• Craig Rantz - custom built mandolin - bridge on french polish top.
  • Bridge on mandolin custom built. Rantz Rhythmz.
  • Bridge on mandolin custom builty by Craig Rantz. Washington State. Inquire at Rantz Rhythmz

(Prev: Headstock)

Here are a couple of pictures of the mandolin bridge resting in position.

The advantage of a “floating” bridge is that it can be moved to allow for excellent intonation of the strings. The disadvantage? Because it moves around on the top of a compound curve the feet will never be in perfect contact with the top. Meaning that the area under each foot will have some space under them regardless of how one attempts to “sand” in the feet of the bridge.

Additionally, the sanding process happens without string tension, so the top is actually crowning higher than it would under pressure. There’s about 160 pounds of pressure on the top of a mandolin at pitch, that’s a lot of downward force!

So long as the points of contact rest where the sound bars reside under the top everything works as it should …

Mandolin #2 will have pictures of all the steps of the construction process, these are some highlights of #1.

Also, from these shots you can see the “recurve” cut into the top (the back is similar). Notice the light reflecting a “trough” around the edge of the mandolin? That’s where the magic happens in the sound characteristics of these instruments. That point is about .093” thick and works like a drum head (a violin, in contrast, has a sound post that contacts the top and back of the instrument, essentially creating a situation where the top and back act together as one unit).

Notice, too, the shine of the French polish …

(Next: French Polish Neck)