View Full Version : Do Ukulele Bridge have Cycles

Worker Bee
09-24-2012, 08:04 PM
Hi Folks ,

I have a new Ukulele recently and have been a little busy with the strings and their adjustments .
I have replaced the strings , loosen and retension them several times to remove the saddle to adjust the height , cut deeper grooves in the nut to lower the action .
This have led me to think about "CYCLES" .
I am asking this question as all these loosening and retensioning will impose cyclic stress on the bridge .
Will the bonding of the bridge be affected by these , I have seen posts here of bridges popping off .
Could this action be one of the contributions .
Or are there ways to reduce the effect , like reduce and increase tension slowly , in stages , or G and A strings first or G and A strings last or in any particular sequence .

Sorry for trying to make this seem like a engineering problem , but the engineer in me is having concerns .

Best Rgs ,


09-24-2012, 09:25 PM
Bridges popping can happen, and in many cases can be repaired. But it's just like a guitar really - they are built to take those stresses and the basic design (guitar or uke) has been around for many many years.

So of course - buy a decent build and you should have no worries. If they didn't stand up to it, there would be no vintage stuff being traded.

And no, I follow no particular pattern in stringing or tuning,

09-25-2012, 03:21 AM
In electric guitars with floating bridges, string tension and the order in which it changes can be quite important. For ukuleles, I think it's just a matter of strings reacting when overall tension changes. So, I put strings on heaviest to lightest, so that the string tension returns to normal as quickly as possible. If you do it the other way around, then when you put the C-string on, it changes the overall tension enough to knock all the strings out of tune.

All that being said, the overall effect on your life is about 30 seconds more or less of tuning time lost or saved.

As bazmaz says, a good instrument will hold up fine. My basic philosophy is that ukuleles want to have tension, so I try to minimise when they don't.

The Big Kahuna
09-25-2012, 04:43 AM
The only thing you should never do is cut the strings off an instrument. Just loosen them all before unstringing. Also, after restringing, bring them all up to pitch together, more-or-less, don't restring them loosely then bring one up to concert pitch, you'll place tension unevenly on one side of the bridge and potentially cause it to rotate off.

I should point out that the above is gained purely from a lot of years experience with guitars, not Ukes. But I can't see Ukes being much different.

09-25-2012, 05:20 AM
I am not an adhesive expert. But, cyclic loading failure (fatigue) usually isn't a significant concern in low numbers of cycles, say under a 1000 cycles or less.

I wouldn't worry about the bridge coming off when taking strings on and off in normal use/restringing.

mm stan
09-25-2012, 07:53 AM
I truely believe that over tightening the strings is alot worse...when first tuning...Bonding adhesives will fail as they get older too