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View Full Version : How do you set your bridge plates on a tenor



miche
04-20-2016, 01:48 PM
Hi all sorry for yet another question...

I am making progress on my uke. Glued the first brace today on the top. Only have three small clamps so have to glue one brace at a time!
I just wondered when setting the bridge plate do people cut slots in the bridge plate to fit the lower braces or cut up the bridge support to fit in between the braces?

I had planned to have three lower braces as on the stew Mac template. But would cutting slots weaken the bridge plate. I could eliminate the middle brace and keep the bridge plate whole. What do you all do?

And do you use a reinforcement strip on the back plate. On the guitar I used off cuts if sound board but have not seen many ukes with a centre strip.

Regards

Allen
04-20-2016, 07:05 PM
In most bracing patterns you have an upper and lower transverse brace and at the very least a bridge patch. This on sopranos would be the norm and doesn't require anything else.

On concerts and larger you will also have a number of fan braces that may include one that runs down the centre seam. If not you may use a small diamond shape cleat or two if it makes you sleep better.

I notch my braces to fit over the bridge patch.

sequoia
04-20-2016, 07:10 PM
A complicated question and I'm not sure I follow... No, I would never cut my bridge plate (bridge patch) ever to accommodate bracing. The bridge patch is inviolate to me. That is structurally and acoustically integral to the soundboard. Cut the bracing to accommodate the bridge patch but not visa-versa. Again, pictures are so much better than descriptions.

UkulelesRcooL
04-26-2016, 09:53 PM
I notch my braces to fit over the bridge patch.


I agree.. you dont want to cut your bridge patch... notching the fan braces doesnt harm their ability to support the soundboard and would actually help them to strengthen the bridge patch..IMHO

Wildestcat
04-26-2016, 10:55 PM
If the joints between patch and bracing are well executed, I don't see that it makes any significant structural difference which way you choose to do it. I choose to slot the bridge patch and finesse the fit of the brace into the slot a) because that's how I was taught by a well respected luthier to do it, and b) because I am more confident of achieving a good fit that way.

Allen - just out of interest, when you are notching the brace to fit over the patch are you trying to achieve a good glue joint between brace notch and bridge patch, or are you flying the brace over the patch with clearance permissible between the two?

sequoia
04-27-2016, 06:02 PM
If the joints between patch and bracing are well executed, I don't see that it makes any significant structural difference which way you choose to do it. I choose to slot the bridge patch and finesse the fit of the brace into the slot a) because that's how I was taught by a well respected luthier to do it, and b) because I am more confident of achieving a good fit that way.

Sure, if you slot the bridge patch and slot the bracing to create a mortise joint you have achieved the same result. However with twice the amount of work. Why not just notch the brace and achieve the same effect with half the work. Six of one half a dozen of the other. Your method is a more elegant (and prettier) way of doing things and I admit elegance is important from a spiritual, if not a practical, point of view. These little touches do make a difference. Sometimes.

I'm not sure how Allen does it, but bridging the bridge patch with the bracing in my mind defeats the idea of transmitting the energy transmitted through the saddle ttransmitted to the bridge transmitted to the braces transmitted to the top idea. I would not isolate the bracing from the bridge. Just my current thinking.

What do you think Lloyd?

Sven
04-27-2016, 10:43 PM
I think it's possible to overthink this.

Cheers / Lloyd

sequoia
04-28-2016, 06:44 PM
I think it's possible to overthink this.

Cheers / Lloyd

Ha Sven! I disagree and I don't think this is an example of OCUBS (Obsessive Compulsive Ukulele Builder Syndrome) although it might... What I think is that the bridge/bridge patch/bracing connection is "Area Number One" where everything starts to happen. I think physics would bear this out. To hell with the neck, to hell with the nut, to hell with... well, pretty much everything else, this is where it happens. This is where the magic begins...

UkulelesRcooL
04-28-2016, 06:52 PM
but bridging the bridge patch with the bracing in my mind defeats the idea of transmitting the energy transmitted through the saddle ttransmitted to the bridge transmitted to the braces transmitted to the top idea. I would not isolate the bracing from the bridge. Just my current thinking.

What do you think Lloyd?

What if when you notch the brace you do it in such a way as to integrate it with the bridge(not notching the patch, just the brace).. In other words make the notch just deep enough to bridge the patch but allow the brace to touch it or at least be very close to it so when you glue it up... The glue incorporates the brace and bridge patch with the sound board making contact so the vibrations can be transferred to the box more efficiently through the soundboard as a unit. Instead of it isolating the bridge as you described . Just a thought.

sequoia
04-28-2016, 06:55 PM
What if when you notch the brace you do it in such a way as to integrate it with the bridge(not notching the patch, just the brace).. In other words make the notch just deep enough to bridge the patch but allow the brace to touch it or at least be very close to it so when you glue it up... The glue incorporates the brace and bridge patch with the sound board making contact so the vibrations can be transferred to the box more efficiently through the soundboard as a unit. Instead of it isolating the bridge as you described . Just a thought.

Yes.......

Sven
04-28-2016, 07:50 PM
I'm intrigued. Where do you guys think "the energy" goes? Do you think of it as a current that needs carefully designed and unbroken paths of copper wire? Would "the energy" turn into silent heat at the edge of the bridge ptach, never reaching the soundboard? Would it be possible to design a soundboard so faulty on purpose that it is essentially silent?

Or is it in fact the case that you cause the strings to vibrate and they in turn cause the soundboard to vibrate, thus producing sound. This sound can be perceived as music, and music is what matters. Hell, I met my wife after playing a hard rock gig on a overdriven Rickenbacker bass, with my hair to my shoulders and fake blood dripping from my face. We've been married 14 years.

Not trying to be rude, just saying it's possible to overthink this.

sVenom, once of metal fame

ProfChris
04-29-2016, 12:50 AM
I met my wife after playing a hard rock gig on a overdriven Rickenbacker bass, with my hair to my shoulders and fake blood dripping from my face. We've been married 14 years.

I knew Anne was a wonderful woman, but didn't realise she was that wonderful!

But I'm with you on the over-thinking.

I've suggested elsewhere that Michelle could just add a transverse brace around the location of the bridge and leave out the patch. Her current bracing is - unconventional - but looks like the uke will still make noise, which is the point.