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Dec 2, 2020 - 9:55:16 AM
125 posts since 10/18/2020

Hi I purchased a few Sampson bridges and have a question.
how do you go about enlarging the slots so the strings stay in purchased one of his Rivet busting bridges and the slots for the 5th and 1st string just will not allow the strings to stay in place when installed on the head
I actually purchased 4 of his bridges and only one out of the four was I able to use because of the strings popping out of the slots so I would like to try and enlarge the slots a little and also make them a little deeper what do people use to do this
thanks to everyone for reading and assisting

Dec 2, 2020 - 10:08:26 AM



9554 posts since 10/5/2006

I would use slot files. Stew Mac sells them.

Are you playing nylon strings? The Sampson bridges I have are very well made and consistent quality.

Dec 2, 2020 - 10:12:21 AM

8051 posts since 8/28/2013

A tailpiece that's set too high in relation to the bridge can sometimes cause strings to leave their slots.

Dec 2, 2020 - 11:04:41 AM

125 posts since 10/18/2020

@ G Edward Porgie The tail piece on the banjo I tried them on is adjusted down to the top of the rim of the pot so I do not believe that is the issue the one that did work the slots seem to be a little larger and a little deeper the three that I had the issue with it just looks like the strings are almost sitting on top of the cap of the bridge like they just did not get cut quite deep enough in comparison to the one that actually worked.

Dec 2, 2020 - 11:09:05 AM

125 posts since 10/18/2020

@m06 No they are steel strings which I was informed by elderly s the bridges would work I also purchased three Veerman bridges,a moon bridge and a Neckville Enterprise bridge and the only ones I had the issue I stated was the Sampson's I am not knocking the Sampson  bridges they are vary nice bridges just trying to correct the issue instead of sending them back.

Edited by - Don Smith1959 on 12/02/2020 11:11:37

Dec 2, 2020 - 11:59:43 AM
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Players Union Member



237 posts since 5/16/2017

Don Smith1959 -- you can use welding/torch tip cleaners, readily available at your local hardware store (Ace, Lowes, etc). A couple swipes through the existing string slot with the tip cleaner (match the tip size with the string) and you should be good to go. Angle the tip cleaner a tiny bit towards the back side of the bridge so that there is a slight downward angle to the bridge slot.

Dec 2, 2020 - 2:43:48 PM
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Bart Veerman


4816 posts since 1/5/2005

Yup, welding tip cleaners, Wypo brand if you can find them (made in USA) - the thinnest one is perfect for 1st and 5th string slots.

Dec 2, 2020 - 3:26:08 PM

125 posts since 10/18/2020

@blazo and @Bart Veerman I picked up a set of Hobart tip cleaners at tractor supply i do not think it will take much on them

Also Mr Veerman I do like your bridges a lot, I also like the Sampson's at least the one I was able to try which was the Rosewood Bluegrass bridge I am sure I will like the others once I get the strings to stay in place

Edited by - Don Smith1959 on 12/02/2020 15:27:31

Dec 5, 2020 - 6:36:06 AM
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3970 posts since 10/13/2005

Sampson bridges are beautiful works of art and function. I have a couple of compensated birch bridges and they are wonderful for when you want a heavy bridge. So the strings on a bridge prone to popping out are of course the 1st and 5th strings. A standard hacksaw blade works fine for those strings. Saw straight down to keep the sides of the slots less prone to popping out. Angle the slots front to back with the slots angled downward toward the tailpiece. Do a final smoothing out with a folded piece of sandpaper. cheapskate banjered

Dec 5, 2020 - 9:48:01 AM

125 posts since 10/18/2020

@banjered I was able to fix the issues with the three Sampson bridges I used welding tip cleaners which worked pretty good two of the 4 Sampson bridges are actually my favorites the Rosewood Sampson bridge is at the top for me and also the Rivet Buster, I actually like all of the bridges I purchased except for a couple the Veerman teak being my least favorite because it had the affect of putting a mikes mute on my banjo which kind of shocked me that it would have that much affect my second least favorite was the moon bridge for me it was kind of difficult to figure out just where to place it on the head for intonation

Edited by - Don Smith1959 on 12/05/2020 10:00:52

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