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Thread: Brekke - How Low can it go?

  1. #1

    Default Brekke - How Low can it go?

    So I'm struggling a little with the action on my Weber Bitterroot F, and the Brekke bridge.

    Right now I've got the bridge as low as it can go, and the string height is about .8 inches off the top of the mandolin at the saddle.

    At the 12th fret, I can slide under a TP 60 pick (60/1000, or 1.5mm) under the G string without it touching. We are at .059 inches where I'd prefer a lot closer to .045 at the 12th fret. (action at first fret is fine right now, but that might change as I adjust things)

    With the Brekke, my options are to stick sandpaper on the top of the mandolin to gradually remove the foot of the bridge, or to work on the trapezoid shaped saddle to make it sit lower in the bridge.

    I think my best bet is sanding the foot, because there is plenty of meat there. Before I do that, I wanted to see if anybody thought I should do differently?
    Scott R.
    -
    2017 Pava A5 Pro - Autumn Burst
    2006 Weber Bitterroot F5 Mahogany

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Brekke - How Low can it go?

    I'd work on the saddle, you can replace it in case of error. I think its a lot simpler to remove material from the bottom and sloped sides of that saddle than grind down the ebony bridge, not mentioning the possibility of not getting as good a fit to the top when you got done.

    And I'd ask Rob Meldrum for a copy of his setup guide, its excellent.

    Just my $.02. ymmv
    Play it like you mean it.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Brekke - How Low can it go?

    Well, I only have about 1/8th of an inch until I start getting almost too low with the saddle, so that gives me .125 to work with.

    Checks math....

    I want to take off .028 inches of saddle height to lower 12th fret by .014 right?

    So yeah, saddle is workable with a pretty small change.
    Scott R.
    -
    2017 Pava A5 Pro - Autumn Burst
    2006 Weber Bitterroot F5 Mahogany

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  4. #4
    Bridger Products
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    Default Re: Brekke - How Low can it go?

    Hi Scott,

    This should be a warranty issue for Weber - if you wanted to go that route.

    With that said, there are several possibilities:

    Weber had four bridge base sizes. You may have the second or third tallest - depending upon which saddle is installed.

    The instrument/bridges came with two saddles. If the tall saddle is installed, you will gain about .1 inches of lower height by changing to the short saddle. If you only have one saddle, I can help you determine which saddle it is and send you a replacement saddle if you need the short one.

    If the saddle is all the way down, but still supported by the wedges, you can shorten the wedges slightly (about 1/16 of an inch) - at the wide end of the wedge to make the wedge height shorter.

    If the saddle is all the way down and not supported by the wedges, you can sand the bottom of the the saddle (about 1/16 of an inch) without causing a future problem. *** Do not sand the angles, just the flat bottom ***.

    You will gain the most if you sand the bottom of the base. This is also the safest, but it entails refitting the bridge.

    I can also send you a shorter base. Unfotunately, that will also need to be fitted.


    I hope that this helps,

    Vern Brekke
    Bridger Products
    bridgerproducts@hotmail.com

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  6. #5
    Registered User Pete Braccio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brekke - How Low can it go?

    You could completely remove the ebony wedges in the bridge to ensure that the saddle is as low as it will go.
    Pete Braccio

    "The Rules: Play nice and don't run with scissors"
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  7. #6

    Default Re: Brekke - How Low can it go?

    Pete--yep I did that and it is still too tall.

    Vern--thanks for the email, I'll do some measuring in the morning and get back to you!

    Best,

    -Scott
    Scott R.
    -
    2017 Pava A5 Pro - Autumn Burst
    2006 Weber Bitterroot F5 Mahogany

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  8. #7
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brekke - How Low can it go?

    On my Weber Fern,i have a Trad. bridge. I had to remove the saddle from the bridge & sand the 2 area where the thumbwheels rest to reduce the height. I then had to file the 2 screw threads to shorten them - it worked fine. My bridge saddle had bottomed out when i bought it & i'm the original owner.
    So did the Trad.bridge come in 3 sizes as well ?. If so i must have the tallest maybe ?,

    Ivan
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  9. #8
    Bridger Products
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    Default Re: Brekke - How Low can it go?

    The traditional Brekke/Weber bridge had two base heights: a short and a tall. I'm glad that Ivan also thought to lower the screw threads. We left at least a 1/16 inch space before the bottom of the base to prevent marking on the top when the saddle was adjusted all the way down.

    Vern Brekke

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  11. #9
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brekke - How Low can it go?

    Hi Verne - Shortening the screw threads was a pretty obvious thing to do. When i fitted the saddle back to the base after i'd sanded it,the screw threads were just about peeking through,so i filed about 3/32" of them - just to be sure !.

    From what you say,it seems that my 'Fern' bridge was the tall version. Maybe the shorter version would have been more suitable - ''the only way is up'',
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  12. #10

    Default Re: Brekke - How Low can it go?

    Many thanks to Vern for his emails and encouragement to tweak the bridge I had

    I got it low enough, and I'm pretty happy with the results.
    Scott R.
    -
    2017 Pava A5 Pro - Autumn Burst
    2006 Weber Bitterroot F5 Mahogany

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