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Happy 4th of July, for those of us in the States... "wish you were here" for those of us who aren't.

I recently bought an "American Gretsch"  (maybe '27 or' 28) flat top tenor guitar that I'm rebuilding for my wife. (It's actually the second instrument I've ever purchased on Ebay that turned out to be better than I expected...a "red letter day". ) It's almost a dead ringer for a 5-17 Martin right down to the sound hole ring as far as design.  It was originally fitted with a tail piece and a thin bridge, glued into place.  It's was X braced from the factory and the only picture I've been able to find is an old Gretsch catalog picture which shows it with a pin bridge.  I'm wanting to convert it to a pin bridge but the math means that if I make a bridge wide enough to float over the lower X brace, it will look over long for the size 5 body. 

Is it absolutely necessary to lay the ends of the bridge over the X braces or will it work to make a shorter bridge which almost reaches the braces?  Is there another way to support the ends of the bridge with out intersecting the X brace?

I am willing to go with an over long bridge if it is required to get good sound and strength from the setup but I'm wonder if anyone else has see this problem and found a better solution.

I'll try to get some pictures up but I have to find my card reader first. 

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Offhand, I'd say there's probably no need - the tension is lower than a six string, and the body is so narrow, there should be pretty good top strength.  

I hadn't even though about the lower string tension. I did a mock up last night and a "proper" bridge was going to look odd on the small body be a bit asymmetrical because the X isn't square in the body, to boot.  Your input has saved me from presenting an odd looking tenor to my wife. She probably wouldn't care but I'd have to look at it all the time.  Thanks Frank.

I'd still like to see it Ned. Have you seen this guy on tenor.

Tenor Guitar John Lawlor Wives And Lovers: http://youtu.be/AcI8GU8ftOQ

Hi John, I got my answered and completely forgot. I need to ask my kids if one of them has my card reader but I check with them and get some picts up.

I hadn't seen John Lawlor before this. Thanks for pointing him out.  It sure looks simple when you watch him play. 

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