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Thread: Slot Bridge Woes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Steveston, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    912

    Default Slot Bridge Woes

    I love my Kamaka soprano uke but, my oh my, that slot bridge is not my friend when it comes time to change strings. Every few months, or half year, the time to change strings on this classic Kamaka rolls around. I tie the necessary knots, slot them into the gap in the bridge, tighten and tune. Then I wait, wondering which string will pop off first this time.

    Last time it was the C string. About a week after the string change, the cheeky string blew right off the bridge and, amazingly, even freed itself from the tuning peg and traveled across our living room to land in the lap of my innocent unsuspecting partner as she sat on the couch reading a book.

    This time round, a few days after stringing up a new set of Worth clears, while playing a new tune I had composed, the G string sprang out of the slot, startlingly me but at least staying attached at the tuner this time.

    If I knot the string too ambitiously it will not fit into the slot to begin with. But is seems that over time the knot in the slot must stretch to the point where it is too small to stay lodged.

    Oh, how I love the Kamaka soprano and, oh, how I hate the slot bridge!

    Today I even started to ponder swapping the Kamaka soprano for its bigger sister the tenor which sports a tie bridge rather than a slot bridge.

    Sigh...what’s a girl to do?
    Kamaka Tenor (koa)
    KoAloha Tenor (mango)
    Lone Tree Custom Soprano (hemlock, western maple, pacific yew)
    Lone Tree Custom Tenor (driftwood red cedar, black cherry, western maple)
    Lone Tree ‘Mutt’ Five String Tenor (cedar/spruce top, hickory sides, koa back, birdseye maple fretboard)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    West Midlands GB
    Posts
    1,651

    Default

    Tried using beads?

    John Colter.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Sweet Home Osaka Japan
    Posts
    868

    Default

    Hi, fretie!

    Try bigger one and see what happens.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
    Posts
    5,726

    Default

    I agree, get your beads out.

    (Failing that, you could, maybe, make it a string through bridge.)
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    SE Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    734

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fretie View Post
    ...
    If I knot the string too ambitiously it will not fit into the slot to begin with. But is seems that over time the knot in the slot must stretch to the point where it is too small to stay lodged.
    Sigh...what’s a girl to do?
    I would try the larger and more ambitious knot as shown in zztush's diagram, and see if it will hold. If those knots fail, then I would go to beads.
    Sopranos: Bruko No. 6; Kiwaya KS-1; Kiwaya KTS-4; Kiwaya KTS-4K; Martin S-O
    Concerts:Cahaya CY-0112; Kiwaya KTC-1; Martin C-1 (ca. 1947-1955); Musicguymic's Kolohe
    Tenors: Cordoba 24T; Kiwaya KTT-2K
    Baritones: Cordoba 24B

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Steveston, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    912

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ukantor View Post
    Tried using beads?

    John Colter.
    I have tried beads but the smallest bead to fit the string thickness is too big to fit the slot in the bridge.
    Kamaka Tenor (koa)
    KoAloha Tenor (mango)
    Lone Tree Custom Soprano (hemlock, western maple, pacific yew)
    Lone Tree Custom Tenor (driftwood red cedar, black cherry, western maple)
    Lone Tree ‘Mutt’ Five String Tenor (cedar/spruce top, hickory sides, koa back, birdseye maple fretboard)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    the wild west, Canada
    Posts
    300

    Default

    Wow, I'm surprised you have issues with the C string! I've only had issues with my A string. Generally, a double knot solves it. One recommendation I saw was a Figure 8 knot and then an overhand (granny) over top it, but I'm sure there are a lot of knot options. I saw a youtube video posted recently, but can't recall who did it, maybe Ken Timms.
    Glenn

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    West Midlands GB
    Posts
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    Default

    The bead does not have to fit the slot in the bridge. You don't want it to disappear into the bridge. Suitable small beads can be had from handicraft stores.

    John Colter.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Steveston, B.C. Canada
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ukantor View Post
    The bead does not have to fit the slot in the bridge. You don't want it to disappear into the bridge. Suitable small beads can be had from handicraft stores.

    John Colter.
    I have a vial of various size beads...maybe I’ll have to experiment some more with them.

    Do you have any photos showing how the beads sit against the slot bridge?
    Kamaka Tenor (koa)
    KoAloha Tenor (mango)
    Lone Tree Custom Soprano (hemlock, western maple, pacific yew)
    Lone Tree Custom Tenor (driftwood red cedar, black cherry, western maple)
    Lone Tree ‘Mutt’ Five String Tenor (cedar/spruce top, hickory sides, koa back, birdseye maple fretboard)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    355

    Default

    Why do you need to change strings so often? I'm going on to 4 years of frequent playing with nylguts and they are still in pretty good shape.

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