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Bridge Pins (Read 3348 times)
Dominator
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Bridge Pins
Aug 24th, 2004 at 5:23am
 
I am ready to make the bridge for my tenor uke and am trying to decide whether to make a tie bridge (similar to what is described in the Gilbert book) or to use a bridge design that incorporates bridge pins.

Is there such an animal as bridge pins specifically for uke or are they the same pins as used on guitars?  Are the holes drilled with a normal brad point or other bit and then tapered from the top slightly with a reamer?
Thanks in advance,
Dominator
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StringDoc
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Re: Bridge Pins
Reply #1 - Aug 25th, 2004 at 3:45am
 
D,
There are no bridge pins that I know of that are smaller than a guitar and just for a uke. If you want small bridge pins, I think you would have to make them yourself! I tried turning an exsisting pin down once by putting it into a drill chuck and then sanded the head down smaller. guitar pins also vary slightly depending on who makes them. Wood pins are the best IMHO.

Nathan
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RCHawaii
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Re: Bridge Pins
Reply #2 - Aug 25th, 2004 at 11:32am
 
Dom,

Making your own shouldn't be a big issue as long as they're hardwood and fit like a glove into their respective pukas yeah?

I haven't done the bridge-pin type, not sure I like it.
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John_Mayes
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Re: Bridge Pins
Reply #3 - Aug 27th, 2004 at 5:40am
 
The holes will be drilled with a 3/16th bit and then tapered with the proper (3 or 5 degree depending on what size of pin you bought) reamer.  Really simple and works great.  I like it better because the string comes in direct contact with the top and transfers string energy better in my opinion.
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Howard
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Re: Bridge Pins
Reply #4 - Aug 31st, 2004 at 8:30am
 
Dominator,

If you haven't already decided, I think the primary advantage to using pins is the fact that the string tension is not trying to lift the back of your bridge off of the soundboard.  Tension is applied directly to the bridge patch and transferred to the sound board.  The only disadvantage may be an occasional stuck pin.  I don't buy the idea that vibrations are coupled directly to the soundboard.  The saddle did that through the bridge.

Howard
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John_Mayes
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Re: Bridge Pins
Reply #5 - Aug 31st, 2004 at 9:46am
 
Quote:
Dominator,

If you haven't already decided, I think the primary advantage to using pins is the fact that the string tension is not trying to lift the back of your bridge off of the soundboard.  Tension is applied directly to the bridge patch and transferred to the sound board.  The only disadvantage may be an occasional stuck pin.  I don't buy the idea that vibrations are coupled directly to the soundboard.  The saddle did that through the bridge.

Howard



There are two types of bridge pins.  One is slotted and the string is kinda "wedged" in the hole, and the others are solid and you have to actually make a slot the bridge.  I converted numerous guitars from unslotted bridges (where the string is wedged and not making full contact with the bridge patch) to a slotted bridge where the ball end of the string is resting on the bridge patch (you can actually take the bridge pins out at full tension) And there is a very noticeable difference between a slotted bridge and a unslotted one where the string does indeed transfer more energy tot he soundboard.  I used to think the same way as you until I did many of these conversions.
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Dominator
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Re: Bridge Pins
Reply #6 - Aug 31st, 2004 at 3:23pm
 
Thanks for the replies guys. 

What if there is no bridge patch?  Is it a mandatory requirement in order to use pins?  I would think you could use pins with or without a bridge patch.
Thanks again,
Dominator
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John_Mayes
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Re: Bridge Pins
Reply #7 - Aug 31st, 2004 at 10:16pm
 
Quote:
Thanks for the replies guys.  

