how to make a guitar saddle

how to make a guitar saddle

Any one of these alone is reason enough for replacement. in a slot that cuts through at both ends. By "wiping" the saddle back and forth against the flat sanding surface, Not only does this make the saddle look great, but it also provides a nice smooth surface for the string to rest against. This article is about making a saddle out of bone, considered by guitar maker Frank Ford to be the best material for getting a rich tone. 201 Smithtown Blvd.Nesconset, NY 11767Phone: (631) 521-3848Email (Our preferred method of contact): The saddle will then go back to the sander to have the excess material removed from the bottom. The rest of the wound strings will then progress backwards, with the sixth string leaving off near the back of the saddle. than my original: A companion to Lowering Action at the Saddle and its ability to hold the saddle upright. requires a bit more judgment and effort. 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. 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. Since I purposely used a blank that is taller than I need, the strings will predictably be too high off of the fingerboard. We fix all fretted instruments, including: guitars, basses, banjos, mandolins, and ukuleles. removed by simply lifting it out, and unless there's a pickup element in it or underneath, What follows is broad overview of the work involved. Once I have the blank flattened, I start trial fitting it into the saddle slot. This will help reduce any binding the might occur as the string moves over the saddle. Follow these steps, work slowly and check your progress to test for fret buzzing. First I find a suitable bone blank. all that necessary. This allows me to take an action measurement. A flat counter top works just as well as a sanding surface. There is a large gap between the end of the saddle and the edge of 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. Proper setup will not be possible unless this saddle is replaced. The reason this matters is because the mismatch results in the string action being uneven across the fingerboard: the strings in the center are closer to the fingerboard than the strings on the outside edges. more height than I'll need" In this little article, I'll describe a method for making a new Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. I can form those rounded ends: logical that I'd want to make the ends fit perfectly, but it turns out not to be bit higher, it may be reasonable to lay a small shim underneath to raise it. Guitar Repair Long Island is the area’s premier destination for fretted musical instrument care and maintenance. A correct fit should be snug, but not excessively difficult to remove. After the saddle has been rough cut to length, I begin fitting it to slot. 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. Ideally, it fits tight enough that I need a pair of pliers to lift it out, but just loose enough that I can push it down by hand. you look at the way the strings bear on the saddle you'll notice that there's a lot When it comes to making a bespoke bone saddle for an acoustic guitar there are lots of factors that are all really important. Compensation is a term used to describe adjustments made to the functional length of the string in order to adjust the intonation of the instrument. I have clipped to an old marble cutting board: We are going to upgrade it with a hand cut, compensated bone saddle. According to Fret Not Guitar Repair, the saddle and its placement affect three things: string length and intonation, string action (height) and tone. I then shape the top of the saddle, removing material on either side, until the desired compensation has been achieved. (In my opinion, of course.) Besides the obvious effect on the string height, these grooves also move the strings contact point and negatively impact the instruments intonation. This guitar's action is quite a bit too low with the existing saddle, so I'll make I will typically fit the saddle just a touch looser on guitars with under saddle pickups in order to ensure that it is able to make solid contact with the transducer. The ends of the After a few tries, I get the length just about right, and the saddle will press down Conveniently located in Ronkonkoma NY, the shop is dedicated to providing quick, honest, and reliable service. Not only does this make the saddle look great, but it also provides a nice smooth surface for the string to rest against. Here's the saddle removed from the bridge, along with a new bone "blank" Tone, in particular, can vary depending on the material used to make the saddle. Lastly, besides not sounding great, this cheap plastic saddle has large grooves that have been worn into it by the strings. The thin white strip protruding from the top of the bridge serves several functions. A plain old hacksaw does a fine job cutting bone: A little gap a the saddle can be replaced by simply sticking a new one in after forming it to fit into the slot: Most of the time, I prefer to raise the saddle by replacing it. Now that this thing is finally starting to look like a saddle, I put it back into the guitar and string up the outside strings. Here's the saddle removed from the bridge, along with a new bone "blank" which is considerably oversize in all three dimensions: Bone is the most universally agreed upon natural material, being hard, dense, and economical. ends of the saddle slot, that's really just a matter of cosmetics. Once I get the blank to fit into the slot, I'll start to shape it. blank isn't really straight and flat, so I'll rub it on a piece of 150 grit sandpaper If you enjoy this post, you might also like our post about making a bone string nut. The second string should leave the saddle a little further back than the first string does. In this case I am using a piece of bleached bone that I have determined is sufficiently oversized so that we can cut it down to fit my needs. So, the saddle makes strong positive contact with the sides of which is considerably oversize in all three dimensions: Making a New Saddle © Frank Ford, 8/24/00; Photos by FF, 6/17/00 how fast and easy it is to shape bone by rubbing it on sandpaper. best left to an experienced luthier. Notice in the photo Once the blank is fairly flat, start trying to fit it into the notch in the guitar. More. If the saddle only needs to be a little If you want the new saddle to be the same height as the old one, mark the height on the blank as well. With that completed, the saddle is ready to go. Its time to get the rest of the strings on the guitar and make some music. Clamp the blank in place and cut it using the hacksaw to approximately the same length and height you want, leaving a little margin for sanding and shaping. The saddle is a crucial part of an acoustic guitar. Saddle up and let’s go! 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.

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