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Post new topic Weissenborn type guitar bridge problem *done*
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Author Topic:  Weissenborn type guitar bridge problem *done*
Peter den Hartogh


From:
Cape Town, South Africa
Post Posted 19 Nov 2017 10:56 am     Reply with quote

Are Weissenborn type guitars supposed to have a slanted bridge? If not, what is the best way to correct the slot that holds the plastic bridge?

Last edited by Peter den Hartogh on 21 Nov 2017 3:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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James Hartman


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 19 Nov 2017 11:34 am     Reply with quote

Just to clarify, you have a Weissenborn style guitar which has a slanted bridge saddle, not parallel to the nut?
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Peter den Hartogh


From:
Cape Town, South Africa
Post Posted 19 Nov 2017 10:18 pm     Reply with quote

Yes, it is a standard guitar bridge. I must be very careful modifying it as it has a pickup built in.

The problem is that the guitar is out of tune in different places. I tuned the open strings to perfection. Then I checked the 12th fret with a bar and also the harmonics and it was also perfect. But in odd places it was way out.

I will check and change the strings first, as the guitar hasn't been played for a long time.

I found on the forum that changing the slot might affect the pickup.
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James Hartman


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 20 Nov 2017 5:41 am     Reply with quote

Your supposition is correct, the bridge saddle on any type of steel guitar should be parallel to the nut, not slanted. The slanted saddle in effect creates a slightly different scale length for each string.

The fix for your guitar is to fill the saddle slot (with whatever wood the bridge is made of - typically rosewood or ebony) and rout a new slot in the proper place and orientation. This is not especially difficult if you have the right tools, but a challenge if you don't. You need a special jig to guide the router when you cut the new slot. Probably best left to a professional unless you happen to be properly equipped.

If this guitar has an under-saddle pickup, it simply needs to be removed and then reinstalled in the new slot.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 20 Nov 2017 9:14 am     Reply with quote

www.stewmac.com should have the tools needed to do the job. Very Happy
Erv
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Peter den Hartogh


From:
Cape Town, South Africa
Post Posted 20 Nov 2017 9:58 am     Reply with quote

Thank you, guys. I need to prepare properly before I start cutting.
It is interesting to notice that 99% of the problem has disappeared when I put new John Pearse strings on. If I have to, I can now correct the bridge slant with a very slight bar slant. I could not do that with the old strings...
everything was way out.
Anyway, I need to start hunting tools. Thanks again.

I forgot to mention that I found exactly the same wooden bridge in the parts department of a music shop. I could practice the tools on it if needed or use it as replacement if things go wrong.
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James Hartman


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 20 Nov 2017 10:17 am     Reply with quote

Peter den Hartogh wrote:
Thank you, guys. I need to prepare properly before I start cutting.
It is interesting to notice that 99% of the problem has disappeared when I put new John Pearse strings on. If I have to, I can now correct the bridge slant with a very slight bar slant. I could not do that with the old strings...
everything was way out.
Anyway, I need to start hunting tools. Thanks again.

I forgot to mention that I found exactly the same wooden bridge in the parts department of a music shop. I could practice the tools on it if needed or use it as replacement if things go wrong.


I highly recommend practicing with the router (Dremel tool or laminate trimmer) and jig, should you choose to invest in these tools, on a contrived similar set-up with scrap wood before attempting to re-slot a guitar bridge. It can be a bit tricky getting the jig set up properly in exactly the right place and it helps to get a feel for how it all works.

Replacing the whole bridge, if you screw it up, offers another set of challenges.
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post Posted 20 Nov 2017 6:30 pm     Reply with quote

Weren't you able to find pictures that show the correct type of bridge? Just "Google" the subject and hundreds of image results will pop up.

If it has an undersaddle pickup it will be more complicated - you'll have to remove the pickup element (which may not be a matter of simply lifting it out), fill the old slot, rout a new one the proper depth with a hole drilled for the connecting wire, then re-install the pickup element.

If you haven't done anything like this before - and it sounds like you haven't - isn't there are qualified guitar tech near you? It's a touchy job with high potential for top damage (especially during routing) and not something I recommend untrained folks trying.

And I hope you understand that even if the saddle is perfectly straight the guitar will not be in tune everywhere, especially between strings tuned the same and of different diameter. The intonation is inherently flawed in every saddle configuration, and every combination of notes is "fudged" to a degree.

But - did the guitar come that way when new, or is the bridge a replacement? If it's a replacement it may be totally wrong to start with - most "guitar" bridges are much larger than the originals and are tone killers. If it's a replacement you might be better off sound-wise replacing it with a stock type bridge.

If it's original 'm wondering if it's a budget import - if so you would be MUCH better off not bothering sand buying a better, correctly made instrument.

Post some pictures and a bunch of questions can be answered . It'd help those of us answering ensure we're steering you the right direction.
_________________
No chops, but great tone
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Peter den Hartogh


From:
Cape Town, South Africa
Post Posted 20 Nov 2017 10:35 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks all of you for the advices.
The "guitar" is a budget Asian import.
I knew it was a cheap instrument and I did not expect too much from it. The bridge is original and the instrument played surprisingly well.
The problem was all of a sudden, but I replaced the strings with JP strings and the problem has disappeared for 99%. I never expected that strings can be going "off" that much.

Jim is right, the best thing would be to buy a better instrument. So it is better and cheaper to leave this one alone.
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Peter den Hartogh


From:
Cape Town, South Africa
Post Posted 6 Dec 2017 9:33 am     Reply with quote

Here are some guitars with slanted bridges.
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=323434
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