View Full Version : Uke Tail Piece?

01-20-2012, 04:49 AM
Hi all, I have been taking Pete's advise and I have been drawing up a storm. Anyway I have been working on a few bridge designs and searching the net for different designs... I have always liked to look of a archtop guitar, mandolin, etc with the strings anchored by a tailpiece, and a small (floating?) bridge/saddle.
I realise I know very little about this type of setup. Does anyone make a tailpiece for ukes? is there anything I need to know about this type of setup?

Just sitting here searching and thinking, and thought I would see what others know. Thanks for humoring my wandering though process.

01-20-2012, 05:13 AM
You have to have a decent break angle over the bridge because you need good tension to hold a floating bridge in place. This generally involves an arched top and or an angled neck. A 1.5 degree neck angle and a 25' radiused top will require a 3/8" - 1/2" tall bridge on a concert uke. I don't know that you can achieve the amount of tension necessary to hold it in place with typical nylon string gauges. A floating bridge would most likely require a different type of bracing because the stress would be downward versus sheer on a traditional bridge. Also, the bridge location would change based on the amount of angle to the neck.

In regards to tailpieces, I'd suggest looking at mandolin and trapeze bridges for examples. A lot of mandolin builders will use a mandolin tailpiece but attache a wood accent piece to the cover that compliments the instrument.

01-20-2012, 09:14 AM
Yep...What Thistle said.
Its hard to get the geometry to work with a typical flat top uke design. You'd need a larger neck angle and a tall bridge to get it to work. Otherwise you could do an arch top or bent top like an old flat top mandolin

01-20-2012, 01:18 PM
Thanks for the info guys, it makes a lot of sense.

01-23-2012, 04:46 AM
Hey Andrew,
I couldn't find a tailpiece when I made my archtop so I constructed one using a simple hinge to attach it. The underside looks like a standard bridge turned face down so the strings tie just like normal. The only problem with this is that you have to loosen all the strings to change one.

01-23-2012, 04:53 AM
Very nice looking uke. I've been wanting to build an arch top for some time but there seems to be too many other projects in front of it. I make hardtail bridges out of brass for solid body electrics, and have thought about making some tailpieces but just haven't had the time to do it. I am finishing up a couple arch top electrics and plan to make some tailpieces for them but haven't decided on a style yet.