When it is even with the pencil tracing or mark you made earlier, round the edges down just a bit more for a rounded edge. These lines will be my guide of where to file. Once my width is about right, I will carefully round the edges of the saddle so that it can pop perfectly into the slot. Since I purposely used a blank that is taller than I need, the strings will predictably be too high off of the fingerboard. If you want the new saddle to be the same height as the old one, mark the height on the blank as well. Same thing for the height. By "wiping" the saddle back and forth against the flat sanding surface, Here's the saddle removed from the bridge, along with a new bone "blank" removed by simply lifting it out, and unless there's a pickup element in it or underneath, The next time you are in shop, pickup a gift certificate for your friends, bandmates, or music teachers. The saddle can be made of many different materials. Check the thickness and height of the saddle after every few passes on the sandpaper. Sometimes a prefabricated saddle can be shaped and fit to an instrument. Once I have the blank flattened, I start trial fitting it into the saddle slot. The ends of the Do you know someone who’s instrument is in need of some TLC? just click the link to instantly download an E-Gift Card today! I then transfer this to saddle by drawing a line with a pencil. A guitar saddle is a thin strip of bone, ivory or plastic that is positioned just in front of the bridge pins on acoustic guitars. This allows me to take an action measurement. According to Fret Not Guitar Repair, the saddle and its placement affect three things: string length and intonation, string action (height) and tone. Proper setup will not be possible unless this saddle is replaced. about pickup installation, and I won't be covering that in this article.) neatly. you look at the way the strings bear on the saddle you'll notice that there's a lot I then shape the top of the saddle, removing material on either side, until the desired compensation has been achieved. Rub the saddle on the sandpaper again, this time to even out the top and bottom. We have written in greater detail about the different materials available for both nuts and saddles in our previous blog post: string nuts. bit higher, it may be reasonable to lay a small shim underneath to raise it. Use four fingers to apply pressure when sanding. how fast and easy it is to shape bone by rubbing it on sandpaper. Then I want the third string, the first wrapped string, to come forward again and leave off of the front of the saddle. Next I will take the saddle over to my bandsaw to rough cut the length. it is unlikely to have an adverse effect on tone. Not only is it responsible for transmitting the vibration of the strings to the guitar top, but it also helps to control the instrument’s string action and intonation. Lastly, besides not sounding great, this cheap plastic saddle has large grooves that have been worn into it by the strings. Notice in the photo The bridge saddle for your guitar is unique. More. Remove Waterslide Decals From the Guitar Headstock. If my saddle has nice approximate rounded ends and is the right the slot in which it rests. best left to an experienced luthier. Unfortunately, not every guitar enjoys this luxury: This poor Ibanez had lost it’s original (most likely plastic) saddle somewhere along the … Continue reading © Frank Ford, 8/24/00; Photos by FF, 6/17/00 Not only does this make the saddle look great, but it also provides a nice smooth surface for the string to rest against. Now, it seems in a slot that cuts through at both ends. When it comes to making a bespoke bone saddle for an acoustic guitar there are lots of factors that are all really important. If the saddle becomes too thin, you'll need to start over. The string tension. ends of the blank into both ends of the saddle slot. Since this is where the strings transition from plain to wound, this is the point that requires the most significant change in compensation in order for the guitar to intonate properly. Old Martins, and some vintage style reissues, often have their saddles glued in place Once the proper height has been achieved, I will true the bottom of the saddle to be sure that it sits evenly along the bottom of the saddle slot. a new one to raise the action. To accomplish this, I use a pencil to draw two lines diagonally across the length of the saddle. Round off the corners of the blank on the sandpaper as well. of its strength. If you enjoy this post, you might also like our post about making a bone string nut. which is considerably oversize in all three dimensions: Here's the subject, a Martin D-18: Tone, in particular, can vary depending on the material used to make the saddle. This guitar's action is quite a bit too low with the existing saddle, so I'll make a new one to raise the action. I wouldn't drive it in with a hammer for fear of splitting the bridge! For starters, this saddle has been replaced before and the one chosen is a poor fit for the slot. If I were making a traditional non compensated saddle, I would simply round over the edges at this time to make a nice rounded top. We fix all fretted instruments, including: guitars, basses, banjos, mandolins, and ukuleles. Conveniently located in Ronkonkoma NY, the shop is dedicated to providing quick, honest, and reliable service. logical that I'd want to make the ends fit perfectly, but it turns out not to be Even though a shim is not integral with the saddle or even made of the same material, The thin white strip protruding from the top of the bridge serves several functions. In fact, it's amazing When a guitar repairer makes one they should be making it bespoke for you so that the specifications match - which is why it’s important that you keep hold of your original one.
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