View Full Version : Pre-fretted Necks & Bridges

Aug-05-2004, 8:30pm
I am thinking about builing an electric mando for fun, and the least attractive step seems to be all of the the fret work. #Are pre-done necks available in the right size? #Also, are correctly sized 4-string bridges available?

Thanks tons!

Aug-06-2004, 5:37am

You certainly have to look out for Rob Dick! here is his Website (http://www.jupitercreekmusic.com/necks.html).

He is building me a tenor guitar now, and he is a very nice guy to work with!

His work on the tenor so far looks very good.

Be sure to contact him http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/blues.gif

(btw, Rob: I hope you dont mind that I am shamelessly advertising your work http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif )

Aug-06-2004, 7:36am

Thanks for the plug Sellars! We've had a heap of rain lately and the roof leaked right on the middle of a tenor neck I was working on, leaving a rusty stain on the wood! Aren't you glad it was on the one I'm making for myself and not on yours! #:-))

Brendan, you can either make your own neck, buy one, or cannibalise a ukulele for the neck. A uke is the same scale length, generally a bit flatter in profile rather than the rounded mando neck on an acoustic, but needs some reinforcement to stand up to the strain of steel strings. Making one isn't actually all that hard to do if you're handy with tools, but a uke neck is an easy option, and you even get tuners! If you look on the Musical Instrument Makers Forum (www.mimf.com) you'll see an emando made by a young guy who made his own from a uke neck. It's very very satisfying playing something you've made yourself.

If you look on my http://www.somethingabout.net/sbmando/index.html website you'll see how I made my first emando, The Less Paul Very Junior, or if you look on my website (kindly plugged by Sellars) you'll see some of the necks I'm making. Might help you with some ideas.

Jan-28-2005, 8:56pm
Sort of off topic, where do you get your eagle strat style bridges?

Jan-28-2005, 9:01pm
I just looked at the above wesite and saw that it is a cut down bridge. How does that effect string spacing. how far off from the 8 string spacing is it?

Jan-29-2005, 12:08pm
For a partial shortcut, Stewart-MacDonald (http://www.stew-mac.com) offers pre-slotted fingerboards for 13 7/8" scale (no frets installed, but all the fiddly-measurement of cutting the slots is done).

They also have pre-carved necks (one has an undrilled, unprofiled headstock that could be used for a four-string, or you could plug half the tuner holes in one of the cut-and-drilled ones, then hide the plug under an overlay). These are routed for a truss rod (but it's sold separately), and have a dovetail at the heel to fit an acoustic-style neck block. You could prob'ly cut a matching slot into a solid body....

Jan-29-2005, 4:53pm
I've got some 4 and five string bridges that I made. The spacing is based on an acoustic bridge. They're made from brass stock. I'll try and post some photos when I get to work.


Jan-30-2005, 4:32am
Hi all

The Eagle bridges are available through any guitar shop in Australia that has an account with Australasian Music Supplies. I've never seen a website for Eagle parts, but a lots of AMS' catalog comes through WSC (http://wscmusic.com) so they may be the manufacturer. Gotoh and Schaller also do a similar bridge.

If you want to adapt a bridge for an 8 string instrument bridge use a cut down 12 string bridge.

Here's something that may be worth a try.... To get 8 strings onto a 4 string bridge it should be possible to use a cut down 6 string bridge with the addition of a small vertical central pin right where the string usually sits. The pin would split the two strings to give the spacing, and because both strings would have the same break angle over both the bridge and nut they should intonate ok. Remember the individual intonation on a 12 string guitar bridge is to compensate for the different diameter and type (wound / unwound) of string. The mando shouldn't suffer from this. Please note I haven't tried this yet, but it's on the cards for sometime soonish.

Andrew.... How did the bridges turn out? I'm assuming they came up to your expectations? I'd love to see a photo!

Jan-31-2005, 7:50am
Here is a photo of my first bridge design, polished brass with goldplated saddle, but I have since made them larger, for obvious reasons. The rectangle saddles are pretty bulky, but the barrel style saddles work well on them. Also, I had to change the string holes, in relation to the saddles, as the string was fairly tight against the saddle spring. I haven't had a chance to take a photo of those, but will try to get to it this week.
The strings thread through from the back of the tailpiece. The neat things about this is that you can use piezo guitar saddles with it.

Jan-31-2005, 9:57am
Here is another with barrel saddles. The base is nickel chrome and the saddles are just nickel plated. You can't tell in the photo, but the saddles don't have the mirror polish that the base does. In the future, I will nickel plate them. If anyone is truly interested, I can put together a photo essay on how I made them.

Jan-31-2005, 3:13pm
So Andrew ...

would you want to continue making these?

I occasionally get requests at emando.com for them.

Jan-31-2005, 3:57pm
Rob and I actually had this discussion a couple months ago. He wanted me to make some neck plates and jack plates too. I've been on and off on making them. I figured I'd need to make a couple dozen at a time, in order to get a deal on the plating. I think I could be persuaded if there was enough interest.

Feb-02-2005, 8:31am
Hi again

Emando.com is THE source for emando stuff (along with the emando section of the Cafe of course!), so it would make a lot of sense to get some pics and specs to mrmando. My listing on Emando.com brings in an enquiry a month on average.

I finally found a local supplier of 2mm brass angle (40mm x 10mm) but the minimum order was for a 6m (20') length of the stuff! At AUD$25 a metre that worked out to AUD$150! Add the time to make the bridges, clean them up and polish them and suddenly the postage from the US to Australia looks quite reasonable. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif