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Bridge carving try


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I tried to carve this bridge reading Strobel's book and trianglestrings article. I would be happy if you could critisize it to find my mistakes. Strobel's book was really helpful. I have a trouble trying to plane the bridge (I have to put a stop block to the table in order to plane it without holding it). Because of that I use a sandpaper block to thin the bridge. Also for the finish I read a lot of suggestions. Shellac, colour, chemicals etc. What is the most efficient?

Thank you for your time



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First off not too bad for your first bridge.

Nothing wrong with sandpaper but try get the marks out.

Try keep everything smooth and flowing. For example, there is a straight section on the one kidney. The shin on one side is also quite angular. I like to match the arch to the arching of the violin top. The current arch on your bridge looks a little flat to me.

I generally leave the heart area alone except for the wings.

I've never bothered to stain a bridge so can't help you there. It isn't really necessary but if you think it'll look better... I guess do it. What's best? Forget.

You could probably still clean it up a bit yet. But then again, it looks like a bridge, it will function as a bridge, it's just the fine points.

Hope that helps, and good luck.

Also check out this, and do a maestronet:bridge search on google for more info such as more advanced and controversial bridge tuning.


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I agree -- not bad for a first attempt.

There are a few basics that make a bridge functional:  correct string height above fingerboard, correct string notch spacing, correct top curvature and feet fitting the top of the instrument.  The fit includes obtaining the correct angle between the bridge and the top.  (I aim for a right angle between the top and the tailpiece side of the bridge.)  It looks like you have two G string notches.

Beyond these basics, it's mostly trimming the bridge for appearance and tone.  One thing that I don't like about the appearance of your bridge is the shape of the feet outside the ankles:  You've left them thick and curling up.  I trim them so that they're thinner and sloping gracefully down at the ends.

Planing:  With a sharp blade set to take a fine cut, you can plane a bridge while holding it in your hand.  To do this, I hold the bridge with the tips of my fingers such that the area that I want to plane is backed up by the fleshy base of my left thumb.  (I am right-handed.)  I plane either away from me or towards me, depending on which way cuts smoother.  I did it like this for about 25 years before making a holding fixture for bridge planning.

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Thank you very much all for your precious help and comments. I see my mistakes and I will try fix them. I would like to learn more about frequency measurement-tuning with a piezo microphone. The discussion before years does not explain in detail the procedure. I have read the articles on bridge tuning and researches too. I would be intrested for that simple microphone method if anyone  knows more. Also do you think that Prier's DVD on setup have more details than the sources mentioned above? It costs some money and I am wondering if it worths. 

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