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 Violin bridge foot fitting tool?

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NicknamedTanner

Joined 11/7/2011
138 Posts

06/20/2013 11:40:55  View NicknamedTanner's Photo Albums  Reply with Quote

Has anybody tried one of these?

 

http://www.internationalviolin.com/item_detail.aspx?ItemCode=T731

 

I cut my last bridge feet with knives, files and sandpaper. It took a good bit of time to get a good fit. The rest of the bridge cut seemed like nothing after the feet.

Just wondering if one of these would speed up the feet fitting  process?

Frankenfiddle

Joined 6/12/2013
73 Posts

06/20/2013 12:09:50  View Frankenfiddle's Photo Albums  Reply with Quote

I've heard good things about that, but I don't really mind doing it the old fashioned way.

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mswlogo

United States
Joined 4/15/2009
2765 Posts

06/20/2013 12:17:33  View mswlogo's Classified Ads  View mswlogo's Blog  Reply with Quote

I assume you have to use sand paper to use it?

Here is a larger image of it.

http://vitaliimport.com/cart/index.php?main_page=popup_image&pID=463

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KCFiddles

United States
Joined 7/1/2007
4875 Posts

06/20/2013 13:21:49  View KCFiddles's MP3 Archive  View KCFiddles's Photo Albums  View KCFiddles's Blog  Reply with Quote

It will get you close, but you still have to do the final fit by hand if you want it to be good. If I'm in a hurry, I'll rough the shape with a knife, use coarse sandpaper to get a closer fit, and then do the final fitting with a knife.  The trick is to take tiny cuts, because if you cut too deep you have to take the entire foot down to match. Fitting the feet takes me around 15 minutes if my eyes are working that day.

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MandogrylPlayers Union Member

Moderator

United States
Joined 3/25/2009
1743 Posts

06/20/2013 13:54:33  View Mandogryl's Photo Albums  View Mandogryl's Blog  Reply with Quote

I used one like that for fitting mandolin bridges, back when I built mandolins and guitars.

With viol family instruments I use a shop knife.

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KCFiddles

United States
Joined 7/1/2007
4875 Posts

06/20/2013 14:46:34  View KCFiddles's MP3 Archive  View KCFiddles's Photo Albums  View KCFiddles's Blog  Reply with Quote

quote:
Originally posted by KCFiddles
 

It will get you close, but you still have to do the final fit by hand if you want it to be good. If I'm in a hurry, I'll rough the shape with a knife, use coarse sandpaper to get a closer fit, and then do the final fitting with a knife.  The trick is to take tiny cuts, because if you cut too deep you have to take the entire foot down to match. Fitting the feet takes me around 15 minutes if my eyes are working that day.


BTW, I don't use a jig, even when roughing with sandpaper. I think it would take too much additional time getting the angles right, and really doesn't save any time overall. YMMV

I showed one of my colleagues my new portable sharpener the other day, Cut a couple of free-hanging hairs, then shaved a few curls off a hair for him with my Swiss Army Knife (which is so soft it shouldn't be able to get that sharp.) He said "I think the main trick to cutting a good bridge is having really sharp knives."  He's got a point.

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kjb

United States
Joined 6/8/2013
140 Posts

06/21/2013 02:58:33  Reply with Quote

when cutting, wet the feet, it allows you to cut very thin pieces easily.

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pinch

Joined 6/25/2007
433 Posts

06/21/2013 11:49:20  View pinch's Photo Albums  Reply with Quote

Make one...

http://www.fiddlehangout.com/photo/6421

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SamY

United States
Joined 12/23/2011
678 Posts

06/21/2013 22:19:26  Reply with Quote

I use a block of wood long enough to span from bridge to just short of the saddle.  The longer it is the more consistent the angle as it is moved back and forth.  In place of the wheel I just use one of those big carpet covered tacks (glides) made to go on the bottom of a chair leg. This goes on the end of the wood block near the saddle.

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dokePlayers Union Member

United States
Joined 2/21/2009
32 Posts

06/22/2013 02:24:55  Reply with Quote

I use and like the bridge foot fitter, as stated above it gets you close and for me close is a good place to start.

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transplant

United States
Joined 9/6/2008
2189 Posts

06/26/2013 09:43:41  View transplant's Photo Albums  Reply with Quote

I've seen one of those wheely foot sanding jigs in the hands of a capable violin builder. Once. For your amusement, look on YouTube for the videos of David Burgess using a Sawzall to wiggle the bridge back and forth on some sandpaper taped to the belly of a violin.

I mark the front (fingerboard-facing) side of the feet with a flattened pencil stub sliding on the fiddle's top. Then, with the tail side of the bridge flat on the table of a spindle sander, I hog off the extra maple. It only takes a minute to do both feet. Then I fit them to the fiddle's top with a sharp knife with a curved edge, using thin carbon paper to mark the high spots.

This is a half-size "Aubert" blank (probably German, with the star stamp) I'm working on today, with its treble foot sanded like that:


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