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bigphil
07-25-2014, 02:44 AM
I'm planning to install a Baggs pickup in the uke I'm building. In videos I've seen, it seems most route a groove in the bridge to receive the pickup braid. Routing down in the bottom of the bridge groove seems a bit tricky compared to making a similar recess in the bottom of the saddle. Also, if something didn't come out exactly as planned it seems replacing the saddle would be a lot easier and you wouldn't have permanently screwed up the instrument.

So why not make the groove for the pickup braid in the saddle rather than the bridge. Wouldn't the result be exactly the same? Or is ther some kind of magic in making the groove in the bridge rather than the saddle? I can't see what difference it would make. Thanks for your insight.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
07-25-2014, 07:02 AM
????

Just use the bottom of the existing saddle slot, assuming it is correctly routed flat.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-25-2014, 07:59 AM
????

Yeah, me too! haha. I don't understand the question. Maybe you're watching some bogus videos Phil. As Beau mentioned, the UST simply lies in the bottom of the saddle slot, no extra work required. The only other tips I'd offer is to coil up and zip tie the excess wire and to drill a secondary hole in the saddle slot for the leading edge of the UST to protrude a bit.

hawaii 50
07-25-2014, 08:04 AM
Hi Phil

I guess your uke almost done...it is looking good and seems like you built it pretty fast...:) hope it sounds nice....did you do the finish with CA like Chuck?

anyway have you seen this video


http://theukulelereview.com/2014/04/12/installing-an-l-r-baggs-5-0-in-an-ukulele/

bigphil
07-25-2014, 09:25 AM
Yes, the bridge slot and the saddle are both perfectly flat at present. So if I just put the pickup braid in the bottom of the slot, then there will be a "gap" the thickness of the braid at both ends of the saddle. Fairly small gap but still a gap.

Here is the video I am referring to done by Joe Souza at Kanile'a.

http://youtu.be/-Ypj_mhXhss

He says he routes the groove about .020 deep in the bridge. If you don't then there will be gap at either end of the bridge where the saddle would normally contact it as I said above. I realize the saddle MUST sit tightly against the pickup braid so that is why Joe says he makes the groove about .020 deep while the braid is about .030 thick. So then you'd only have about a .010 gap rather than .030.

So you guys are saying you just normally put the braid in the slot and the saddle on top and leave the resulting gap? I've never had a uke with a pickup before so I'm clueless on this bit.

If you now understand what I'm talking about, wouldn't it be just as good to make the relief in the saddle rather than the bridge?

Kekani
07-25-2014, 09:33 AM
I was wondering the ?????? too!

This is why I do a closed saddle slot. Much cleaner look when installing pickups.

That's some pretty advanced stuff Joe is doing. Makes for a clean install for sure. Personally, I'd the pickup shows on the end, big deal. Its function over form at that point, imo.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-25-2014, 10:05 AM
I've done it on Kamakas before with a through saddle slot. Drill an entry and exit hole for the UST at the outer points of the saddle slot.

bigphil
07-25-2014, 10:49 AM
Okay, that's my plan then, to make the relief in the saddle. It's going to be much cheaper/easier to do that over than if I screw up the bridge. I think I'll wait a while anyway before adding the pickup and just play it. I'm not in a huge hurry to drill through my end graft and cover it up with the strap button. :(

bigphil
07-25-2014, 10:59 AM
Hi Phil

I guess your uke almost done...it is looking good and seems like you built it pretty fast... hope it sounds nice....did you do the finish with CA like Chuck?

anyway have you seen this video


http://theukulelereview.com/2014/04/...in-an-ukulele/

Hi Len,
Yes, I'm getting close. Not really setting any speed records though. It's a good thing I'm not trying to make a living at it, I'd be getting hungry by now. I just looked back and saw the first FB photos were posted in September of last year, so, like I said. No speed records. :)

If I could quit doing things over, I'd probably be done by now. Oh well, good thing I don't have a schedule to meet. I have resprayed the top and it is curing out again. Hurry up and wait.

And yes, I did use Chuck's pore filling method, it was WAY easier than traditional methods. You can get that all complete in one day. Now if I had his finishing talent...

