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Cutting your own bridge blank


pold
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  • 2 weeks later...

I've made experimental bridges with a progression of increasing densities : balsa, paulownia, spruce, mahogany, big leaf maple, hard maple, and rosewood.  The grooves for the softer woods were hardened with super glue.  Everything seemed to be work and roughly equivalent if they are made to the same weights and foot spacings.

 

The only take aways for me was that the optical color becomes darker with increasing density and that I'm not good enough a player to notice acoustical differences.

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I've made a few bridges from Sugar maple, Cocobolo, Ebony and plexiglass. The Ebony and Cocobolo were quite dead, as if muted, and likewise for the plexiglass. The Sugar maple worked well. I believe properties of light weight and hardness is the ticket to a successful bridge. Maple fits this category nicely.

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Flames certainly are considered a weakness because of the runout .

Flamed boards are not allowed for use as stair treads by code.

I think flamed wood is used for violin backs specifically because of the weakening

effect which also slows down the speed of sound along the grain.

Wow, it's the first time I hear this, don't know if it's true, but interesting anyway. Flames are also considered a sign of strength and good health, they are just more difficult to carve (but that's another story). I also could say that if the flames slow down the speed of sound, than, on a bridge the flames should increase the speed of sound, because (unlike the annual rings) they are directed towards the belly plate.

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Wow, it's the first time I hear this, don't know if it's true, but interesting anyway. Flames are also considered a sign of strength and good health, they are just more difficult to carve (but that's another story). I also could say that if the flames slow down the speed of sound, than, on a bridge the flames should increase the speed of sound, because (unlike the annual rings) they are directed towards the belly plate.

This is why highly flamed rib stock is more difficult to bend; often it'll snap along the flame before it gets bent to the proper shape.

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