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Old 07-12-2010, 08:38 PM
Progress Progress is offline
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Mahl Bridge

Just curious to learn if anyone has used the "mahl bridge" and if it works for you. I paint in oils and am considering purchasing one rather than using a mahl stick.

The mahl bridge is available in the Wet Canvas Online Store, so you can take a look.

Need some feedback . . . Thanks!
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:09 AM
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Re: Mahl Bridge

I am not familiar with the commercial variety of mahl bridge, but I had my son make a custom-made, adjustable version of a mahl stick which is much like a bridge. It works really fine.


This is the adjustable end. There is another block at the top that serves as the "hook".
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:38 PM
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Re: Mahl Bridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by WFMartin
I am not familiar with the commercial variety of mahl bridge, but I had my son make a custom-made, adjustable version of a mahl stick which is much like a bridge. It works really fine.

This is the adjustable end. There is another block at the top that serves as the "hook".


That looks like a pretty good system. The only reason I hesitate about that mahl bridge is because you have to clamp it onto your canvas in order to use it. I know alot of people use a cane . . . maybe I'll give that a try first.
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Old 07-15-2010, 06:49 PM
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Re: Mahl Bridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Progress
That looks like a pretty good system. The only reason I hesitate about that mahl bridge is because you have to clamp it onto your canvas in order to use it. I know alot of people use a cane . . . maybe I'll give that a try first.

It is not clamped, at all. The top of it has a wooden block similar to that adjustable one at the bottom. It hangs on the easel, or the top of the canvas by that little block which serves as a hook.

The bottom, adjustable block is sliding, and literally rests on the edge of the easel. It is not attached in any way. I like it because I prefer to hold the palette in my hand while I'm painting. That leaves "0" hands for operating a typical mahl stick. This bridge hangs on the canvas, and it is very movable, because the top of it just slides along the top of the canvas. Once the bottom block is adjusted, it remains adjusted for as long as I am working on that particular painting.

I use it much as a pencil artist would do with a typical artist's bridge, only in an upright position.
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Progress
The only reason I hesitate about that mahl bridge is because you have to clamp it onto your canvas in order to use it.
Your reservation is understandable I think; it looks like a good piece of equipment but I'd be hesitant to clamp it directly to the canvas or panel (rather than a backing board of some kind).

Some form of mahl stick is definitely worth trying first given how easily and cheaply one can be put together.

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Old 07-17-2010, 08:05 PM
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Re: Mahl Bridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by WFMartin
It is not clamped, at all. The top of it has a wooden block similar to that adjustable one at the bottom. It hangs on the easel, or the top of the canvas by that little block which serves as a hook.

The bottom, adjustable block is sliding, and literally rests on the edge of the easel. It is not attached in any way. I like it because I prefer to hold the palette in my hand while I'm painting. That leaves "0" hands for operating a typical mahl stick. This bridge hangs on the canvas, and it is very movable, because the top of it just slides along the top of the canvas. Once the bottom block is adjusted, it remains adjusted for as long as I am working on that particular painting.

I use it much as a pencil artist would do with a typical artist's bridge, only in an upright position.

Okay, you sold me . . . get your son to make a couple more of those and you can sell them!
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:56 PM
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Re: Mahl Bridge

That's a nice design Bill, I wonder how the blocks top and bottom attach while being able to slide across?
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Old 07-22-2010, 04:06 PM
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Re: Mahl Bridge

Nothing......I repeat, NOTHING "attaches" or "clamps" to either the easel, or the painting.......the "steady-stick" (as one of my students calls it) HANGS, by its stationary block (the same size as the adjustable block shown in the photo) from either the top clamp of the easel, or from the top edge of the canvas, itself, just as a true "mahl stick" would. I adjust the bottom block to simply rest against some bottom part of the easel, and it rests there by gravity.

It's a simple contraption, shaped exactly as an artist "bridge," and what I like about it is that I do not need one of my hands to hold one end of it, thus freeing up BOTH my hands for painting (palette in one hand, and brush in the other). I use it almost every day that I paint.

Those of you who like the design of that "steady-stick" ought to see the taboret that my same son made for me. I also use THAT every day.

(Once again.....NO CLAMPS)
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Last edited by WFMartin : 07-22-2010 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 02-10-2018, 02:41 PM
jawnn jawnn is offline
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Exclamation Re: Mahl Bridge

This thread helped me think about how to build this bridge with a steel flat bar slider bracket. I bent a hinge around the flat-bar and used spacers to give more room to slide to the left. I really need hardwood inplace of the stretcher-bar. But it swings easy with enough washers, should be metal washers.








Last edited by jawnn : 02-10-2018 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 02-10-2018, 08:59 PM
theBongolian theBongolian is online now
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Re: Mahl Bridge

a magnetic mahl stick solution by Dcam

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show....php?t=1435763
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:38 AM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: Mahl Bridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by theBongolian
a magnetic mahl stick solution by Dcam

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show....php?t=1435763

When I saw this thread, I immediately thought of Dcam's post about his magnetic kit.

I made myself a setup similar to his, using an old upright freezer door. I have been using it for a bit over a two months now and I am hooked. I had to use a regular easel last week for an oil painting lesson I was giving someone at their home and I lost track of how many times I thought or said out-loud that I wished I had my magnetic panel holder!

My mahl bridge uses 4 Neodymium magnets about the size of a dime and 4x thicker. The same magnets are hot glued on the backs of my panels. The bridge is very solid and can adjust to virtually any angle instantly. Positioning the panels is also super fast and solid. I love not having anything in the way of my brush strokes along any edge of the panel. I can't see myself ever not using this system in the studio unless I have to such as with panels larger than 32". I am going to make a smaller one that will handle up to 11x14 panels at any angle, for plein air work and some day I may cover a section of the wall with metal so I can use it for large cradled ACM and wood panels up to 4x10 feet.
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:16 AM
theBongolian theBongolian is online now
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Re: Mahl Bridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by contumacious
When I saw this thread, I immediately thought of Dcam's post about his magnetic kit.

I made myself a setup similar to his, using an old upright freezer door. .
This has been on my to - do list for quite some time. Currently I use a wall covered with sound board (a cheap substitute for cork) as my easel and pin Yupo to it, or attach panels with mirror fasteners.

But I can cover an area the size I need with sheet metal for around $50. - from Home Depot. Then do the magnet thing to hang panels and a mahl stick. I've gone back to panels and don't use Yupo much anymore, but when I do I could pin the Yupo to a piece of sound board cut the same size, attach magnets to the back of the sound board and hang it that way.
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Old 02-15-2018, 09:30 AM
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Re: Mahl Bridge

Just a hint as well.......if you are working on a small painting; say 9x12, why work on an easel? Work flat. You can move that image all over the place to suit your brushing needs and still get a good proportional bead on it. I had some shoulder problems that took me away from the easel and found that working flat was great and helped me heal.
There are illustrators and artists who use a "table bridge" just like the magnet idea, only without the magnet and working flat.
we have way too much fun don't we?
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Old 05-31-2018, 08:22 PM
tpitman tpitman is offline
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Re: Mahl Bridge

I've always just used an old wooden meter stick I picked up in college. Oddly, though, the Mahl Bridge was designed by the brother of a woman we went to high school with. I can see where it might be useful if you're using it more as a guide for getting straight lines than just a support to place against the canvas edge or the tray or clamp of your easel.
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