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Reply with quote  #1 
Recently I've noticed that anytime i give my first string a good pull to get it back in tune, there would be a sound of friction as if something was slipping. sure enough, after a couple of pulls I put my sitar down and noticed that the bridge was visibly crooked. Is it natural for bridges to come loose after some time? Is there any quick fix to this, or is the only option to get it set up?

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Reply with quote  #2 
There are mixed feelings about this. Some say the bridge should fit naturally and some say it can be VERY lightly "glued" down. This has been covered a lot here but I will recap it.

1) To help the bridge fit better naturally you want to sand the legs so they conform better to the slight curvature of the tabli (the tabli is just the wooden surface of the sitar the bridge is sitting on). To do this, get a long string of sandpaper that is a bit wider than the bridge legs. Place the sandpaper GRIT SIDE UP on the tabli. Set the bridge's legs against the sandpaper. As you are looking straight down the neck with the tabli in your lap, move the bridge left to right along the sandpaper. (Note the strip of sandpaper should also be laying left to right as you are looking down the neck). The bridge should be placed in the position it usually sits. Doing this you will start to give the legs a slight contour that reflects the shape of the tabli it is resting on. You may have to change the sandpaper a few times. I wold recommend a medium grit around 180-220. Keep an eye on the strip of sandpaper. You can tell by the white wood dust on it how the legs are shaping up. As the wood dust gets really even in color across the width of the legs you should be there. However, it stil may not hold perfectly without "gluing" it.

2) To "glue" it you can get a small piece of shellac and let it dissolve in some denatured alcohol. I am not sure of the ratios to use here - how big a piece to how much alcohol. Tony Karaek (aka sitarfixer here on these boards) or someone else can offer up that. With the briudge in position, dip a very thin stick or the end of a paper clip or a wooden match end into the shellac and just run it along the outside of one leg. Capillary action will suck it under the leg. We are talking less than a drop here. Then do the same thing to the inside of the other leg. Let it dry and the brdige should be adhered enough to stay in place and even allow getting a jawari done. But a mild knowck with a rubber or padded hammer would knock it right off with minimal damage to the finish.

An alternative, one which has raised dissenting opinions, is to use a diluted solution of Elemr's White Glue. You want to really dilute the glue so it is about 70% thinned out with water. Then just do the same thing. Some folks say this makes it stick too much and can damage the finish. Well, yes there will be a bit of glue matter when the time comes to knock the bridge off for repair or replacement. But it is slight in my experience and as long as the glue is VERY lightly applied and is well thinned out, it has never taken bits of the tabli with it when the brdige is removed.

Hope this all makes sense!

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