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Here's a new bridge just completed by Kris Kalanges,
along with his description.

 



(In November, Kris wrote:)

My wife bought me a mandolin for my 50th birthday. I have played the guitar for nearly forty years. But the last couple of years I have gotten interested in the mandolin.

The mandolin is an Epiphone MM-50 made in 2000. It had the traditional rosewood adjustable bridge on it. I stumbled upon your website. I had been noticing that all of the acoustic energy created by the strings is transferred to the top through those 2 thread brass rods. Having been a professional woodworker for a number of years I assumed that the acoustic properties of wood have to be superior to brass. So, your website was very intriguing.

I took a piece of maple from my shop, milled and shaped it to your specs, installed it on the Epiphone and the positive difference is very obvious. The mandolin has more volume, a better tone and longer sustain. I think the only thing that could improve it is if it was a higher end instrument! But for now the Epi is fine and much better than when I received it.

Essentially, I used your plans/descriptions exactly as on your website. I used the version where you suggested making the feet a bit shorter and the arched cutaway a bit longer. Since it was my first bridge I didn't do any experimentation. It took approximately 1 hour to get the bridge cut out and shaped. And another 1-1.5 hours to shape the feet to the top. I used a drum sander chucked into my drill press to lightly and repeatedly shape the arched feet. And after installing each time, I would shine a bright light at the base to see if any light was passing through, indicating the arc was not quite correct. I then compensated the top according to the original adjustable rosewood bridge. I used a scrap of maple (not hard) from my shop. And it seemed to work well. I am interested in making another one with hard Maple and seeing if on my particular instrument it produces better results than the regular Maple bridge. So, it would appear that even a less expensive instrument can benefit by a one piece bridge. My Epiphone mando was made in 2000 in Korea. I don't know if the same improvements would occur on the newer Chinese-made Epis.

Of course, now to get you a photo of my bridge means I'm going to have to remove it from my mando. And I've grown rather accustomed to it where it is. It's that phenomenon you have described: once you get a bridge that works real well with your instrument you become reluctant to fool with it anymore. But, for the sake of the cause, let me see what I can do. Seriously, though, it's not an issue. I'll just lightly tape the coordinates of its current location, remove it, get a photo of it into my computer and put it back on.

 

...and here are the pics of Kris's bridge, installed:



picture of bridge on mandolin

picture of bridge on mandolin

picture of bridge on mandolin










 


 

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