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Mar 27, 2021 - 4:54:56 AM
232 posts since 7/9/2010

Hello,

I read with interest the comment about the past pros and their setup techniques. I was gifted a 1974 OMI. The spider was and is just as I received it.

I did had to level it. It looks lopsided. The previous cone was stamped. The spider was sitting in indentions on the spider. To me, excessive force was applied to the spider to make indentions.

This leaves me to a quest. What does lifting the spider mean?

Specifically, the treble and bass dimensions as in thickness of plywood/wood support would be helpful. 1/4, 3/8, or 7/16 are the options.

Mar 27, 2021 - 9:58:17 AM

186 posts since 11/24/2019

It appears to me that the adjusting screw had been tightened so much that it caused the ends of the legs of the spider to press into the rim of the cone.

I'm surprised that the cone was stamped. I know that a couple of people who are currently spinning cones of very high quality on their own now had worked for OMI spinning cones for them. Mike Replogle definitely did not stamp cones out.

I think you may be referring to "arching" the spider. If you purchase a Beard spider, a Replogle spider or a Quarterman spider, they usually arch the cone and level the feet for you. This is done by bending the legs of the spider downward. The bending is reasonably gentle, and once it is done, the feet are leveled by sanding them on a flat surface with a very large piece of sandpaper or emery cloth on it.

It has nothing to do with plywood.

Mar 27, 2021 - 10:29:32 AM

2126 posts since 8/5/2008

My '75 OMI was purchased new with a stamped cone, which is still in it.

Mar 27, 2021 - 11:07:30 AM

232 posts since 7/9/2010

Hello,

Lifting the spider is the topic. I am certain that the Beard Setup used a piece of plywood to level the spider.

The claim was that the instrument sounded much better. Louder and good tone were the adjectives.

As for the stamped cone, tightening the screw popped the cone before the legs created divots. Right at the seam did the cone crinkle. To stop buzzing, the leg divots were deep. Let’s say the legs were below the lip of the divot. Maybe, it came that way. To me, the cone was ruined.

Mar 27, 2021 - 2:42:20 PM

docslyd

USA

400 posts since 11/27/2014

The spider should be dead level, with no difference in height between the treble and bass sides. The bridge, when done, should be the same. There is a very slight arch to the spider legs, only so much that the center (circular) part of the spider is between 1/8 and 3/16 inch from the underside to your level surface as the legs rest on the same level surface. This is hard to measure and, if I were setting up a guitar that has been jacked, I would just spring for a new #14 spider, cone and bridge inserts and set it up properly. In my opinion, otherwise you’re just spending money to get half way where it should be....you need a new cone no matter what.

Edited by - docslyd on 03/27/2021 14:43:19

Mar 27, 2021 - 2:58:44 PM

186 posts since 11/24/2019

This is exactly correct, although I have seen some spider bridges that were somewhat higher than that. I just got two Beard #14 spiders this afternoon, both are level and within the parameters described below.
 
quote:
Originally posted by docslyd

The spider should be dead level, with no difference in height between the treble and bass sides. The bridge, when done, should be the same. There is a very slight arch to the spider legs, only so much that the center (circular) part of the spider is between 1/8 and 3/16 inch from the underside to your level surface as the legs rest on the same level surface. This is hard to measure and, if I were setting up a guitar that has been jacked, I would just spring for a new #14 spider, cone and bridge inserts and set it up properly. In my opinion, otherwise you’re just spending money to get half way where it should be....you need a new cone no matter what.


Mar 27, 2021 - 4:44:46 PM

232 posts since 7/9/2010

Hello,

Thank you for this perspective. In the Beard video, the stable support looked like 3/8 plywood.

The reason I ask is bridge insert height. A flatter spider requires a taller insert. The StewMac guidance is 1/16 “ from the palm rest is the bridge height.

I am pushing .53”. If a higher insert, then more oscillatory action of the spider. This translates to more energy into the spider. Thus, more volume and tone.

I like the idea of leveling with a level devise. Next string change, I may rethink leveling the spider.

Edited by - AradoReso on 03/27/2021 16:47:14

Mar 27, 2021 - 5:04:16 PM

3964 posts since 7/27/2008

Are you guys talking about another  thread  about setups where lifting - which I guess means "raising the height of the spider" was discussed?  

I'm missing something here.

