I am having to duplicate the odd three corner pyramid bridges off of the 1920s Stromberg/Voisinet guitars. The prototypes bridges I have been making are spruce (way easier and less expensive for the learning curve) as were the originals that came off of these. My understanding is that Kay only used spruce for all their bridges on their guitars for decades. All of my KayKraft guitars for instance have spruce bridges for example
I have bought quite a few bridge blanks ebony/rosewood and such, but am wondering what your thoughts are on why spruce was never really used for such a purpose. I know the density/strength things about ebony/rosewood already too.
It seems to me that Kerry is replacing it now because it didn't hold up so well over the years. The string slots are disturbing and it appears to have been screwed down in three places to hold it in place. I know that a lot of old bridges get replaced but this one was bulky to begin with and still didn't appear to hold up so well.
Personally, I'd rather make a hard wood bridge as light as I can than make a bulky softwood bridge and worry about it.
I'm not sure why Kerry is replacing it. My guess is cosmetic issues. It looks like it would still work fine to me. Even the saddle slot is still nice and crisp. I would guess the string slots were caused by a low saddle. Had it been hard wood someone would have had to do the same thing with a saw. Still, i don't plan on knocking the bridges off of my martins so i can try a spruce bridge.
I'm w/Rusty on this one........although a "floater" may hold up...but I'd rather have a dependable
piece of tree to latch 6 wenches to ! jus'sayin'
That was a good photoessay Steve...
Andrew, is just an idea to do it, just like you said... .
Frank's photo essay is one of the things that lead me to experiment with the mandolin bridge I mentioned earlier.
Of course it's fairly easy to experiment with a floating bridge but I'm not sure that it's a direct transfer to a fixed bridge. The dynamics are different. A floating bridge is more in compression and, IMO, not under the same sort of twisting, pulling, distortion inducing stress that a pin bridge endures. I can see where hard maple would work but I don't think I'm interested in using soft wood there when I know it must endure years of that stress, at least not when I can use something that I know is stronger.
BTW, I didn't drill the holes that Frank shows in his bridge into my bridge because I didn't think the material in my bridge would hold up under the pressure with that much material removed. In other words, the maple bridge Frank made is probably lighter than mine. I was going to drill out the ebony bridge that I never got around to making.