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Thread: Saddle height

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Virginia USA
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    367

    Default Saddle height

    I worked up a diagram on the effect of fretboard thickness, fret size, and neck angle on saddle height. In this "simple" concert scale diagram, maintaining a constant action height of .09", you can see the effect that a thicker fretboard has on the height of the saddle. As well as the effect that larger frets has on the saddle height! And of course, neck angle has an extreme effect on the saddle. Keep in mind this is a diagram of a simple build with a totally flat top. Other factors such as top radius have additional effect.

    Anyway, this has been on my mind and I thought it would be fun to share this with you all and discuss.



    I'd like to attach a pdf to be able to zoom in on the parts, if anyone knows a way to link to one, please let me know.
    Last edited by RPA_Ukuleles; 08-16-2016 at 11:55 AM.
    Rodney Paul Adams

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Wales, UK
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    Default

    Keeping the neck pitch at zero and using a 0.19" fingerboard I need a bridge thickness of 0.3" to give me a saddle that just about pops its crown above the top of the bridge. My fronts are also radiused.... Looking at your diagram explains why neck pitch is unnecessary Thank you for this.

    PS
    It's why classical guitars have a negative neck pitch - to keep the bridge height low Pretty much the opposite of steel string guitar construction which many people use as a reference point for uke building but as you can see, does not apply well in this case ... as it does in most cases. Steel string guitar construction is not a good reference point for ukulele building
    Last edited by Pete Howlett; 08-16-2016 at 12:03 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    San Jose, CA
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    Default

    Thanks for the diagrams, very interesting, which raise the question regarding bridge/saddle height and their effect on sound, if any: Is it better to have a low bridge/saddle combination or a tall one? Also what are the benefits of having a thin fret board? Obviously a thicker one provides some strength to the neck and supplies ample room for fret slots and side dots.

    Bob

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Little River, California
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Howlett View Post
    Steel string guitar construction is not a good reference point for ukulele building
    I've always felt this was true. Neck offset and reinforcement just are not the issues they are in steel strings. Ukuleles are not little steel stringed guitars. And yet in a way they are... As I see it, the forces are completely different. It is a question of scale and tension. I'm all for neck reinforcement. It can't hurt. But is it really necessary? I don't know. It is extra work and expense.

    Anyway, thanks for the great diagrams. I have to admit I don't really understand them, but nicely presented.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Stockton on Tees..North East UK.
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    Default

    I say forget about neck angle make it zero, dont bother with neck reinforcement nylon strings dont pull hard enough to bend a pencil, use thin fretboards or have no fret boards at all.....These are ukuleles not mini guitars...signed Mr M Nunes
    http://ukulele-innovation.tripod.com ebay i/d squarepeg_3000 Email timmsken@hotmail.com

    If you can believe that moving images and sound, can fly through empty space across the universe and be seen and heard on a box in your living room ?.. then you can believe in anything.

  6. #6
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    You are beginning to sound like me Ken!

  7. #7
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    Mar 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Howlett View Post
    You are beginning to sound like me Ken!
    True Pete! ..I've recently seen some accoustic Soprano ukes with multiple fan bracing 3 degree neck angle, and a saddle 1/2" high and large geetar size bridge pins and heavy geared tuning pegs sticking out like ears and more bling than a Xmas tree... Perhaps a first build by an established guitar maker who is trying to get in on the ukulele bubble..Or they could be Chinese imports.
    http://ukulele-innovation.tripod.com ebay i/d squarepeg_3000 Email timmsken@hotmail.com

    If you can believe that moving images and sound, can fly through empty space across the universe and be seen and heard on a box in your living room ?.. then you can believe in anything.

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