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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2024 1:56 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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This thread is dedicated to what not to do with a bridge design. Please feel free to post pics of any bridge design and execution that you think...... sucks :D

I'll go first. :? :D

Here we have the state of the art bridge from a 1972 Framus Texan. Please note the hardware store full of massive metal pieces that gives it that nice, armored look that might be seen on Game Of Thrones prior to going into battle.

And the additionally massive chassis and saddle configuration. No one piece saddle of the proper height for these folks, no sir this one can go up and down with only the aid of a Craftsman 152 piece mechanic's set.

* Borrowed this pic off the Elderly Instruments site. The guitar that this is attached to is for sale and listed honestly as Elderly always does in my experience (I'm a frequent flier with them and happy clam to boot) it's listed "as is." Considering buying it and making it into a lamp. :D Love tobacco bursts bliss


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2024 7:11 am 
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Get rid of the metal and I like the design. My old Gibson had one of those adjustable saddles, I wish I had a picture of it. It's long gone along with every means of identifying the guitar and I can't remember what model it is. Maybe a j50. Sorry, I got right off topic.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2024 7:39 am 
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Do bridges like the Framus create stress risers at all this pointed areas or no?

I do see a lot of wild designs from luthiers on Instagram and I always wonder what the bridge plate looks like underneath and what weirdness the designs cause over time.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2024 7:54 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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bcombs510 wrote:
Do bridges like the Framus create stress risers at all this pointed areas or no?

I do see a lot of wild designs from luthiers on Instagram and I always wonder what the bridge plate looks like underneath and what weirdness the designs cause over time.


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With all those screws attaching it to the top I bet you could tow a car with it :) Those are "tone screws" by the way, nothing but the best laughing6-hehe :? :D

Seriously I'm with ya Brad buddy I would like to see the plate too. It's likely massive as well but I have no clue on these.

Hutch some j 50's and 45's and other Gibsons did have an adjustable bridge with a chassis and some don't it depended on the year. You know too back then we folk who are at times called Luthiers and at other times are called other things... ;) were not abundant back then. Gigging musicians had to be able to make fine adjustments themselves on the fly when in a dry venue or moist venue. Might have been a hold over from the arch top days too where the player could literally increase or lower action in the middle of a tune themselves. I still see the Gibson ones nearly weekly as they come in for repairs not the bridge mind you but the rest of the guitar. Some imports from Asia did this too and I think Ibanez was one of them (I know it's technically Japan).

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2024 7:56 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Thinking back I can only recall maybe two Framus guitars that came our way in approaching 20 years which suggests that there aren't many of them around or they don't break or we suck. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2024 8:42 am 
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I don't know, but Framus called it the "Texan" and even the bridge looks kinda spur/"saddle" hardware, long hornish like.

That guitar deserves a thread of it's own for all that's going on. But check it out - https://www.elderly.com/products/framus-texan-5-196-acoustic-guitar-c-1972-20u-219754?variant=43298823536831

It is like a meld of everything going on in the guitar world in 1972 -- electric and acoustic packed into one.

It is really quite something. If it were an easy drive to Elderly you'd have to beat me there Hesh. I think it's pretty cool.

Sorry for the drift, I'm not normal either. I don't think there is anything there I haven't at least thought about in some form.

There goes my reputation! AGAIN!

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2024 10:02 am 
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Man I love that bolt on fender style neck. So easy to build and no heel in your way.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2024 11:32 am 
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The footprint of that bridge is Texas size. Look at how much real estate it takes up on the top.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2024 5:56 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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rbuddy wrote:
I don't know, but Framus called it the "Texan" and even the bridge looks kinda spur/"saddle" hardware, long hornish like.

That guitar deserves a thread of it's own for all that's going on. But check it out - https://www.elderly.com/products/framus-texan-5-196-acoustic-guitar-c-1972-20u-219754?variant=43298823536831

It is like a meld of everything going on in the guitar world in 1972 -- electric and acoustic packed into one.

It is really quite something. If it were an easy drive to Elderly you'd have to beat me there Hesh. I think it's pretty cool.

Sorry for the drift, I'm not normal either. I don't think there is anything there I haven't at least thought about in some form.

There goes my reputation! AGAIN!


laughing6-hehe No problem Brian it's your's :) I was making the trip next week when I'm off but this is the last thing I need I already have guitars hanging from the walls of nearly every room in my condo.

Yes lots of period ideas most that didn't make it. We now know where Framus stood on ole bolt-on vs. dovetail thing too.

I wonder what it weighs and it says it's in good shape.

Neck reset would be a breeze just restore angle and shim to proper height. It is cool looking too.

Repair shops tend to have a different view. We avoid anything without a defined beginning, ending and definition of success. It's very difficult for a stand alone repair shop with no retail (how we want it so we are not disturbed for a pick sale...) to make it. We've seen 5 - 6 shops in our market come and go.

So I bring this up to try to explain why my perspective is a bit different we can't have endless projects cluttering up the place and getting in the way of billable hours or we perish in the marketplace.

But as a project guitar for the hobbyist this might be fun if you can deal with owning a "Framus" and having people say "what" everything you say the name :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2024 5:58 pm 
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J De Rocher wrote:
The footprint of that bridge is Texas size. Look at how much real estate it takes up on the top.


Exactly I'm guessing but it would not surprise me if we are looking at 90 - 100 grams all up in the bridge assembly which is 3 times what you might see on a Gibson or Martin.

But it's not coming off without the top coming with it :D

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2024 6:04 pm 
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banjopicks wrote:
Man I love that bolt on fender style neck. So easy to build and no heel in your way.


