Bridge work

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by trailertrash, Aug 6, 2001.

  1. trailertrash


    Nov 13, 2000
    Hi,I am looking for some advise on bridge work.Before I start let me just say I'd prefer to have the luthier I've been using do this work,but I heard thru the grapevine that he's in rough times and he's out of his wifes house where the shop was. My bass is a '57 Kay MIB,with aluminium adjusters.I have the adjusters as low as I can,but the action is still too high.( I play old country,realllly freaking loud ,as well as slap style rockabilly,bluegrass,and standard jazz,rock,polka.You get the idea.I need a very versatile bass.) So I want to sand off some of the top of the feet of my adjustable bridge.(Does that make sense?) I've done quite a bit of my own work on this bass before,and right now I have the bridge off,and the sound post hasn't fallen yet! Any advice on how to proceed? Thanks!
  2. When my luthier takes the bridge off of a bass, he places a couple of bags of buckshot on the top to gently press it on the soundpost and prevent it from falling. You can use bags of flour, or a dumbbell plate wrapped in a towel, whatever. With your name, maybe you already have the buckshot.

    What you propose sounds theoretically OK. I take it you have measured the adjuster stem to know the limit to how much you take off the adjuster side of the bridge feet.
  3. erik II

    erik II

    Jul 11, 2000
    Oslo, Norway
    I am no expert, but here are a couple of methods I have used:
    - Mount the bridge foot on a press-fit rod into adjuster hole from the bottom (I used the shank of the drill bit I used to drill the original hole). Mount the foot w/rod in a lathe and shave off the necessary amount of wood. If you don't have access to a lathe, use a drill press, clamp a hand drill to a workbench or something. The point is to rig a fixture that secures 90 deg. angle between surface and axis.

    - A simpler but slower method: Punch a hole in a piece of sanding paper, enter the adjuster dowel through it and into the foot hole. Press and rotate wheel w/paper to sand foot surface. Alternatively place a thin wood file between wheel and surface, press and rotate.

    If you could remove wood from the main part of the bridge (and deepen the threaded holes) the job would be easier as angularity wouldn't be so critical. But since you specifically say you want to sand off the feet, I take it there is not enough wood left for this on the main part.
  4. Martin Sheridan

    Martin Sheridan

    Jan 4, 2001
    Fort Madison, Iowa
    Bass Maker
    I'm a maker, repairer, and player. Your bridge may be the fault, but it could also be too much scoop in the fingerboard, and/or the strings coming off the nut too high.