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 Post subject: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:47 pm 
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First name: Alex
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I'm looking at buying a saddle locating jig, such as the Stewmac Saddlematic. What are you folks using, and why. Thanks!

Alex

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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:02 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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I really liked the Stew mac jig when I was building, but I used a Proxxon motor fit to the router jig rather than the Dremel motor. The Proxxon is a ball bearing shaft supported motor. Light passes are the rule...

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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:02 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Oops, misread the OP.
I always preferred to rout the saddle slot after the bridge was glued on. Used a Starrett 36" rule.

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Last edited by Haans on Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:47 am, edited 1 time in total.


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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:48 pm 
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stew - max vy useful jig



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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:18 pm 
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Alex Kleon wrote:
I'm looking at buying a saddle locating jig, such as the Stewmac Saddlematic. What are you folks using, and why. Thanks!

Alex


I have a Starrett 48" precision steel rule $5.00 yard sale :mrgreen:
http://www.starrett.com/metrology/produ ... 48%20W~SLC



These users thanked the author Clinchriver for the post: Alex Kleon (Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:00 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:27 pm 
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Built my own, pretty easy--- not near as hard as rotating a pic
Would someone tell me how to rotate these pics? :?:


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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:30 pm 
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I installed pins in my Chris Paulick made centerline finder.

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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:36 pm 
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I dedicated a straight edge for this task and nothing more and then marked the sucker up.



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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:37 pm 
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I really like the one from luthier suppliers as it not only locates by scale length, it centers it along the fretboard and squares it to that line. Dead simple

I edited this to remove the image because it linked to a vendor's site, and I don't think that is allowed on this site.

But you can see it at their site if you are interested.



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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:21 pm 
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I have a 36" rule in 16R. I picked up one of the PEC blems on eBay we had a discussion about earlier in the year.

My bridges don't have a square front, so the locator on my centerline finder doesn't work, and using the rule instead of my Saddlematic made it possible to locate the bridge on my most recent guitar, which had an angled bridge due to the multi-scale.

The rule is easy and offers the most flexibility.



These users thanked the author James Orr for the post: Alex Kleon (Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:02 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:11 pm 
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Stewmac Saddlematic here. It's precise and the pins are adjustable to incorporate the compensation angle of the saddle.



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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:18 pm 
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I have the KMG jig & the saddlematic.

The KMG jig is great but you have to buy one for each scale length, that's why I bought the Saddlematic too.

Kevin Looker

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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:07 pm 
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Only good for 1 scale length, but it is pretty simple. Sets saddle at +5/64"and + 9/64" over scale.

B


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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:46 am 
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Normally use dedicated lengths of 18mm ply with 4 x 2.5mm dowels to straddle the 12th fret, and at the bottom another 2 to go in the saddle slot (I also compensate at the nut, so.....)
Last was a multi-scale, so I used the SM calculator for the final scale lengths, used a rule and marked the bridge. Then CA'd a shaped strip of hard maple on the bridge to check the position intonated well, and routed the saddle slot on the guitar.

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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:55 am 
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I use the Saddlematic usually plus it's a convenient tool for checking bridge location on repairs. I have also used my 36 inch precision ruler graduated in 1/100 inch. I also have the center finder and I use it a lot but not to locate bridges although it would work fine for that.

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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:25 am 
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I use a simple ruler works every time.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJG5Frbu78c

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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:56 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Just a straight edge for me, butted against the nut with a pencil mark at the center of the 12th fret and a second for compensation. So far so good.

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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:57 am 
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[quote=...I used the SM calculator for the final scale lengths, used a rule and marked the bridge. Then CA'd a shaped strip of hard maple on the bridge to check the position intonated well, and routed the saddle slot on the guitar.[/quote]

That's a great idea!

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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:15 am 
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We use the Stewmac Saddlematic, with a 36" Starrett rule for verification...usually. In some cases, we use a ruler, but do a sanity check with the Saddlematic. Hard tooling is just not feasible for busy repair shops, and introduces a whole new set of issues unless the rest of the building system is designed around the use of that tooling, but would be a third method if this were a 'build' shop doing a handful of models.

The rationale I was given by my measurement-adverse boss (an engineer by training) as to the preference for a measurement-free tool for this type of task was that measurement error accumulates with each measurement made, and each measurement AND related operation (e.g., arithmetic, notation, marking out) presents another opportunity to screw things up through human error. Based on that line of reasoning, the Saddlematic should be the preferred tool based on the lack of measurement error and the reduction in the opportunity for human error.

But not always.

