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View Full Version : One hole in bridge waaaaaaay bigger....



Booksniffer
06-28-2012, 11:42 AM
It's a difficult spot to photograph, but the hole in the bridge for the A string is far bigger than that for the other strings - meaning that, no matter how huge I make the knot, it tends to slip through partway eventually when I tune the string.

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(while the knot on the A string looks smaller than that of the E string, it is in fact almost twice as large - it's just that most of it has already been swallowed by the bridge)

Making it also very difficult to get the string out again; it's completely jammed into the hole.

I suppose I could ship it back to the maker for a fix - but that would mean doing without the instrument for weeks, so I'd prefer to avoid that if possible.

Is this something I could fix myself?
I am very tempted to just try and partly fill the hole with, er, something - no idea what, though.

Or would anyone know of a good luthier in or around Amsterdam?

PhilUSAFRet
06-28-2012, 12:01 PM
I'd have to consider completely filling the hole with a section of hardwood dowel, redrill, and stain. Otherwise, those bridge beads may work, but wouldn't look vintage.

Booksniffer
06-28-2012, 12:17 PM
I'd have to consider completely filling the hole with a section of hardwood dowel, redrill, and stain. Otherwise, those bridge beads may work, but wouldn't look vintage.

Thank you!
That first part does not sound like something I should tackly myself, unfortunately.

The instrument isn't vintage, so bridge beads might be a good option!

At least until I've found someone locally who could take care of it.

SailingUke
06-28-2012, 01:01 PM
I had a cheap uke that had the same issue.
I filled the slot with super glue. I did it over several days putting just a little dab at a time in the slot.
I was careful not to completely fill the slot I just wanted it smaller so the knot would hold.
It worked and seems to be holding.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-28-2012, 01:34 PM
I had a cheap uke that had the same issue.
I filled the slot with super glue. I did it over several days putting just a little dab at a time in the slot.
I was careful not to completely fill the slot I just wanted it smaller so the knot would hold.
It worked and seems to be holding.

I'm not a repair guy so I may be out in left field. I was going to suggest a similar fix. Fill with medium ca glue, then recut the slot.

Doc_J
06-28-2012, 03:13 PM
You could just put a glass bead on the string ahead of knot.

Booksniffer
06-28-2012, 10:38 PM
Thanks everyone!

I've tried beads: first a wooden one, then a glass one - they both shattered before I had managed to tune the string up to A.

Might try the glue thing... I'm not sure what 'medium ca' glue is.
I think superglue (the stuff that dries within seconds) might be a bit too tricky - too much chance of it drying in the wrong place. But I have some wood glue that might do the trick. Perhaps I'll try applying some of that in tiny amounts at a time.

Gmoney
06-29-2012, 02:27 AM
You could just put a glass bead on the string ahead of knot.

OR... a set of "Bridge Bone Beads" from Southcoast:

http://ukeeku.com/2011/06/19/bridge-bone-beads-review/

I like them a LOT!

MisterRios
06-29-2012, 04:10 AM
Looks like a left-hand player was using a low-G string!

Booksniffer
07-01-2012, 07:12 AM
In the end, I did use some glue (three tiny layers' worth, each layer dried for about 10 hours or more) to fill up the hole - and the third time, I had actually used slightly too much, so I ended up cutting some out again with a hobby knife... :rofl:
Not the most relaxing of activities, I can tell you!
(I protected the bit underneath with a metal ruler, which worked quite well).

And then this morning, after all the kerfuffle, I thought of a much easier (and much less stressful) possible fix: just take some black duct- or otherwise strong tape, cut out a teeny tiny circle (slightly bigger than the knot, small enough to fit into the wider opening), cut it open halfway and fit it around the string, just after the knot.
I think that would have worked well to prevent the knot from slipping too far, without doing potential damage. And unlike beads, it wouldn't shatter.

Just thought I'd mention it for future reference, in case someone else runs into the same problem!

PhilUSAFRet
07-01-2012, 01:59 PM
Hmmmm, chalk up just one more use for Duct Tape

BlackBearUkes
07-01-2012, 02:49 PM
Thanks everyone!

I've tried beads: first a wooden one, then a glass one - they both shattered before I had managed to tune the string up to A.

Might try the glue thing... I'm not sure what 'medium ca' glue is.
I think superglue (the stuff that dries within seconds) might be a bit too tricky - too much chance of it drying in the wrong place. But I have some wood glue that might do the trick. Perhaps I'll try applying some of that in tiny amounts at a time.

I can't imagine a good glass bead shattering, but I suppose it could happen. You might want to try a small metal bead. You can get a variety of beads at any good craft store. Duct tape? You are just asking for a gooey sticky mess down the road. Glue? Dried glue will get too brittle and shatter also.
I would personally just use a good knot. There are a number of knots you can tie that will be larger enough and more than strong enough to do the job. Google sailor knots.

jackwhale
07-02-2012, 01:16 PM
I googled this site which mentions medium cyanoacrylate glue mentioned by Chuck Moore. It even specifies that it is used to 'fill small gaps'. Cost is $7.