Mar 27, 2021 - 6:28:53 PM

docslyd

USA

400 posts since 11/27/2014

...neither am I following the oscillatory action of the spider and resultant desired effects...I just know when it sounds good. The only spider I’ve seen oscillate is a daddy longlegs....plus, I have not seen the video so the inability to comment still hasn’t prevented me from doing so.

Edited by - docslyd on 03/27/2021 18:30:44

Mar 27, 2021 - 6:47:12 PM

232 posts since 7/9/2010

quote:
Originally posted by MarkinSonoma

Are you guys talking about another  thread  about setups where lifting - which I guess means "raising the height of the spider" was discussed?  

I'm missing something here.



Hello Mark

Yes. It was the Three-eyed-Willie discussion about the 70's. Someone setup his guitar by lifting up the spider. The downward push of strings would eventually cause the spider to collapse.

The higher the arch of the spider, shorter the insert has to be. Only so much clearance is available for all of this instrument to work. I may consider getting a new #14 to compare with. 

I have given my optimal insert height. Is my height because the spider has compressed?  Does it need a face lift? LOL

Edited by - AradoReso on 03/27/2021 18:52:37

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Mar 27, 2021 - 8:05:59 PM

docslyd

USA

400 posts since 11/27/2014

I have never heard of a spider collapsing under string tension. The tension would be the same whether the height was determined by the spider, or the bridge was at that same height. The string tension would be the same, unless bending the spider legs somehow weakened them.

Mar 27, 2021 - 10:12:53 PM

186 posts since 11/24/2019

Since I AM Three_Eyed_Willy, it seems that I should remember that. The only work I ever had done on a spider in a dobro was on a Regal that Van Stoneman worked on for me. That was in the '60's. He arched the spider by bending the legs slightly.

Is this the thread you are referring to? https://www.resohangout.com/topic/53682
 
If so, that's a whole different situation.

 
 
 
 
quote:
Originally posted by AradoReso
quote:
Originally posted by MarkinSonoma

Are you guys talking about another  thread  about setups where lifting - which I guess means "raising the height of the spider" was discussed?  

I'm missing something here.



Hello Mark

Yes. It was the Three-eyed-Willie discussion about the 70's. Someone setup his guitar by lifting up the spider. The downward push of strings would eventually cause the spider to collapse.

The higher the arch of the spider, shorter the insert has to be. Only so much clearance is available for all of this instrument to work. I may consider getting a new #14 to compare with. 

I have given my optimal insert height. Is my height because the spider has compressed?  Does it need a face lift? LOL


Edited by - Three_Eyed_Willy on 03/27/2021 22:20:54

Mar 27, 2021 - 11:22:41 PM

186 posts since 11/24/2019

Or maybe this one resohangout.com/topic/54917

Mar 28, 2021 - 5:45:34 AM

232 posts since 7/9/2010

Hello,

As I described, the previous owner abused the configuration. To have deep groves in the cone for the legs to be constrained by had to require much force. The original cone was glued in.

When I changed the cone, I leveled the spider as it came out. She is flat level. Understanding aluminum, I was afraid of reconfiguring its lopsided stance. Money was tight then.

The plywood samples I gave talk about optimal sonic transfer to the cone. If the inset height is 1/2 to 5/8 tall, then either the soundwell is too tall and the Spider is too flat.

For reference, all case candy of inserts were 3/8 type, 1/4 away from 5/8. This says any 5/8 insert must cut down to meet the assembly requirement.

Aircraft grade aluminum is only in the cone. 8 legs provide good resistance to sag. But, misguided owners are worse than string tension.

At the present, #14 spiders seem to be out. I will see if the dimensional stack up is supposed to be in a new leveled cone.

Mar 28, 2021 - 5:48:06 AM

232 posts since 7/9/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Three_Eyed_Willy

Or maybe this one resohangout.com/topic/54917


Hello Willy

Yes! This is the one. Raising the spider was the description. 

Edited by - AradoReso on 03/28/2021 05:58:31

Mar 28, 2021 - 10:30:50 AM

186 posts since 11/24/2019

The only reference I see in that thread is your post which asks about "lifting the spider." Whose post actually discussed lifting or raising the spider? It might be my blurry old eyes that have missed it.

Mar 28, 2021 - 6:36:17 PM

232 posts since 7/9/2010

Hello Willy,

This is what I read from you hands. 

