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E and A strings starting to cut into a soft bridge
Topic Rating: 4.3 Topic Rating: 4.3 Topic Rating: 4.3 Topic Rating: 4.3 Topic Rating: 4.3 Topic Rating: 4.3 (3 votes) 
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PopFiddle
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September 5, 2014 - 1:41 pm
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I have a Cecilio CVN-200 and I've been playing it a couple of months now and the E and A strings are starting to cut into the bridge.

I've seem some solutions, there seems to be a little plastic insert that slides over the bridge to protect it and then there are a actual ebony inserts that are installed into the bridge.

I was thinking maybe making a small cover for the area cut out of an aluminum can.  Aluminum is soft and I don't think it will damage the strings.  I also thought of cutting out my own insert and gluing it in like an ebony insert.  But I don't have any scrap ebony.  Are there some alternative materials?

Altering the sound is not a big problem, the CVN-200 doesn't sound very good anyway.  I play it with a practice mute and I think it sounds a little better.  But the string elevation is starting to be effected by the string cutting into the bridge.

Ideas anyone?

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MrYikes
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September 5, 2014 - 1:56 pm
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I have used super glue in the slot to stop the cutting.  I have also used the skin from a broken tambourine that I bought from a dollar store.

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Tucson1
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September 5, 2014 - 2:08 pm
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Yep , super glue works fine ....if there is a music store near you ya can pic up a couple of the little tubes that go on the strings to protect the bridge as well ...they may just give them to you ...violin-1267Have fun    Be happy

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PopFiddle
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September 5, 2014 - 5:53 pm
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Sounds like its worth a try.  I'll report back.

Anyone else?

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DanielB
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September 5, 2014 - 6:13 pm
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I use a bit of parchment/hide of the sort used for making natural drum heads.

But especially the thin unwound strings would cut into even good maple eventually.  It's not an automatic indicator that the wood is particularly soft.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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PopFiddle
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September 5, 2014 - 7:32 pm
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DanielB said
I use a bit of parchment/hide of the sort used for making natural drum heads.

But especially the thin unwound strings would cut into even good maple eventually.  It's not an automatic indicator that the wood is particularly soft.

Drum head material would do it?  So it doesn't have to be rock hard kind of stuff.  I'm taking my clues from the use of ebony in some sold bridges.

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DanielB
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September 6, 2014 - 5:43 am
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Yeah, it doesn't actually take a lot to keep the strings from cutting in.

Electric_de-tubed.JPGImage Enlarger

 The bits of drum hide you see there are only maybe 2 mm across and a few mm long.  They were even sanded to make them thinner so they didn't affect string height too much.  That pic is from 2 yrs ago and they are still doing a fine job.  Parchment/hide is some seriously tough stuff.  The bits of parchment could actually even be a bit smaller, and still work fine.  But except in an extreme close-up like this, nobody is ever likely to notice them anyway. 

I have *heard* that superglue can also do the trick, but since I haven't personally ever used it on a violin bridge, I can't say much about it that is actual fact.   A little bitty piece of drum hide though, I can say I have personally seen do a great job and hold up for a couple years without any sign of trouble.

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"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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RosinedUp
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September 6, 2014 - 6:55 am
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This isn't quite on the topic of fixing the problem, but from now on, I'll be using bridges with ebony inlays.  They don't cost much more, and it saves work and worry later.  I've heard some say the ebony is hard to work, but in my experience it's not.

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Kevin M.
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September 10, 2014 - 9:54 am
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This will work to fix your problem. http://fiddlershop.com/Bridge-.....0protector

One thing that accelerates this wear is not lubricating the string slots. Use a lead pencil and rub the lead, grafite, into the string slot. Do this on all string slots including the nut.

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PopFiddle
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September 10, 2014 - 12:06 pm
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Kevin, I thought I'd seem something like that somewhere.  What are those things made of?  Any idea?

I've heard of using pencil lead as a dry lubricant on wood before.  Isn't it also used to dry lubricate tuning pegs?

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Kevin M.
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September 11, 2014 - 9:49 am
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I have never used pencil lead on pegs, I feel the graphite is too slick but like I said I have not used it. For tight pegs I like to use Hills peg compound and for pegs that will not hold I use peg drops. The reason for the graphite to lube string slots is with the string vibrating, although it appears smooth it is actually microscopically like a saw and the graphite keeps it from cutting through during vibration of the string.  

The bridge protectors are made of small plastic pieces. I just heated them up and glued them on.

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