Category Archives: Saddle Slot

Saddle Slot and Bridge Height Adjustment

Back to the bridge where most of the action has been playing out this week.

In the post before the last two I attached the bridge. after completing that task I needed cut a saddle slot and then to put a 16″ radius on the bridge to match the fret board.

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This is a piece of bone I fashioned into a saddle. I will use it to help me find the compensation I need for correct tone on the strings. That is to say when the string is tuned to pitch and you put your finger on the twelfth fret the note should be exactly one octave higher, not sharp or flat. Different string gauges reach their pitch at different string lengths. this is where the compensation comes in.

With the makeshift saddle in place I tune the string and find the spot where the twelfth is one octave higher. Then I mark the spot where the saddle sits.

Once I have done the high and low string I draw a line connecting the two points.

This is my two-bit jig that does the job right with a tester in place.

The cut was too wide so I dialed it in with a spacer and my drum sander; taking a little off the spacer then doing another test cut, etc. When I got it dialed in I was ready to do the cut on the real thing.

My jig in place with my Dremel tool fixed with a 1/16″ bit. When the jig was in place there was no play whatsoever and the Dremel tool is so lightweight I didn’t even have to clamp it.

The slot cut 6mm deep. A little difficult to see but there is a pencil mark to the height of the frets with a 16″ radius.

With the slot cut I was ready to take the bridge down to the pencil mark. I use a piece of a broken flat bastard (that I broke intentionally for stuff like this).

now that the bridge is down to the correct height and radius I can ream the holes to fit the pegs. Go slow and check often those reamers cut fast.

All the peg holes reamed to the correct diameter.

With the un-shaped saddle in place.

As a side not to any of you folks interested in doing break down furniture. The reamers I used do a wonderful for that. I used a small diameter reamer but Stu Mac sells a larger one also that I think would be quite appropriate for break down furniture.

Posted in Martin Style Pyramid Bridge, Saddle Slot | Leave a comment