Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Building a tune-o-matic bridge for acoustic mandolins?

  1. #1
    Registered User Sevelos's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Tel Aviv, Israel
    Posts
    160

    Default Building a tune-o-matic bridge for acoustic mandolins?

    Ok, perhaps it is a stupid idea, but why?

    On most electric guitars, adjustment of bridge height and separate intonation for each string is very easy. As you know - the bridge is made of metal and has a separate saddle for each string. Action and intonation adjustments are made by turning small screws.

    Why not build some sort of adjustable bridge for acoustic instruments (e.g., mandolin) that could offer such flexibility?
    For example - create a small adjustable metalic bridge, same as for an electric guitar, with 4 saddles - one for each pair of mandolin strings. Then mount this metallic bridge on a flat piece of ebony and use that as a floating mandolin bridge with the new adjustment options.

  2. #2
    Hands of Pot Metal
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Forest Grove, Oregon
    Posts
    1,364

    Default Re: Building a tune-o-matic bridge for acoustic mandolins?

    Draw it out to scale and see what you think.

    At a minimum you have a bridge base, 4 saddles, threaded insert for the saddles for movement adjustment, 4 rods/screws for the saddles to move on, and carrier for that in about .375' width, to not appear too clunky. And of course I'm sure I'm forgetting something.

    Of course you'd also have to do it for a very small premium over a conventional bridge. But maybe Zeta could make something like that, if it were feasible and cost effective.

    btw, you can't even find one of these machined out of metal for a 4 string electric mandolin, but of course the market there is much smaller.
    Play it like you mean it

    Not all the clams are at the beach

    Arrow G
    Clark 2 point
    Ratliff CountryBoy A
    00-21 (voiced by Eldon Stutzman)

  3. #3

    Default Re: Building a tune-o-matic bridge for acoustic mandolins?

    It's definitely feasible. The problem is, if you do something like this:
    https://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and...op_Guitar.html
    it'll weigh 30-40 grams at least, or something like double the weight of a normal acoustic mandolin bridge.

    Basically, it amounts to putting a mute on the mandolin (reducing volume, sustain, and bass response).

    The best approach might be a tune-o-matic bridge you use to dial in settings for odd setups, then copy that geometry to a solid bridge.

    You could also make a grooved bridge cap with movable saddle caps, made of bone or delrin or something, to get similar functionality but without the mass of a full tune-o-matic setup.

  4. The following members say thank you to Marty Jacobson for this post:


  5. #4

    Default Re: Building a tune-o-matic bridge for acoustic mandolins?

    Marty, I’ve seen a bridge on line that consists of a wood base with four parallel slots and moveable hard inserts. That would certainly work, at the expense of detensioning strings a couple of times to move the inserts.

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Richard500 For This Useful Post:


  7. #5
    Registered User Sevelos's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Tel Aviv, Israel
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Building a tune-o-matic bridge for acoustic mandolins?

    Marty - wow, I was not aware these existed.
    Regarding the weight - perhaps it could be made out of Titanium, or some other light and strong material?

  8. #6

    Default Re: Building a tune-o-matic bridge for acoustic mandolins?

    I build them from brass and wood and getting ready to build a batch for some tenor guitars that I'm currently building. Four or five string can fit on a bridge base or on a set of studs. However, it has been difficult to source the style of Nashville TOM saddle that I use. Either they're in big demand or production has slowed. I quit selling them retail because they are so expensive that people literally sent me emails just to complain about how expensive they were priced.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	tombridge1.jpg 
Views:	28 
Size:	62.2 KB 
ID:	183189   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	tun o matic blanks.jpg 
Views:	27 
Size:	65.8 KB 
ID:	183188   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2 pt.jpg 
Views:	31 
Size:	43.1 KB 
ID:	183190  


  9. #7
    Hands of Pot Metal
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Forest Grove, Oregon
    Posts
    1,364

    Default Re: Building a tune-o-matic bridge for acoustic mandolins?

    Too bad the bass bridges don't have the right size.

    https://www.ebay.com/i/362848168122?...yABEgKu5PD_BwE
    Play it like you mean it

    Not all the clams are at the beach

    Arrow G
    Clark 2 point
    Ratliff CountryBoy A
    00-21 (voiced by Eldon Stutzman)

  10. #8

    Default Re: Building a tune-o-matic bridge for acoustic mandolins?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard500 View Post
    Marty, Iíve seen a bridge on line that consists of a wood base with four parallel slots and moveable hard inserts. That would certainly work, at the expense of detensioning strings a couple of times to move the inserts.
    That bridge is made by slotting a solid saddle perpendicular with a fret saw and pressing in short frets.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	s-l1600.jpg 
Views:	15 
Size:	117.7 KB 
ID:	183191  

  11. #9

    Default Re: Building a tune-o-matic bridge for acoustic mandolins?

    Quote Originally Posted by thistle3585 View Post
    That bridge is made by slotting a solid saddle perpendicular with a fret saw and pressing in short frets.
    Oh, ok. Yeah, what I meant was sliding the saddle forward and backwards in the 90 degree orientation to how this one is made.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •