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ichadwick
05-18-2009, 03:36 AM
Just got a beautiful new cigar-box uke from Tom Guy, and it has an ebony saddle. The saddle edge is the sharpest I've seen on a uke. It seems to me that the saddle edge is a potential danger zone for string breakage. I was wondering how luthiers felt about saddles and how sharp they should be.

I also wondered it it was considered better to have a slightly rounded saddle to increase the string's physical presence on the saddle. A larger surface area being vibrated should, in theory, increase the amount of energy transmitted to the top: greater volume and possibly changes in tone and harmonics.

Kekani
05-18-2009, 08:02 AM
. . .It seems to me that the saddle edge is a potential danger zone for string breakage. . .

. . . A larger surface area being vibrated should, in theory, increase the amount of energy transmitted to the top: greater volume and possibly changes in tone and harmonics.

Yes, which is why I "round" the tops. The hardest area is on compensating the low g, but still works out fine.

As for surface area, the entire back "ramp" of the saddle should have string contact. Of course, I use a 1/8" saddle, mostly for compensating, and not necessarily for surface area. But, a large surface area is one of the results.

Note: The front of the saddle should drop off, but not at a point or sharp edge. The back of the saddle should flatten off, for that string contact mentioned.

Of course, my 7 degree angle that I throw in the saddle helps with everything you mentioned, and more, including pickup installation (or uneventful pickup installations, as Paul Okami once described). This makes the back of the saddle look almost 90 degrees flat (okay, more like 80 or 75), but nowhere near, say 45-60.

For yours, I'd take some abrasive and knock it down.

-Aaron

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
05-18-2009, 08:55 AM
Just got a beautiful new cigar-box uke from Tom Guy

I'd be asking Tom why he does what he does. We all do things differently based on what we've learned and through our experiences of what's worked well for us in the past. While I agree with Aaron for the most part, Tom may have a legitimate reason for the sharp saddle (although it eludes me.) Or at best, by you posing the question to Tom you may be able to enlighten him.
BTW, if you do indeed knock the peak off the saddle pay attention to what it does to your action or your next post will be about fixing the buzz you've just created!

GX9901
05-18-2009, 09:18 AM
I have one of Tom's cigar box ukes and the saddle didn't seem to be especially sharp compared to other ukes I have. On the other hand, my KoAloha Pineapple Sunday has a saddle edge (front) that's so sharp that it feels like a knife's edge. I've wondered how the string doesn't get cut by the saddle on that uke, but I've had it for almost 2 years and no such issue has come up.

Kekani
05-18-2009, 10:09 PM
Oh yea, btw, there may be some repercussions with knocking it down. Thanks Chuck.

And by flat, I don't really mean FLAT.

A

ichadwick
05-19-2009, 11:13 AM
Since the action is so low, I worry that even a small change might induce buzzing. However, I am sorely tempted to ever-so-slightly smooth the edge.

I'll email Tom - maybe he can sell me a blank to work with.

Kekani
05-19-2009, 07:00 PM
. . . maybe he can sell me a blank to work with.

Are you kidding. I got a bunch of corian I'll send you just for the heck of it. Actually, just for the John (Kavanagh) of it - I sent him some saddle material a few years back when he was doing testing, and he sent me a CD. It was a keeper when he sent it, now, unfortunately, its a treasure.

Anyway, must be something with me and Canadian's, Grit Laskin sent me some stuff as well.

PM me if you want it, let me know what thickness (in inches, if you don't mind - gotta make you do some work, right?).

Aaron

ichadwick
05-20-2009, 02:33 AM
Thanks. I'll measure it later today and send a PM. I have a Tusq saddle I wanted to try, but it seems a little short. I will try to get a blank piece of Tusq too, something a little taller.