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bridge treatment?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by JIO, Jul 24, 2012.


  1. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Is it completely out of the question to treat/seal/coat a bridge w/oil (as in tung oil)? Not sure if it's ever done, and will appreciate being educated on this subject.
     
  2. RSBBass

    RSBBass

    Jun 11, 2011
    NYC
    What are you hoping to achieve by doing so?
     
  3. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    It's a cosmetic choice, mainly to richen/define the maple's colour/grain - but in general wonder if it is done to protect it as it is raw wood. I know wood is organic and breaths, and the bridge is a sort of tone conduit so would understand if it wasn't ever done.
     
  4. bssist

    bssist

    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA
    I am not a luthier, and have not done any experimenting with bridge treatment. It seems that treating the bridge with an oil would serve to dampen it. Some bridges are treated to strengthen them and increase their "ring".
     
  5. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Thank you for that past thread - well worth the read in entertainment value! :p Didn't really answer my inquiry, but maybe that's the real answer. As the one poster said, "can't think of a reason not to do it, and equally can't think of a reason to do it."
     
  6. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Yes, this is done. Sorry I don't have details.
     
  7. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Its fine to do that, just be sure to use a drying oil ie polymerised tung oil. The raw stuff will be sticky forever...

    Two of the basses I've done for Bob Knebel have dyed and waxed bridges. They look terrific and sound great. ;)
     
  8. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Guest Commercial User

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Bass Specialist, Lisle Violin Shop
    We coat all our bridges with linseed oil at the shop. There are different theories as to whether it helps or hurts the sound, but I'm inclined to think any change will generally be unnoticeable.
     
  9. guitarist09

    guitarist09

    Jul 23, 2012
    I have been looking for this thread for a few hours now! Finally!

    Thanks for posting these helpful tips. Very helpful.

    Cheers! :)
     
  10. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    On an older bass with some mojo and wear, I like to tone down a new bridge with a little bit of mid color shellac and have been known to rub a bit of dirt or ebony sawdust off the floor near the bandsaw after it has hardened a few hours. No matter what the performance and voice, a brand new untreated bridge on an old bass always looks like some dork from the '80s wearing a pair of bright white tennis shoes...:meh:
     
  11. and on the other hand, refreshing its look is a real chore once oiled.
     
  12. I know a luthier that uses mineral oil and coffee grounds.
     
  13. George700DL

    George700DL

    Jan 9, 2009
    Maryland
    I put on 1 coat of Watco "rejuvenating oil" to bring out the grain and to darken the bridge.
     
  14. bssist

    bssist

    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA

    Pictures?
     
  15. George700DL

    George700DL

    Jan 9, 2009
    Maryland
    Sure, I'll snap one before the whole thing (bass) gets covered in rosin again.
     
  16. George700DL

    George700DL

    Jan 9, 2009
    Maryland
    Nothing earth-shattering here...
    IMAG0092.
    IMAG0090.
    IMAG0093.
     

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