So for decades there was a debate in the industry mostly after Bob Taylor came out with the Taylor bolt-on neck joint as to if a bolt-on neck can sound as resonant tonally as a dovetail joint. Two camps developed and these folks were often more militant and determined not to budge in their view as you see in glue thread arguments.

Acoustic guitars are really the proving ground too for these disagreements from can we hear stainless frets to the neck joint debate.

With this said there is a large segment of acoustic guitar fans, probably the majority but I'm guessing here too that would look at this neck joint in absolute horror, have nightmares at night and have to confess next week at church for seeing a bolt-on like this one. Oh the horror :)

Or, in other words like glue in Lutherie there is religion in these neck joints... :D

On the other hand it would be an easy removal of the neck for that lamp I want to make for my living room :)

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2024 3:31 pm 
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bcombs510 wrote:
Do bridges like the Framus create stress risers at all this pointed areas or no?


I've wondered about that too. It's only a sample size of one, but the bridge on the Breedlove I have that was built in 1998 has some quite pointy points and they haven't caused any problems.

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Breedlove bridge.jpg


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2024 12:53 am 
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I can't recall the last time I saw a Breedlove with a lifted bridge. I'm not saying it doesn't happen we just don't seem to see them.

Could be regional meaning there are not a lot of them around here. I very rarely see them for anything including set-ups and that is odd in our neck of the woods.

There are two dealers in our Market both big outfits so I have to wonder if the bridge doctor has anything to do with a more stable bridge patch but that's speculation on my part. I always hated those things, bridge doctors and can't see how they don't dampen top response but that's another discussion.

Bridge design wise what we advise people building guitars is to consider that some things are going to just happen in a guitar's life and it's best to build in a manner that supports serviceability in the future. That's value too by the way to produce products that can be serviced and returned to full functional and visual perfection well into the future. Neck resets and bridge lifts are to be expected on a conventionally built acoustic guitar. I would argue that bridge lifts don't have to happen but they do often occur because of RH abuse over time AND/or the need for a neck reset or an approaching neck reset further stresses the back edge of the bridge and help make that lift. On some guitars with older, 70's Guilds being one example lousy plastic choices for the slotted pins can contribute to bridge lifts as the Guild pins commonly distort and encourage string balls to eat away at the bridge plate holes as the balls try to pull upward through the plate. You can always spot this from the outside as the pins are all different heights in time. Of course slotted pins can contribute in this example to causing a bridge lift in time too. Another reason to use unslotted pins.

This bridge shape on the Breed above certainly can be reglued but it's not an easy one and has more potential for damage to occur in the process outside the footprint and that damage would show so this shape is not as serviceable as a simple rectangle shape. Some of the Gibsons are awful.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2024 6:54 am 
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Well, here is another adjustable saddle design, but one that I kinda like. I recently stayed in a AirBnB apartment in Copenhagen and the owner had left her 1970 Swedish-built Levin dreadnaught lying around the living room. It had a couple of broken strings and a tuner which wasn’t working well but I was able to fix that for her while I was there and enjoyed playing it for a few days. A nice solid wood D-18 style thing. It had one of these bridges with individual saddles - plastic, and threaded so you can screw them up or down in their individual holes to adjust saddle height. Much better than the Framus or Gibson adjustable things of the same era with all of that metal junk. Dig that finish checking, and the nice pad.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2024 3:30 pm 
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Hey Mark - We have one of those in the shop that we own and did you know that Martin bought Levin back in the day?

Levin guitars, they made mandos, banjos, etc were excellent and so good that Martin bought them instead of competing with them. When Levin came to America they changed the name of the US offerings to Goya and there is a story as to why which has to do with Levin being Jewish and the perception of that in the US market. I don't remember the details but a Google search will get you there.

Guitars were great and after Martin bought them they even produced LD-18's in Scandinavia for a while with the L being for Levin.

Saddle design is innovative but those would never last over time, the adjustable saddles being plastic they deteriorate like plastic bridge pins do. The rest of the guitars are heirloom quality which is one of the reasons Martin bought them they were good stuff.

The saddles were also proprietary to Levin so they were not available without Levin and that's never a good thing for any guitar if it can't be easily serviced and necessary parts were available.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2024 5:43 pm 
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Yes, I looked up the Levin and Martin story while I was there, which is interesting. We occasionally see old ones in Australia as they apparently imported them here (as Levin, not Goya) back in the day. The plastic saddles are made with 8mm plastic rod which I can buy for $6.50 a meter, and have a M8 thread which I can cut with a $20 die and tap set - so I am thinking of trying something like this on my current build, just for a lark. You are right about the heirloom quality. This was a really good guitar. It needed a neck reset and seemed to have a bolt-on neck (one bolt, maybe it’s bolt and glue like a Martin 15 series). Also had a large unrepaired top crack, but I would have bought it from her in an instant if she wanted to part with it.



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2024 1:09 am 
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Yeah they are a great slice of guitar history. Ours is a sunburst and the neck is missing so we only have the body. But very well made.

Your plan to craft new saddles or saddles like Levin sounds clever and should result in some nice saddles.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2024 5:17 am 
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Hesh wrote:
Ours is a sunburst and the neck is missing so we only have the body.


That is cool. Next time you have a chance to look at that body I would be interested to know how you think the neck joint was fashioned? The one that I saw had a single bolt head visible inside at the neck block. If I had to guess I would say it was probably a mortise and tenon joint held with a bolt, and the fingerboard extension glued down. But I might be wrong, and if I ever get the chance to work on one of these it would be handy to know.



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2024 6:03 am 
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Sure thing we moved a year ago so a lot of stuff is still packed or difficult to find. The next time I can get at the Levin Body Mark I'll take a bunch of pics and post here.

They were indeed very well made guitars and I can see why Martin wanted to either own them or sunset them or both.

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