What if there is no bridge patch?  Is it a mandatory requirement in order to use pins?  I would think you could use pins with or without a bridge patch.
Thanks again,
Dominator


With the type of pins that "wedge" in no bridge patch is nessicary, although not a bad idea.  On a slotted bridge where the ball ends of the strings ( tied, beads, whatever) are directly pulling on the top then yes a bridge patch is nessicary or else the string ends will, over time, wear through the top into the bridge.
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Dominator
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Re: Bridge Pins
Reply #8 - Oct 8th, 2004 at 9:24am
 
John,
Don't know if you saw the pics in another section of this forum or not but I did complete my first tenor.  I used the wedge type of pins with the 3 degree taper and it seems to have worked fine.  I was wondering though it is necessary to saw the little relief slots in the bridge pin holes as indicated in the picture of the guitar bridges in the StewMac catalog?  I didn't but was wondering if that might be putting some undue pressure on the string as it exits the hole and leads to the saddle.

BTW, I have a sound file of me playing a bit of Crazy G and despite the heavy bracing it turned out to sound not too bad afterall.  I have played it pretty consistently over the past week and it seems to be sounding a little warmer already.
Dominator
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StringDoc
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Re: Bridge Pins
Reply #9 - Oct 8th, 2004 at 3:46pm
 
Curious...

What type of bridge is on a kasha uke?

Nate
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John_Mayes
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Re: Bridge Pins
Reply #10 - Oct 9th, 2004 at 5:20am
 
Quote:
John,
Don't know if you saw the pics in another section of this forum or not but I did complete my first tenor.  I used the wedge type of pins with the 3 degree taper and it seems to have worked fine.  I was wondering though it is necessary to saw the little relief slots in the bridge pin holes as indicated in the picture of the guitar bridges in the StewMac catalog?  I didn't but was wondering if that might be putting some undue pressure on the string as it exits the hole and leads to the saddle.

BTW, I have a sound file of me playing a bit of Crazy G and despite the heavy bracing it turned out to sound not too bad afterall.  I have played it pretty consistently over the past week and it seems to be sounding a little warmer already.
Dominator


No you don't HAVE to.  On a guitar, over time, the strings wear their owns slots, but they are metal and can do that.. I don't know if nylon stings would do that.. I doubt it so if it were me I would cut a little bit of a relief.  Caution though if you cut too much your pins may not be tight in the slots anymore so move forward with trepidation.  If you did do it I would make the slots only like .020 or so deep and the width of the string.  All this, as mentioned before, is not required, but may be a good idea.  then again......if it Ain't broke don't fix it.  I'm heading over to look at the pics of the uke now.. congrats!
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JonY
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Re: Bridge Pins
Reply #11 - Oct 9th, 2004 at 3:54pm
 
Hey Dom
I have built a couple of ukes without pins but I would rather use pins than not. Not to say one way is better they both have advantages. I cut a slot for the string as you and John have described. There are some pins with the slot on the pin but most times these are plastic "or" cost a bit more if made out of wood. After you tie the knot on the string end that goes into the bridge hole I use a little craft bead so that the bead rests on the inner face and not the knot. for the slot I use a jigsaw blade that I sand down on both sides to make the kerf smaller and grind down the  blade so it fis into the hole and mount a handle on it (I use scrap for the handle cut a slot in it and cyano the blade into the handle). CAUTION be very careful whe slotting the hole.. I have in the past (while rushing) had the blade come out on the up[ stroke and on the down speared the face Cry. As far as how deep to slot this ... just enough for the string should be fine... the bead or knot should keep the stringf from coming out. as far as the kascha thing it is done without pins (at least at hanalima) and looks really clean. there was a post on it here with pics and all.
HTH
JonY
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Ukeman
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Re: Bridge Pins
Reply #12 - Oct 21st, 2004 at 10:46am
 
aloha all,

just a quick reply on the string fastening  to bridge topic...I use the Kasha/Schneider method which has no pins period!
The strings are threaded through a hole that goes through the bridge, the soundboard and the bridge patch below...pull a portion of the threaded string out the soundhole or sideport....if no can reach a piece of tie wire shaped like a long candy cane will grab them strings quite easily....insert a metal bead over the strings, let bead slide down and tie a few overhand knots so the bead no can come off the string end and cut off excess string, leaving about 1/4 inch nub.....pull strings tight.....attached to tuner heads and tune to pitch.

The strings over bridge is securely attached, the look is ultra clean..no popping pins, no refits, no popped bridges.......laters   ukeman
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