" Van was playing dobro with them at the time. Now, the Stonemans were well-known in the biz for knowing how to get the most out of their instruments. So, Van asked me if I wanted him to set up my dobro. I told him I would appreciate it. So he had me make a pair of bridge inserts out of an old butcher knife blade. I brought the new bridge inserts to the next gig we played with them. On one of our breaks, we took the dobro out to their bus, and Van arched the spider, leveled the feet on it and installed the steel bridge inserts for me."

This is what I was referring to . Thank you for offering to explain. 

Mar 29, 2021 - 4:33:51 AM

2126 posts since 8/5/2008

Sounds like "arching the spider" was done to make the action higher, which will usually create more volume. Nowadays this is done by installing higher bridge inserts.

Mar 29, 2021 - 6:44:59 AM

232 posts since 7/9/2010

Hello,

The last part, steel inserts, did not include the size. LOL. With the Dobro, dimensional stack up is limited by the palm rest. If the spider gets taller, the inserts get smaller. Either the cone sinks deeper into the body or 5/8 inserts become 3/8 shorts. That is 1/4 loss of material. Why get maple/ebony, when most of the maple is gone?

Mar 29, 2021 - 1:22:18 PM

186 posts since 11/24/2019

I'm sorry that you misread that post. The steel inserts were replacements for the original bridge inserts. They went into the bridge slot of the spider. The spider was ARCHED, not "LIFTED". There was no additional plywood involved.

Herer is what happened IN DETAIL. I took the Regal Dobro into the Stoneman family bus. Van removed the coverplate, tuned the strings down, and took out the spider. He bent each one of the legs downward slightly. This is called "arching the spider." It puts a slight arch in the spider. It must be done evenly and preferrably, by someone with experience. He thenleveled th e feet of the spider using emery cloth attached to the table top in the bus. After that, he replaced the bridge inserts with the pieces of steel from the butcher knife blade. I had notched them for the strings on that instrument.

There was NO MENTION WHATSOEVER in my original post of lifting the spider or of putting it up on plywood shims or blocks.

The size of the pieces of steel were not mentioned, because it was pretty obvious, at least to me, that they were pretty close to the size of the original bridge inserts. The arching of the spider was not excessive, so they fit just fine.

And, by the way, there was no collapse of the spider, the cone, the instrument, me or Van Stoneman.

Mar 29, 2021 - 5:29:04 PM

186 posts since 11/24/2019

If you purchase a spider from Beard or Replogle, they arch the spider and level the feet before shipping it. It's not an excessive arch, but it apparently contributes positively to the volume of the instrument.  I know this for a fact, because I have purchased two Replogle spiders and two Beard spiders within the last couple of months, and all came with a definite arch and were correctly leveled. So, unless there is a cutoff date of March 25 for "nowadays," you may not be as up to date as you think.
quote:
Originally posted by otdobro

Sounds like "arching the spider" was done to make the action higher, which will usually create more volume. Nowadays this is done by installing higher bridge inserts.


Mar 29, 2021 - 5:37:06 PM

186 posts since 11/24/2019

@AradoReso

I think I remember where I saw something similar to what you are referencing. It wasn't on this forum, but on one of the Facebook pages devoted to Resonator Guitars. I don't remember which one, but it was definitely within the last 6 weeks. The fellow was sitting on a chair with a spider bridge reso, which had the cover plate removed. If you looked closely at the photo, you could see that there were small pieces of (presumably) plywood under each foot of the spider. These were about the shape of a chiclet. They appeared to be about 1/8" or 3/16" thick. He mentioned something about putting transducers under the feet of the spider.

I went back and searched all of the relevant Facebook pages to see if I could find that particular photo, but I struck out.
Good luck with this.
Willy
quote:
Originally posted by AradoReso

Hello Willy,

This is what I read from you hands. 

" Van was playing dobro with them at the time. Now, the Stonemans were well-known in the biz for knowing how to get the most out of their instruments. So, Van asked me if I wanted him to set up my dobro. I told him I would appreciate it. So he had me make a pair of bridge inserts out of an old butcher knife blade. I brought the new bridge inserts to the next gig we played with them. On one of our breaks, we took the dobro out to their bus, and Van arched the spider, leveled the feet on it and installed the steel bridge inserts for me."

This is what I was referring to . Thank you for offering to explain. 

