Thicknessing Saddles and Nuts (and other small pieces)

olgoat52

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Way back when I worked in a shop we had a little ramp contraption that was mounted under the bottom roller of a vertical belt sander that we used to thickness saddles and nuts, bracing material and make the curved ears on Martin style bridges.

I don't have a vertical belt sander anymore and wonder what others use to accurately thickness small items like saddles and nuts.

I have seen the rig from Stewmac that uses the drill press. Expensive but it looks like it might do the job.

A promax thickness sanders is another nuclear device to kill a rabbit in this case.

Any other ideas. I'm sure Timbuck has some awesomely clever rig to do the job that could not be duplicated by mere mortals. :)

Thanks
Tim
 

Moore Bettah Ukuleles

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My Perforxmax drum sander can handle pretty small pieces, anything over 5" or so such as head stock veneers. I thickness sand all of my bone nut and saddle material on the drum sander as well. In that case it is stuck onto a board with some double backed tape.
 

olgoat52

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My Perforxmax drum sander can handle pretty small pieces, anything over 5" or so such as head stock veneers. I thickness sand all of my bone nut and saddle material on the drum sander as well. In that case it is stuck onto a board with some double backed tape.

Hey Chuck. I meant Performax, not Promax. Great machine and if/when I move from fixing to building it will be a must have.
 

Allen

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I do nuts and saddles on my Jet drum sander as well. Made up a jig to hold the pieces. Nothing more than a board with a very shallow fence on it to keep things in place while they rung through.
 

Timbuck

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I use the double sided tape as well with the drum sander usually stuck to some plexiglass.....For saddle height I use a spare bridge glued to a flat board, I put the saddle in the slot and run it thro' the sander.
 

olgoat52

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I use the double sided tape as well with the drum sander usually stuck to some plexiglass.....For saddle height I use a spare bridge glued to a flat board, I put the saddle in the slot and run it thro' the sander.

LOL! I saw your name pop up as a poster and thought "Alright! here we go, we gonna see something really crazy!" Ya let me down a bit :D Thanks Ken.

Great idea for the height.
 
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Vic D

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I've had a couple of jigs in mind for a while now and I'm probably going to try building them soon. One is a simple sandpaper and box in a box type thing and the other is two old cannibalized hard drives and a couple of hinges. Also gonna use a hard drive for a small disk sander. Those are on the back burner right now though.
 

Pete Howlett

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I use my thickness sander - board with a 3/4" 'pocket' that the saddle fits in. Can do any length with that. Sometimes I use my SafeT Sander in the drill press. You can also mug up that 'Luthiers' Friend' Stewmac?LMII tool very easily. I have a poorly shot video of mine in action doing headstock thicknessing if you really want to see it. About a 1/4 of the price of the Stewmac thing...
 

Liam Ryan

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My Perforxmax drum sander can handle pretty small pieces, anything over 5" or so such as head stock veneers. I thickness sand all of my bone nut and saddle material on the drum sander as well. In that case it is stuck onto a board with some double backed tape.

Chuck, and others who double sided tape the saddle to a board, how do you measure the thickness, while it's stuck down, so you can match it to the slot width?
 

Timbuck

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Chuck, and others who double sided tape the saddle to a board, how do you measure the thickness, while it's stuck down, so you can match it to the slot width?
I leave about 1/4" hanging over the trailing edge of the board..and check this with a mirometer/vernier.
 
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Moore Bettah Ukuleles

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Chuck, and others who double sided tape the saddle to a board, how do you measure the thickness, while it's stuck down, so you can match it to the slot width?

I do half a dozen at a time. You have to pop one off the tape occasionally to check the thickness. I sand with 220 on the drum and I stop when I'm about .010" away from what I want and finish by hand.