Please feel free to share. “The Little Drummer Boy Project”
Hi all 🙂
So I carved my first bridge... you can see the pictures here:
On the picture with the 3 bridges, left one is an untouched blank (I used that to draw my curve).. middle one is the new bridge I made.. right one is the old factory one that I cut some deeper grooves in to make it playable..
Once finished.. I still kind of had the problem I did with the factory one... if I press down anything higher up than third finger on the D it makes a 'triple stop' since all G D and A become level... So my only option was to shave off some of the G string side, even though it was kind of at that perfect 5mm (unless my eyes are bad).. I shaved off like a milimeter.. so far.. dunno if I should go further, but that already made it more playable.
You can see the pictures of the installed bridge.. one of them is before shaving off a bit more on the G side, the other one is after (you should be able to clearly tell the difference).
Any thoughts on what could be improved on that bridge?... You can also see my fancy luthier tools there... a paper cutter.. and sandpaper.. (and a bunch more sandpaper that's off-camera lool) oh and also used a chisel to thin out the bridge..
Aside from that I installed my wooden tuning pegs (which didn't go as well as the bridge since I have no shaver or reamer so I used a drillbit that's smaller than the hole and tilted it towards the edges... then a chainsaw sharpening file to smooth out the holes.. It works but they become loose too easily.. not by themselves, just if I bump into them or something)
I also installed a set of Dominant strings..
I got my shoulder rest.. which feels really strange... It helps, but the chinrest is too high since even at the minimum setting of the shoulder rest.. it kinda feels too high.
aaand I also got another bow.. which seems to also be synthetic hair by the looks of it, but is way better balanced and actually resembles a real bow so it doesn't feel like I'm holding a woodcutting axe anymore 🙂
Now my hands kinda hurt from all the sandpaper.. 😀 but I'm sort of satisfied with the bridge I made... even though it's kinda hard to play high up on that D string...
Let me know if I did something wrong or if it can be further improved..
A 4mm height on the G isn't out of line if the D is low enough to require that. As long as the notes are sounding clear. There is a "standard" arch and there are templates for that but that is only a starting point. Just eyeballing your arch I think you could go a little lower on the E. Of course that is without me taking a measurement of the height and checking the fingerboard. It looks like the bridge could be thinned a little, at last at the top. The top edge needs to be about .060". And the strings should set about 1/3 to 1/2 the diameter in the slots. The slots should have a SLIGHT chamfer to avoid string breakage. Remember to lube them with pencil lead.
I would ditch the tube on the E string and install a parchment string protector. They are CHEAP and easy to glue in place.
I would also invest in some basic tools. It's very important to have the right tool for the job. You don't have to break the bank. Such as a small tapered needle file. Or better yet a few dedicated luthier's slotting files. And tapered reamer. You don't have to have a peg cutter. There is a video on YouTube on how to fabricate one with a scrap 2x4, a door hinge, and some sandpaper. You just use your tapered reamer to make the right tapered hole in it. You'll have to surf for it. Sorry, I don't remember where I saw it.
The arch was theoretically correct on the pictures pre-install
Based on what I read It's supposed to be the arch of a circle with a diameter of 42mm and I made it like that so yea it wasn't eyballed 🙂 . Also it was thinned out to 1.3mm at the top.. 4 - 4.2mm at the feet (also measurements I gathered off the internet) and even made the string spacing according to that 11.5mm 'standard' (might have even went a bit above to like 11.8-12 since the E and G are supposed to be parallel to the sides and it allowed for that)
Now of course.. given the tools I had it's not 'perfect' and afterwards when I shaved off the G side I didn't even remove the bridge.. I just loosened the G string and shaved and sanded that section then made the new groove so yea.. that part is slightly wider because I cut it shorter than it used to be when thinning out 😀
As far as parchment goes.. sure it would be a nice addition, but the bridge I made and those strings are already way more than what that rip-off toy violin deserved :))
It sounds better than it used to and now I can hit most of the strings decently after lowering the G string a bit. (After making my first post and having an extended chat session with Charles I shaved off even more from the G side, which helped way more than the first one and I'm still slightly above 4mm action, since lowering the string on the bridge only lowers it by a portion at the end of the fingerboard)
I'm definitely getting some tools in the future 😀 Would've taken less than half the time with proper tools.. poor paper cutter.. I'm surprised it's still 'alive' lol.