 


Mar 30, 2021 - 1:12:55 PM
Players Union Member

daver

USA

724 posts since 9/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Three_Eyed_Willy
@AradoReso

I think I remember where I saw something similar to what you are referencing. It wasn't on this forum, but on one of the Facebook pages devoted to Resonator Guitars. I don't remember which one, but it was definitely within the last 6 weeks. The fellow was sitting on a chair with a spider bridge reso, which had the cover plate removed. If you looked closely at the photo, you could see that there were small pieces of (presumably) plywood under each foot of the spider. These were about the shape of a chiclet. They appeared to be about 1/8" or 3/16" thick. He mentioned something about putting transducers under the feet of the spider.

I went back and searched all of the relevant Facebook pages to see if I could find that particular photo, but I struck out.
Good luck with this.
Willy
quote:
Originally posted by AradoReso

Hello Willy,

This is what I read from you hands. 

" Van was playing dobro with them at the time. Now, the Stonemans were well-known in the biz for knowing how to get the most out of their instruments. So, Van asked me if I wanted him to set up my dobro. I told him I would appreciate it. So he had me make a pair of bridge inserts out of an old butcher knife blade. I brought the new bridge inserts to the next gig we played with them. On one of our breaks, we took the dobro out to their bus, and Van arched the spider, leveled the feet on it and installed the steel bridge inserts for me."

This is what I was referring to . Thank you for offering to explain. 

 


 


My understanding of why the spider gets arched is more mundane.  The spider casting starts out sort of flat, with unavoidable variation in leg height due to the casting process.  So the spider may sit level on the cone, its legs are leveled with a large flat surface and sandpaper (or a big honking disk sander if you're good or you have a death wish, but that's another issue).  Without arching the spider, parts of the legs will be sanded, adding a lot of unnecessary time and work to leveling.  If you just arch the spider slightly, maybe 1/16", the leveling is done at the tips of the legs only, which frankly is the only place it matters.  That also makes the process relatively efficient and runs no risk of taking material away from the majority of the spider leg.

Maybe there is a more repeatable way to do it, but I've watched former builder Brad Harper offset the center of the spider on a shallow block and tap the legs down with a hammer ever so slightly.  It's a process that can't be reversed.  I'm open to hearing about other approaches that might be less stress-inducing (literally and figuratively).

Too much arch risks coverplate interference as noted above.  There may be some metallurgical stress/strain change in the arching of the spider that translates into some desirable acoustic properties.  If so, it would be nice to see some comparative tests to go along with anecdotal comments.

CAVEAT:  The musings of an inveterate tinkerer.  I'm not a first call Dobro setup guy, but I played one in a movie...

Mar 30, 2021 - 1:36:34 PM

badger

USA

593 posts since 8/10/2008

What DaveR said. Keep in mind that these things are cast aluminum and brittle as all get-out. I'd shy away from using a hammer-easier to slip a piece of appropriately-sized pipe or tubing over the high leg and bend as needed. Better still, clamp the high leg in a vise and gently move the rest of the entire assembly. I'm no Brad Harper, but it would seem to me that the sudden percussive strike of a hammer would be more likely to snap a leg.

Mar 30, 2021 - 1:53:38 PM

186 posts since 11/24/2019

I've always left arching the spider up to the person I bought it from (or from Van Stoneman, as mentioned before).

I have an Appalachian that I purchased on the used market recently. It had a better tone than my Gretsch, but I wanted just a little more resonance on the bass, so I replaced the cone with a Scheerhorn. That did the job nicely. I noticed when I took the cover plate off that the arch in the spider was relatively high, about 1/4" or more. There is about 1/16" clearance between the spider and the cover plate.

So, I have some other spiders I can try on it to see how much the arch of the spider affects the sound of the instrument. Somehow, I don't expect to see much difference.

I'll admit that I am an invertebrate tinkerer. I don't have the backbone to stop messing with my dobro.

Edited by - Three_Eyed_Willy on 03/30/2021 13:54:52

Mar 30, 2021 - 1:56:47 PM

186 posts since 11/24/2019

When Van did the work on my spider, he said, "You have to hit this thing just right the first time, because you can't go back the other way. They will break off."
That's why when I order a spider, I let them arch and level it for me.
 
quote:
Originally posted by badger

What DaveR said. Keep in mind that these things are cast aluminum and brittle as all get-out. I'd shy away from using a hammer-easier to slip a piece of appropriately-sized pipe or tubing over the high leg and bend as needed. Better still, clamp the high leg in a vise and gently move the rest of the entire assembly. I'm no Brad Harper, but it would seem to me that the sudden percussive strike of a hammer would be more likely to snap a leg.


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