Mandolin: Make you own Bridge

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   This page is dedicated to Mike, who like myself builds and repairs instruments, but who has bought no end of bridges from me, saying.... 'I must learn to do this one day!'

   So, building a bridge is not too difficult, provided you get things in the right order, and you have a little skill with a chisel. First of all, there are two basic types of bridge you might build for a Neapolitan mandolin, the simple bridge, (like a Globo) and the shelf bridge, (like a Stridente). The shelf bridge is more complex, but can suit lower bridge heights, and the simple is easier to make, and can be compensated. I will deal with building each type below.....

   NB when I build bridges for sale, I do not have the mandolin to which it is to be fitted, to hand, so I leave extra height for fitting. When I have the mandolin to hand, I always begin with fitting the foot, which is much easier to do first, before you have created a lovely bridge with fragile wings.

Making a simple Shelf Bridge Making a simple Compensated Bridge
Compensating a Bridge

   These are my basic bridge making tools; the only specialised item, which is nice but not a necessity, being the graduated saws available from StewMac. However, so remiss of me, I should have added a small selection of files to this photo..... maybe i'll do it again..... :(