We recently had a pair of custom-built guitars in for installation of custom triple-source stereo-wired pickup systems. During our inspection of the instruments, I was asked how I would set the bridge for a hypothetical reglue, given that the nut was highly compensated and featured a good bit of setback of the string contact points from the end of the fretboard. I provided an answer that involved taking some measurements of the setbacks and the saddle compensation to find the actual scale length and applied compensation, then to use those values to set the Saddlematic. As I explained my process, I could see where all those measurements could go in terms of the error, and that was before factoring in my own mistakes.

After the usual careful dissection of my answer by the others present, it became clear to me that the better answer for this guitar, which intonated well, would be to make two careful measurements from known points on the nut and the saddle, and take a third measurement of the bridge centerline offset for lateral position. After that, pull the bridge, prep, and reglue using the measurements made before removal.

The bigger point made by the boss was that tool selection should be informed by the answers to a set of questions related to the task at hand, rather than by rote application of a single method which might be problematic for some instruments. Minimizing or eliminating measurements is generally a good thing, but not at the expense of introducing errors with the use of a tool that will not work all that well for the specific instrument configuration and task.

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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:31 am 
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Colin North wrote:
Last was a multi-scale, so I used the SM calculator for the final scale lengths, used a rule and marked the bridge. Then CA'd a shaped strip of hard maple on the bridge to check the position intonated well, and routed the saddle slot on the guitar.


+1. This is almost exactly how I did it, too. I don't know why I thought it would be black magic, but it was the easiest way I've located the bridge yet.

For anyone who might not know, what's cool about the Stew-Mac calculator is that it includes compensation, so you know exactly how long that string needs to be. I used it and the rule to move the bridge into it's rough position. Then I marked the precise end points of each scale length and routed the saddle slot so end-points of the scale length easily fell within the slot.

It was so much easier (for me) than trying to get a pre-slotted bridge just right with the Saddle-Matic. I suppose the Saddle-Matic would be just as easy for a non-slotted bridge as using the rule, but limited to standard, non-fanned frets.



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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:46 am 
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I have the stewmac one. It's simple... and works. Recommended


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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:54 pm 
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Here's my system. It comes from reverse engineering a properly placed saddle. So you get the first one right and then build your jig to replicate.

Image
This jig fits into the saddle slot and locates the bridge pin holes. Now the relationship between saddleslot and pins is constant. So you can get string alignment and saddle location in one go.

Image
A fake saddle protrudes and fits into saddle slot. So, rout slot, insert jig, drill holes.

Image

Image

I cut fret slots into scrap wood using a regular saw blade. Slots fit over frets. Step one is checking to make sure it's the right scale jig. This was an afterthought, if I were doing it again, it would be on the underside and the jig would simply rest on the frets.

Image

Image

A scrap wood jig that is the width and length of the fingerboard, extending to the bridge area. A fake saddle is glued to the bottom. To make it, simply put a fake saddle in the slot of the first correct bridge, place the jig over it in alignment with the FB, butted to the nut, and glue it on.

Image

I don't have a guitar at this stage so pretend it's a guitar. I'm sure you see what I mean. Simply put the fake saddle into the slot of the bridge, align the jig with the fingerboard, and voila, you have a perfectly placed bridge every time without having to do the same tedious measuring over and over again. Get one right, then reverse engineer it:) easy!



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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:12 pm 
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I had one almost exactly like Ed, reversed engineered.

One day I realized if the Saddle always lands on the same spot, and my bridges are the same size, I could use the leading edge of the bridge instead of the saddle.

Now I use a square piece of plywood, with a centerline to match up the neck block with the top center seam on the bridge end. Its really stupid simple, I'm kinda ashamed to admit that's how I locate my bridge.

Admittedly, I put a small "v" notch on both ends of the centerline of the plywood, so I can see the center of the neck block and center seam.
Actually, its a Bridge locating jig, and not a saddle locating jig, but I thought I'd throw it out anyway.

Caveat: the 14th fret always had to land at the body, which is pretty much what happens anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:35 pm 
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Koa
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Beside the self locating features, one of the main advantages of the KMG Bridge Setter is that you don't have to measure or set up anything -- no measuring tends to avoid the possibility of mis-locations as well as a quicker stress free process. Once a "basic package" is purchased, additional locating jigs can be purchased separately.

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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Locating Jigs
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:44 pm 
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As always, you folks are awesome! It's great to see the different roads taken that lead to the same destination!
The Saddlematic was pretty much my first choice when I posted, and has been reinforced by many who have used it. I'll probably end up making one, and then use Ed's reverse engineered idea to make a plug n' play jig whenever I use a different scale length. Thanks everyone!

Alex

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