 PM, Peter K-G said:

The system that I posted (which I also use) is from an amazing swedish book that I bought in the 90's. http://hem.fyristorg.com/jandag/ The book has exact measures, drawings and blueprint. I still use it.

I can see what you mean! If you want to have perfect copies it is not the best way.

Hi Perter, Could you tell me the title of the Swedish book on construction of musical instruments. Unfortunately I can't open the link.

Thank you in advance

Giuseppe

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  • 2 weeks later...

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