August 2009


Fourteen year old Griffin Soller is one to watch – Here he is playing the celtic tune ‘Catharsis’

Cheers
Jerry

I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the Tasmanian Blackwood bridge I made previously – it was functional, but the sound was thin – the cost of making it from a particularly hard wood. After doing some reading I found that many violin bridges are made from sycamore – and having some American sycamore handy I thought it was time to give it a go and see how a close-grained sycamore bridge would sound.

An hour later and here is the result – I also moved the sound-post a little as it was some distance away from the bridge, and the result is like a completely different instrument – more body, more volume and a more rounded sound altogether.  The wood is nice to carve – quite docile and not prone to splitting.

New Hardanger fiddle bridge

New Hardanger fiddle bridge

And from the other side

New Hardanger (hardingfele) bridge

New Hardanger (hardingfele) bridge

I started by cutting a rectangle, then I overlaid the previous bridge and traced a line around the old one to ensure that the D-slot for the sympathetic strings would be at the right height, and then cut out the shape with a GMC hobby bandsaw and finished to shape with a good sanding. The top is tapered thinner than the rest from about halfway up from the feet. I fitted the feet to the body shape of the hardanger and then re-strung the instrument.

It’s probably still a bit on the thick side – what do you think?

Cheers
Jerry

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