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View Full Version : To screw the bridge or not to srew



banjoprat
03-19-2011, 04:14 AM
I'm just finishing my first Tenor Uke, I don't usually use screws in my sopranos but I like to know if in a tenor would be a good idea to put a couple of screws, I have made a bridge that is 3"X1" +/- and maybe de glueing surface is to small for not to screw it...

DeVineGuitars
03-19-2011, 08:04 AM
I would try to stay away from adding screws if possible. A clean glue joint is more than strong enough to last a life time. By adding screws, you are adding more weight to the bridge that could have a negative affect on the sound.

pdxuke
03-19-2011, 08:39 AM
I would try to stay away from adding screws if possible. A clean glue joint is more than strong enough to last a life time. By adding screws, you are adding more weight to the bridge that could have a negative affect on the sound.

Plus, as a consumer and not a luthier, if those screws show (like Kala bridges) they are UGLY, IMHO.

I also like the look of bridge knots instead of the classical guitar tie off knots, or pins(?) like the old Martin tenors. I also like friction tuners, but I'm waaaaay old fashioned :-)

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
03-19-2011, 09:42 AM
"To screw the bridge or not to screw"?

Definitely NOT!

Allen
03-19-2011, 10:35 AM
Let's just say in polite terms that a screw isn't going to do anything but look cheap, ugly and putting a big flag up for everyone to see that you didn't know what you were doing.

What Chuck said. Most DEFINITELY NOT!

Rob-C
03-19-2011, 10:45 AM
Do Koaloha still use screws in their bridges?

new wave ukulele
03-19-2011, 10:53 AM
no screw, just gluew

chiefnoda
03-19-2011, 11:45 AM
Hi

I guess you're thinking about using screws in case the glue isn't going to hold the bridge. Let's suppose the glue fails and the bridge separates. Then, the screws will get all the tension. Most likely, the tension will pull the screws from the top. If it doesn't get that far, at least the bridge will lift and lose the contact with the top thus the string vibration will not be transmitted and the sound will be conpromised. Whichever way you cut it, the screws don't really do much in terms of adding the strength. That's my view.

Some guitar builders use screws, but most of time, that was use to locate the bridge in place during the building and once the bridge is glued and set, the screws can be removed. At least, that's what I heard from Gallagher Guitars.

Cheers
Chief

I Ukulista
03-19-2011, 12:09 PM
I have a Portuguese instrument.
The bridge is glued but there is additional holes drilled through the bridge and through the sound board (yep I thought it was strange too).
The strings are knotted having been passed into the body then pulled tight and
passed through and then back over the bridge causing the main tension to pass through the bridge into the sound board. Downward tension rather than tension from the back end of the bridge. I guess this must have been a way of stringing any instruments when good quality glue was n't available.
Any one else seen this?

SweetWaterBlue
03-19-2011, 12:22 PM
I think DaveG at Waverly Steet Ukes builds a lot of them that way.

Edit - to clarify what I meant - Dave builds many with the strings going through the body and not tied at to the bridge.

Philstix
03-19-2011, 03:18 PM
As a guy who has had to repair many guitar bridges which had screws --- DON'T DO IT!

Vic D
03-19-2011, 03:47 PM
Not my cup of tea, but if you're gonna use screws at least make them brass or something that won't rust. My first soprano, a Stewmac, came with screws for the bridge and I used them in my first CBU instead and made a different bridge for the stewmac kit. Dunno how they would affect the sound though.. could be bad which seems most likely.. could be a surprise hmm...

olgoat52
03-19-2011, 07:11 PM
High end steel string guitars that have string tensions many times that of a tenor or baritone use a glued on bridge and they are fine.

banjoprat
03-20-2011, 12:39 AM
So I will go for not to screw it as I've been doing in other Ukes
I've seen a pic of a uke that has a couple of wood dowels that goes through the bridge and top , I suppose is the same idea that to use screws.

