Tool for Adjusting/Replacing Bridge
I recently witnessed a violin maker using a wonderful tool for replacing the bridge. The tool was placed right adjacent to the old bridge in support of the four strings. Then a screw on the tool was turned to raise the height of the tools and the strings it supported, thus releasing the tension between the strings and the bridge. Then the old bridge was easily removed and a new bridge inserted and properly positioned, before the height of the tool was again lowered and removed.
Does anyone know what the tool is called and where we can buy that tool? Thanks a lot for your answers.
I have it. Bought it in ebay. String lifter it's how I've seen them called.
Checking on line in this modern era of electronics and failing infrastructure I find that "bridge jack" may be too general a term in this century. Carlos's "string lifter" will get you to the product faster and cheaper.
Question for me is, which side of the bridge should it be used on; if you put in on the tailpiece side, then it is right over the soundpost, which should be structurally the best. But on the fingerboard side, the string angle is less, is it not? I say it should go over the sp. I think I purchased my German-made one from International Violin Supplies.
Might be useful to work on an existing bridge, but won't help much to fit a new bridge, you need to have the strings off for that.IMHO
Use your string lifter on either side of your bridge as it suits your requirements of the moment. Worrying about structural issues isn't necessary because you're going to loosen the strings somewhat anyway. You don't just stick it in there and lift fully tensioned strings. (Or maybe you do, but you shouldn't.)
It's been a while, but if I recall correctly I put the bridge jack on the tailpiece side BECAUSE that way the gentler slope of the strings on the fingerboard side is a better angle for tilting the old bridge out - but Mark is probably right.
Unfortunately, the device won't help with changing the tailpiece! A different procedure is needed if you don't want the soundpost moving or falling, by which procedure you can safely change a tailpiece in 20 minutes or less, including a different set of strings.
Thanks everyone for your help. I have ordered one String Lifter from International Violin Supplies.
One good use for a string lifter is to switch between a standard bridge and a piezo bridge like a Baggs. For that you would have to put the lifter on the fingerboard side, because a piezo bridge has a wire coming out of the tailpiece side.
@ Trevor: What different procedure are you using to replace a tailpiece so fast without the soundpost falling?
When I have stripped down an instrument (removed all strings at the same time) I have loosened the strings gradually and gradually tugged the sound post laterally toward the ff-hole be assure it will be held in place when the bridge is removed. I understand that the soundpost is supposed to be held by friction when the string pressure is removed - but my luck on that used to fail every time (violins and cellos) so I got fairy adept at resurrecting soundposts - but I really hated having to retreave fallen posts from inside instruments - especially cellos!
I have only been able to remove a tailpiece without the soundpost falling once. Every other time I hear the dreaded clic-roll-roll-roll.
Carlos, the procedure I use for changing the tailpiece is this:
I made a "lasso" for retrieving a dropped soundpost out of a six inch length of narrow brass tubing, a used ball end e string, and a small spherical wooden handle from the hardware store. Basically you make the lasso by putting the e string through the brass tube with a loop at one end and fastening one end of the e string to the tube. The other end, with the ball on it is left to stick out so you can pull on it to tighten the loop once you've rolled the SP into the loop. The wooden sphere is just a refinement to make the tool more comfy to use. You drill a hole the diameter of the brass tube half-way through it, and a smaller hole for the e string the rest of the way through. Then you thread the e string through and stick it onto the outer end of the brass tube. I can usually retrieve an SP pretty easily with this.