I'm restoring a Vega cylinder-back Mandolin, and I need to fabricate a bridge (unless I can find one out there). Does anyone have one (a bowl-back model would work as well) that they can lay a ruler against so I can get some specific measurements?


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Do you know which model you have? If your trying to make a replica, I'm pretty sure that only the 205 and 207 models used a compensated bone insert in an Ebony bridge with the lower models crafted entirely from Ebony.

I'll take a few dimensions of my bridge and post them when I can. My height measurements won't mean much for you, you'll need to determine that when you set your string height action.

Here are a few pictures of the bridge from my 205 Vega. I modified the original bridge by adding Ebony to the bottom of the bridge to raise the string height. The pictures of the bridge off of the instrument will be taller than the before pictures shown on the instrument, prior to modification.
That's great Paul,

It's the 202 model with, as you said, the all ebony bridge. Using the footprint on the top and the necessary height I could reasonably fashion a working bridge, but in the interest of restoration I'd like to get the profile and taper of the wings as close as possible. Thanks for the pics and the assistance.
One more picture.

Here is a link that may be useful as well.
Hands down the purdiest damn mando design ever.Lloyd would even water at the mouth!
I sketched up the bridge in ACAD and plotted an 8 1/2 X 11, full scale PDF of it. When you print, make sure the scaling is either off or set to 1:1 or full scale. It should print exactly to size and you could use it as a tracing if you want. Make it taller than my dimensions, this is what fits my mandolin with the action set to what works for this particular instrument.

Most of the surfaces have some curve to them, use the pictures I attached as a reference. Same thing with the corners, they are rounded and nice to touch.

The bridge should be intonated. Start off with fitting the bridge to the top at full width, top to bottom, with the action height about where it should be, but otherwise already shaped. I like 2/64" at the treble side, measured at the 12th fret and 3/64 on the base side. This will result in a bridge that is slightly tipped along it's top edge. Finalize the shaping, tapering and contouring after this has been done.

Tim, yes they can be quite beautiful and sound wonderful as well. It is curious however that the patent for the cylinder back does not make any claims of tonal enhancement of any kind and only patents the shape.
This is fantastic Paul, thanks. I'll keep you posted on how it turns out.
Your welcome Griff.

The dimensions given are not an absolute. There can be some plus or minus adjustments so don't worry if you get off a little bit.


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