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  1. #1

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    On an archtop floating bridge, How do you slow or stop strings from cutting into the bridge wood? Is there a way to harden the wood ( rosewood )? Specifically my E & B strings are cutting into the bridge.
    Last edited by epilover; 08-03-2019 at 10:45 PM.

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  3. #2

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    The wooden bridge is a proven concept. String slots compress a fraction under string pressure, but then become gradually denser and harder. After many years of use, a wooden bridge may have to be re-slotted, a standard maintenance procedure.

    The tendency of a guitar string cutting into the wood depends on:

    1. Wood hardness: "Rosewood" refers to any of a number of richly hued timbers. The timber trade will sell many timbers under the name rosewood due to some outward similarities. Although generally considered "hardwood", some species are softer and more porous than others.

    Excessive use of oil makes the surface softer. If you use oil to make the bridge look dark and shiny; only use proper products and wipe it off carefully.

    2. String pressure: A steep string break angle increases the cutting force. Check the setup.

    3. String gauge: light strings are sharper, but heavy plain strings have higher tension. Only use a wound G-string for a wooden bridge.

  4. #3
    JCat, thank you for the reply. I suppose its a combo of using 13 gage strings and time (20years), that are the culprits. I was considering ( at next string change ) trying to what is referred to as "boning" the surface, but for that to be of any benefit I would have to sand down past the existing slots. I also considered applying a dab of superglue to the slots, thinking it would soak in and make the wood harder or at least more resistant to the pressure of the strings.

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    you could use true oil or tung oil on the bridge but for it to completely cure takes a lot of time. All I ever do with my floating Bridge when the strings cut to deep into it is to take my Radius sanding block and sand the bridge down until the string cuts are shallow again. Using the radius block insures the bridge radius stays the same as the fret radius.

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    Quote Originally Posted by epilover View Post
    On an archtop floating bridge, How do you slow or stop strings from cutting into the bridge wood? Is there a way to harden the wood ( rosewood )? Specifically my E & B strings are cutting into the bridge.
    Rosewood is pretty hard assuming what you have is real rosewood, but ebony is better. In the end it is somewhat routine to have to sand and re-radius the slot, I have not had to do that to my own guitars but most all have ebony. Many once in 20 years of playing. If is really cutting in fast I might wonder about the quality of the wood itself. Easy enough to get a new saddle and start over getting a good quality rosewood or ebony. I personally prefer ebony but rosewood is fine,
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  7. #6
    The Radius sanding block and sanding the bridge down sounds like a good plan. Might be best to go with a new Ebony bridge saddle and perform basically the same task.
    Thanks for all the input from all of the members !!!

  8. #7
    Might consider a parchment, like what is used on violin bridges. The E string slot will often have a tiny piece of parchment attached to prevent it cutting into the bridge.

  9. #8
    Rick, thanks for the suggestion, I watched a few vids of violin bridge parchment being installed. This could be an option to consider.