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Aug 7, 2019 - 7:15:55 AM
5182 posts since 12/20/2005

I am going to try Fluorocarbon nylon Strings.
I build my own bridges. This is going to be a new one for me. I have not yet made a bridge for any nylon string.

I have several types of wood on hand, both for the body and for the top.

I have some bridge files, jewel files, and cutting torch cleaning files. I'm not sure how bridge slots should be cut.

I çould use some advice on how to best go about this.

I appreciate any help you can offer.

Aug 7, 2019 - 11:47:56 AM

10440 posts since 10/27/2006

Lightweight, thin, solid maple like a fiddle or vintage Vega would be my first choice.

This will give you a benchmark to try other wood/construction combinations. You'll probably prefer the solid maple, however.

Aug 7, 2019 - 12:02:01 PM

5182 posts since 12/20/2005

Thank you Mike. I do have some good maple.

Aug 7, 2019 - 12:10:04 PM

5182 posts since 12/20/2005

Would you put an exotic hardwood cap on this, or just use maple.

Edited by - Leslie R on 08/07/2019 12:12:55

Aug 7, 2019 - 12:55:57 PM
Players Union Member



14565 posts since 3/27/2004

Originally posted by Leslie R

Would you put an exotic hardwood cap on this, or just use maple.

When you make bridges for synthetic string use you should try to minimize the total weight of the bridge.  The lighter your bridge the brighter and louder your fluorocarbon line will be.

You can also reduce weight by making a simpler two-footed design.  Synthetics don't require as much support to keep the strings from deforming the bridge.  You don't need a hardwood top edge because the string is larger and has less downward force on the slot or V groove to "crush" the wood at the contact point.

If your banjo design is such that you have an acceptable break angle over the bridge I would advise you to use "V" slots as I usually recommend.  The main advantage is the bridge can be used interchangeably between steel or synthetic strings and you never have to worry about the string "buzzing" in a bridge slot because the bridge breaks away cleanly from the string in all directions.

Bridge vise:

Edited by - rudy on 08/07/2019 12:58:40

Aug 7, 2019 - 1:16:22 PM

5182 posts since 12/20/2005

Thank you Rudy. Very helpful.

Aug 7, 2019 - 1:19:37 PM
likes this

10440 posts since 10/27/2006

Originally posted by Leslie R

Would you put an exotic hardwood cap on this, or just use maple.

Plain maple only for the first one. Otherwise, what Rudy says.

Learn to use the term, impedance, for that's what it is: resistance — only here, to energy transfer instead of electricity.

The bridge transmits the energy of the string to the pot through the head. The more efficient (lower impedance) bridge is louder with less sustain as the string releases its energy more quickly. Higher impedance slows the transfer resulting in longer sustain with less volume. Interestingly, the ear will often perceive more sustain as being louder when it is not—you just hear the note longer but next to a guitar, you'll notice the real difference. Softer/harder woods affect damping which has an effect on tone.

The art is getting the trade-offs right to get the tone/sustain/volume where you want it. Since the most efficient bridge is likely to be thin, hard maple, that's why I suggest making that one first and using it as the benchmark for comparing others.

Aug 7, 2019 - 10:17:01 PM

5182 posts since 12/20/2005

Higher impedance results in more sustain, and decrease volume.
I never knew that. Makes sense though.

And again, I learn another way our ears do not always tell us the truth.

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