View Full Version : Bridge Size

12-20-2011, 08:14 AM
In a recent thread called BUILD QUESTION Chuck Moore made a comment
The only problem I can see with that type of bridge is the reduced foot print size
I have thought that a smaller bridge having less mass and foot print will allow the top to vibrate better. Am I not thinking right??
On almost everything I have built to date I have been running the strings through the bridge and tying off on the inside in order to keep the bridge smaller and to help activate the sound board better.

12-20-2011, 08:56 AM
Having an appropriate footprint size for glueing the bridge is one factor in sizing the bridge.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-20-2011, 09:00 AM
I was talking strictly from a physical standpoint in that there be enough surface area for the bridge to glue onto.

12-20-2011, 09:27 AM
I am one who favors a smaller bridge foot print. The bridge that was used in the photo of the previous thread, looked to me to be too massive in that it was too thick, not that the foot print was too small. Bridge design also is determined somewhat by how the strings are attached to it. With the tie on (Classical style) bridge the foot print need to be a bit bigger than say a string through type. The torque on the top plate is different. Too tall a bridge and saddle is not good with any style.

12-20-2011, 10:19 AM
I agree with the comment that my bridge seems too thick. I don't know enough to say why exactly but my thought at the time was that it didn't look right - too tall. At that point, though, the decision was to apply the lesson to the next build rather than pulling things apart for a re-do.

As for footprint, there does seem to be a wide variation among builders of fine instruments. Here are a couple of concerts:


So, I'm not sure what the lesson is on footprint, except that the sum total of what a builder does adds up to the desired quality of sound. I do get the point that you get there by either dumb luck (rarely) or by deep knowledge of the craft based on lots of experience and many builds (also rare).

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-20-2011, 11:04 AM
Different styles of string attachment is going to require different styles of bridge designs.

12-20-2011, 11:12 AM
I was talking strictly from a physical standpoint in that there be enough surface area for the bridge to glue onto.
That makes sense to me. I was thinking that I was missing some kind of dynamic that happens with a larger footprint.
Thanks for the responses!!

12-20-2011, 11:52 PM
All kinds of factors come into play with bridge design.

For instance you can have a large and relatively stiff bridge, or one that has a similar footprint but has a sever step down on the wings of the bridge as in classical guitars. These can give the glueing surface that the builder is looking for, but the bridge can be relatively flexible outside of the main tie block area.

12-21-2011, 01:24 AM
Love this homemade bridge.
Small, easy to make.
Strings cross the top: tie pearl under the top easy to do.
No pop up bridge pb.
Small sized.
Strings vibs go straight to the top.


12-21-2011, 05:34 AM
I use that style of bridge too gerardg.

12-23-2011, 01:23 AM
Is that bridge made of two pieces laminated together? It looks like the wings are a separate piece glued under the tie block.

12-23-2011, 01:50 AM
See drawing joined.