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YuCello

Cello bridge feet fitting question

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I have an eastman cello with oil varnish.  The original bridge came with this cello is just ok so my dad bought a Aubert De Luxe and carved the bridge for my new cello.  As I can see, the new bridge stands upright on the back and the feet fit the cello perfectly.  The whole set up actually worked very well.  New bridge opened up the sound a lot.  It worked good for two years until several weeks ago when I changed the strings.  After I removed old strings and also the bridge, I found the oil varnish sticked with the bridge feet and had be removed from cello top plate.  It left two small rectangle area on the top plate without varnish.  I am surprised that the varnish actually is thicker than I expected.

So my question is 

1.  Will this cause any problem?  Is it caused by my dad's bad bridge?  Should I find a luthier and carve another bridge?

2. I cannot put back that bridge without a perfect fit because the varnish sticks on the cello feet.  I carefully remove the varnish on cello feet and then put it back to have a good fit.  Is it ok to do so?  I don't want to remove the bridge next time and find out wood (no varnish now) stick on the feet.  Should I apply something on the top plate or the bridge feet to prevent the 'sticky' feet? 

 

By the way, my dad did this to fit the bridge feet two years ago.

He used sandpaper to fit the feet with top plate first.

Then he used carbon paper and small knif to do the final fit.

 

Thanks for your help!

 

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Your father buys you a nice new bridge (He probably paid for the cello et al, as well); takes the time to hand carve the bridge; you say, " the feet fit the cello perfectly

" and " The whole set up actually worked very well.  New bridge opened up the sound a lot.  It worked good for two years". AND NOW YOUR QUESTION IS, "Is It Caused By My Dad's Bad Bridge?????".  Sounds as though the problem was not your father's workmanship, but possibly the original finish on your new cello had not cured sufficiantly.

The varnish would probably have come off upon removing the original bridege, had you left that one on for two years. My advice is to take the cello to a professional luthier for varnish touch up. It will need time to cure properly prior to putting your Dad's fine, hand fitted with love, Aubert De Luxe back on.

 

Now go give your dad a hug! He sounds like a great Dad!

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My cello is Rainer Leonhardt. But oil varnish takes long time to cure. If I have luthier to touch it up, it can come off again because it is not totally cure yet. You are right, the varnish came off a little when the first bridge was removed. The second one stand there for two more years and almost totally stick away all the rest varnish. Is it ok to leave it white without varnish and won't damage the wood. Anything can prevent the sticky legs?

Currently the bridge legs cover that white rectangle and won't see the bare wood from outside. Just want to make sure it won't continue hurt the top plate.

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I wouldn't worry too much about the loss of the varnish. I usually chalk the bottoms of the feet to stop them slipping around, and this tends to stop the varnish sticking too, but it's very common for a fresh oil varnish to move about a bit under the bridge.

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Thanks everyone.  My cello was made year 2010, the same year my dad bought it.  So, it was very fresh and it should be the reason.  I love that cello and I practice it every day.  I am very appreciated that you let me know it is not harmful and I don't need to fix anything.

My dad did a lot of googling before he started working on that bridge and he starts googling again because of this and try to find out what's wrong of his work.  I think I can let him know this and let him relax, won't feel guilty and then have a beer :) .

 

Thanks everyone again!

 

Tom

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Tom, your right, it was not your dad's fault.  Sounds like he did a good job.  Like Conor said, this isn't uncommon, sometimes the finish just "mushes" underneath the weight. Oil varnish takes a long time to cure.   If someone touches up the area, they will most likely use spirit varnish, not the original oil.  This will dry infinitely faster, therefore eliminating your concern of a repeat performance.  Your dad's old bridge wont fit perfectly with the new touched up area, so he will have to refit those feet, if possible.  jeff

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Maybe the below information can interest some one.  Before my dad put this bridge on the cello, he did tried-and-error to make another three bridges.  He tried French style bridges, one is with weak and long legs smaller head narrower legs span and another one is with 50% stronger legs and bigger head and larger legs span.  For Belgian bridge, he has a very long leg and very small head and short legs span. Yes, he is an engineer and likes to find out something.  Finally he made the final one that has sound I like.  It is a French style with a just little bit longer and strong legs (maybe 55~60% is leg) and has wider legs span.  He also enlarged eyes of this bridge a little bit.  Bridge carving is an interesting thing because it makes cello has different tone color.  I like the last bridge most and second the Belgian one.

My teacher's cello has a French style very thin and a little bit longer legs and smaller head and very very dark color bridge.  Her cello is very expensive and is more than 200 years old.  May dad may copy the bridge style form it but just a bit more fat.

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