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Thread: Ozark pancake mandolin bridge

  1. #1
    Registered User Matt Hutchinson's Avatar
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    Default Ozark pancake mandolin bridge

    Hi. I have an Ozark mandolin that needs fixing. The issue is the action is really bad above the first few frets but the bridge couldn't be any lower so not sure if it's fixable. Feels like it could be a decent instrument otherwise!

    Any thoughts greatly appreciated!
    Matt

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Ozark pancake mandolin bridge

    If the saddle is removable you can sand the bottom of it before reinstallation.
    Otherwise, you can sand the foot of the bridge a bit.
    Keep in mind, lowering the action at the bridge will reduce the breakover angle behind the bridge.
    You don't want the bridge so low that the strings won't stay put or buzz while playing.

  3. #3
    Registered User Matt Hutchinson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ozark pancake mandolin bridge

    Thanks! I picked it up really cheaply and it's currently almost unplayable so it's worth a try either way.

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    Default Re: Ozark pancake mandolin bridge

    If it's high at the first few frets look at the nut before sanding the bridge. String height at the nut is probably way too high. It could also have a bow in the neck. These things should be checked out before lowering the bridge.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Ozark pancake mandolin bridge

    The break angle looks negligible. Is there an issue at the neck/body junction? Is it a bolt-on neck by any chance?

  6. #6
    Registered User Matt Hutchinson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ozark pancake mandolin bridge

    Yes there’s not much break angle and I can’t see a way to adjust the neck. Feels like it may not be possible to balance nut height, bridge height and break angle in a way that works. It’s also not worth spending too much to fix. I should probably just get a luthier to look at it and tell me if it’s salvageable - just wondered if there was anything obvious I could look at first.

  7. #7
    I really look like that soliver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ozark pancake mandolin bridge

    If the action is high on the first few frets, it sounds more like you may need to adjust the string slots in the nut rather than the bridge. its not as scary as it sounds to file the nut slots lower, and the "tools" you need are pretty cheap, as they can be made out of a set of automotive "feeler gauges" with saw teeth filed in them with a small diamond file. Both the feeler gauges and the files can be bought at Harbor Freight here in the states for a total under $20. ... I'd recommend reading though the set-up guide Rob Meldrum's ebook here on the cafe to guid you through the process. Learning how to do your own set up is a great thing to know!

    Check this thread: https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...ighlight=ebook and you can find his contact info.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Matt Hutchinson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ozark pancake mandolin bridge

    That’s great, thank you

  9. #9

    Default Re: Ozark pancake mandolin bridge

    If the action is high on the first few frets, it sounds more like you may need to adjust the string slots in the nut rather than the bridge. its not as scary as it sounds to file the nut slots lower, and the "tools" you need are pretty cheap, as they can be made out of a set of automotive "feeler gauges" with saw teeth filed in them with a small diamond file. Both the feeler gauges and the files can be bought at Harbor Freight here in the states for a total under $20. ..
    <violates Forum posting guidelines.>
    Last edited by Mandolin Cafe; Jun-23-2021 at 4:55pm.

  10. #10
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Ozark pancake mandolin bridge

    Not really nice to call Spencer a "troglodyte", he has posted lots of useful info here. You may disagree with him but no need to badmouth.

    And yes, it looks like a neck reset is needed.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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  12. #11
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    Default Re: Ozark pancake mandolin bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by NotMelloCello View Post
    Do not listen to this guy. You adjust the string height at the bridge FIRST, then the nut.
    And making saws from feeler gauges which are flexible is something a troglodyte would recommend.
    It is obvious the instrument needs a neck reset, and it may be more expensive than you would want to put in it.
    Let an experienced and knowledgeable luthier look at it first.
    The first thing I do is evaluate the instrument to determine what the problem is and fix those things that need fixing. If the nut is high, I adjust the nut. Adjusting the bridge or re-setting the neck won't fix a high nut. Just as filing a nut won't fix a high bridge or change a bad neck angle. Also, while using feeler gauges made into nut slotting tools can be a bit crude, if it is a one off situation, It will work fine and at considerably less costs than a set of nut files.

    I would suggest checking the string height at the nut; Checking the relief in a few spots to get an idea of the geometry of the neck; and using a straight edge to check the neck set.
    I don't think calling names is a good way to inform anybody of anything.

  13. #12

    Default Re: Ozark pancake mandolin bridge

    <violates Forum posting guidelines.>
    Last edited by Mandolin Cafe; Jun-23-2021 at 4:55pm.

  14. #13
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ozark pancake mandolin bridge

    I think we are beyond where we should be on this.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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