Thanks for the video, I have watched that one before as well and it is very detailed and informative. I usually watch everything I can find on a subject I'm interested in. I just wanted to minimize the gap under the saddle as much as possible on my own build. I can at least work on that while the finish is curing.

Booli
07-25-2014, 11:59 AM
Okay, that's my plan then, to make the relief in the saddle. It's going to be much cheaper/easier to do that over than if I screw up the bridge. I think I'll wait a while anyway before adding the pickup and just play it. I'm not in a huge hurry to drill through my end graft and cover it up with the strap button. :(

I'm not sure how you are going to make a relief the saddle. The LR Baggs pickup ribbon, which is also what is used in the Mi-Si acoustic trio (which is what Joe Sousza is installing in that video) is so very thin, that during installation of the Mi-Si in 3 different instruments, all I had to do was sand the bottom edge of the saddle enough to take off as much as the thickness of the pickup ribbon to maintain the same string height and action from the bridge.

I am not sure why you would route the saddle slot in the bridge as Joe shows in the video, and if you do this and make a mistake, you have to replace the whole bridge, whereas to make a new saddle (if you go too far and sand it too short) is so much easier and cheaper...

Just make sure that the bottom of the saddle is absolutely flat, as well as the bottom of the saddle slot, as you need the pickup ribbon to have as perfect and flat contact as possible in order for it to function properly. You might want to invest in these saddle slot files (http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Types_of_Tools/Files/Saddle_Slot_Files_Set_of_2.html).

Also, as Chuck said, and Joe shows in the video, you need to have a hole at each end of the saddle slot, (yes two holes and this is not optional) one for the pickup to come up from inside the body, and the other one is for the tip end of the ribbon (about 8-10mm or so) to be inserted back inside to hold the ribbon down, as well as make sure that the speaking part of the ribbon has full contact with the saddle.

the end tip of these LR Baggs pickups from about 10mm from the end is much less sensitive than the rest of the flat part (before it goes round in profile) and if you place the part that is up to 10mm from very end, under the string, it will have either no volume or decreased volume and you will have to remove it and drill the second hole any way.

However, if you are determined to route the saddle slot, Home Depot and many hardware stores, as well as Amazon sells a hard plastic 'plunge router attachment' for your dremel-type rotary tool for like $25, (see here (https://duckduckgo.com/?q=dremel%20router%20attachment)) otherwise StewMac has one made of brass and aluminum for $54, see here (http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Tools_by_Job/Inlay_and_Pearl_Cutting/Precision_Router_Base/Precision_Router_Base.html).

-Booli

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-25-2014, 12:27 PM
Don't do anything to the saddle! Just stick the UST in the slot and be done with it! You're overthinking things Phil and making it complicated. Actually I'm with you on the idea of not installing a pickup unless you absolutely need one.

bigphil
07-25-2014, 03:59 PM
I am not sure why you would route the saddle slot in the bridge as Joe shows in the video, and if you do this and make a mistake, you have to replace the whole bridge, whereas to make a new saddle (if you go too far and sand it too short) is so much easier and cheaper...

Joe isn't actually routing the slot in the bridge, not in the sense of creating the slot at least. It was a completed instrument that he is adding a pickup to, he is just routing the slot slightly deeper in the center section. As, I stated above I don't want to attempt that, so I'm not sure why you thought I was going to. I was merely asking if making the same relief in the saddle would accomplish the same thing or if there is some magic reason to have the relief in the bridge rather than the saddle. I understand the potential to damage the bridge which would be much more difficult to repair than the saddle. I mentioned all this in my original post. It seems the popular opinion is to forget about the relief altogether. I'm also aware of the holes needed to install the braid and receive the less sensitive tip. Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-25-2014, 04:30 PM
The only reason, as I see it, to deepen the saddle slot is if it isn't deep enough to follow the 50/50 rule for these installations. This suggests that at least 50% of the saddle height is in the saddle slot (with the UST installed) to keep the saddle from leaning. Have you done a dry set up to see if you comply with this rule?