Stabilized woods for bridge?

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Stabilized woods for bridge?

Postby Matthew Lau » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:32 pm

Hey luthier buddies,

I've noticed that a number of bridges can crack under high tension strain.
I've been considering using some sort of stabilized wood, or reinforcing the fracture points with brass or carbon fiber.

Any thoughts?
Matthew Lau
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Re: Stabilized woods for bridge?

Postby Bob Gramann » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:01 pm

Design it so it isn’t overstrained. Whatever you add moves the stress point to the end of the addition.
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Bob Gramann
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Re: Stabilized woods for bridge?

Postby Alan Carruth » Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:03 pm

Where are you getting cracks?

The cut of the wood makes a difference. Flat cut wood is much more likely to crack, and skew cut slightly less likely, than quartered wood.

As Bob says, take a critical look at your design.
Alan Carruth
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Re: Stabilized woods for bridge?

Postby David King » Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:29 pm

Stabilized wood can present some very tough to overcome glueing challenges.
David King
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Re: Stabilized woods for bridge?

Postby Steven Smith » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:05 am

I have made several bridges with carbon fiber in the middle to prevent cracks. I basically followed the guidelines in Trevor Gore's books. One was for a guitar I made using his falcate bracing technique, I believe Trevor's design uses it that way as part of the bracing scheme. The other was for a repair to a 12 string with a bridge that had split along the pins due to a very poor and split-prone bridge design. In both cases I resawed the bridge blank with about 1/8" for the bottom slice, laminated the carbon fiber in with System 3 epoxy and then finished up the bridge normally.
Steven Smith
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Location: East Tennessee

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