Philstix
03-20-2011, 05:26 AM
Don't do that either. If the bridge ever fails it will be because the uke was left in high heat and/or humidity. The dowels won't save it from failure then but they will complicate what is otherwise a simple repair.

Liam Ryan
03-20-2011, 11:30 AM
here's a link to an essay by David Hurd on bridge footprint area.
http://www.ukuleles.com/Technology/bridgesize.html

what that guy doesn't know about ukes isn't worth knowing.

ukegirl13
03-21-2011, 07:21 PM
I've never heard of screwing in a bridge. Do some makers do that?!! I say no, no, no...no!

Vic D
03-21-2011, 10:52 PM
That was a good reread, Liam_fnq. I think I actually understood 90% of it this time, which is an improvement. Makes me feel a bit better about plain, ordinary, non winged soprano bridges too.

Ambrosius
03-23-2011, 03:36 AM
I've never heard of screwing in a bridge. Do some makers do that?!! I say no, no, no...no!

I got a < 50$, brightly colored soprano of some sort as a "fun" gift. The bridge was screwed on :-)

Gmoney
03-23-2011, 03:45 AM
I got a < 50$, brightly colored soprano of some sort as a "fun" gift. The bridge was screwed on :-)

The popular Makala Dolphin bridge has screws. :(

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
03-23-2011, 06:54 AM
The popular Makala Dolphin bridge has screws. :(

That settles it. I'll be screwing my bridges from now on. As much as I admire Makalas, I'll probably use carriage bolts instead just to make it different.

banjoprat
03-23-2011, 07:22 AM
Finally I Glued and not screw it... Here a pic of my lastest two Ukes...
http://img860.imageshack.us/img860/9359/p1020194.jpg

Gmoney
03-23-2011, 07:36 AM
That settles it. I'll be screwing my bridges from now on. As much as I admire Makalas, I'll probably use carriage bolts instead just to make it different.

Only if you inlay some cool scrimshaw into the carriage bolts! You could add it as an "upsale" option! :)

Gmoney
03-23-2011, 07:36 AM
Finally I Glued and not screw it... Here a pic of my lastest two Ukes...


Pretty sweet!

mr roper
02-01-2012, 04:49 AM
The soprano stewmac kit provided screws and instructions to use them. I think the video says they help in clamping. I'll remove them after the glue cures. The holes get covered with a decorative wood strip anyway.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
02-01-2012, 05:49 AM
The soprano stewmac kit provided screws and instructions to use them. I think the video says they help in clamping. I'll remove them after the glue cures. The holes get covered with a decorative wood strip anyway.

Oh. Well, they certainly know better than we do! :)

NohoBanjo
02-01-2012, 08:09 AM
If you must use screws for some reason, set them within a flat countersunk hole into which you place a mother-of-pearl dot. That gives a non-screwy finishing touch.

ProfChris
02-01-2012, 08:15 AM
Only use screws to attach a bridge to a banjo uke. Unstable gluing surface on the head.

ksiegel
02-01-2012, 09:39 AM
I think DaveG at Waverly Steet Ukes builds a lot of them that way.

Edit - to clarify what I meant - Dave builds many with the strings going through the body and not tied at to the bridge.

Thank you for that bit of information. I bought a Used Waverly from another UU member, and emailed Dave to see if that is how the strings are attached. I still haven't gotten a reply. (Neither do I want to bother him about it - the only email address I have is the one he uses for the Software Company.) But now you've answered my question.





-Kurt

bbycrts
02-01-2012, 09:46 AM
I have a Portuguese instrument.
The bridge is glued but there is additional holes drilled through the bridge and through the sound board (yep I thought it was strange too).
The strings are knotted having been passed into the body then pulled tight and
passed through and then back over the bridge causing the main tension to pass through the bridge into the sound board. Downward tension rather than tension from the back end of the bridge. I guess this must have been a way of stringing any instruments when good quality glue was n't available.
Any one else seen this?

My Brad Donaldson custom Longneck Vintage Soprano is built this way. I love the look, works great!