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Thread: Bridge thickness and saddle depth

  1. #11
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    I see two choices: look at the parts on other ukes; follow the plans, although your bridge is 1mm too thin - if that really matters. I think the important thing is to have the channel deep enough to make the saddle secure. I've never made a bridge. I've always used ready-made bridges.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!

  2. #12
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    Chuck, just more info if you didn’t already have it.
    LRBaggs Element Install instructions.
    https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...ive_manual.pdf

    The measurements are SS guitar, but the basic concepts of ust installation still apply.
    Note: I don’t know anyone who installs any saddle with a forward lean.

    Redundant, but the Rick Turner Tilt Back Saddle is how it’s done. If you search Fishman advanced undersaddle pickup install guide, you’ll see the concept, and more info that may help. Also posted in my Ouside the Box thread somewhere in here.
    Last edited by Kekani; 11-29-2018 at 09:56 PM.

  3. #13

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    I chuck a 1/8" router bit into my drill press and put the saddle blank into a cross vise. I like to take 3 or 4 passes to achieve the desired depth. I then bandsaw the curved part and finish the shaping with the oscillating sander.
    Michael Smith
    Goat Rock Ukulele
    www.goatrockukulele.com

  4. #14
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    Let's see if I understand. Figure 6 in the LR Baggs PDF and the accompanying instructions say that the saddle should fit loosely, if not sloppily, so that a forward lean is created?? I was understanding Allen to say that 7 degree back lean is a good thing although we did not talk about why that is so. If I am creating a 7 degree back lean of the saddle and if the saddle is snug but not tight in the slot, I don't see how there can be any forward mean. Not only that, the routing done at a lean should leave the floor of the slot at an angle. That would mean that if the pickup were sitting flat against the floor, it is already angled to match the bottom of the saddle squarely. So it seems that the question is how loosely or sloppily should that saddle be fit into the slot. Clearly, the drawing is an exaggeration?
    "Why is it that you never have time to do it right the first time, but you always have time to do it right the second time??"

  5. #15

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    In my nind if you are installing an under saddle pickup it should be loose to the point that the full downward pressure of the strings is transfered onto the pickup wire and no looser. Sp of you were to turn the instrument upside down the saddle would almost fall out of the slot but not quite. Your machining needs to be done well to insure very even contact along the entire saddle or you will have a string that does not have even volume and tone.

    Allen i believe is talking about something different when he taks about milling the saddle slot back 7 or so degrees. Doing so has some increase in downward pressure of the saddle but probibly not much.
    Baggs is showng you something different,that you should mill the bottom of the saddle to match the natural forward lean of the saddle under tension. Thus keeping the bottom flat to the bottom of the slot. This angle; depends on how deep the saddle is in the slot and what the forward angle is in relation to the bottom of the slot.
    Last edited by Michael Smith; 11-25-2018 at 04:06 PM.
    Michael Smith
    Goat Rock Ukulele
    www.goatrockukulele.com

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckBarnett View Post
    Let's see if I understand. Figure 6 in the LR Baggs PDF and the accompanying instructions say that the saddle should fit loosely, if not sloppily, so that a forward lean is created?? I was understanding Allen to say that 7 degree back lean is a good thing although we did not talk about why that is so. If I am creating a 7 degree back lean of the saddle and if the saddle is snug but not tight in the slot, I don't see how there can be any forward mean. Not only that, the routing done at a lean should leave the floor of the slot at an angle. That would mean that if the pickup were sitting flat against the floor, it is already angled to match the bottom of the saddle squarely. So it seems that the question is how loosely or sloppily should that saddle be fit into the slot. Clearly, the drawing is an exaggeration?
    Sorry if I wasn't clear when I mentioned "I don't know anyone who installs a saddle with a forward lean." If you take that aspect out of the instructions, there's reference to 50%, which is what this thread was about. And it goes into different techniques that apply to the Five.O and MiSi (since they both use the same UST). And yes, the drawing is exaggerated. Please, don't get wrapped up in this one. In fact, suggestion, let it go.

    I use 1/8" Tusq blanks for saddles, and I cut with a 1/8" spiral bit. Its snug, bordering tight. It takes effort to come out of the slot. Works for me.

    Next suggestion, look up the Fishman instructions, which does entirely the opposite of LRBaggs, but also references saddle depth. Rick Turner developed this technique (hence, the Rick Turner Tilt Back Saddle). Its what Allen does, and more than a few others.

    Here's a vid I did a while back.
    Last edited by Kekani; 11-25-2018 at 05:03 PM.

  7. #17
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    That was time well spent! Thanks for the clip!
    "Why is it that you never have time to do it right the first time, but you always have time to do it right the second time??"

  8. #18
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    Okay, I stopped into a music store and looked at some ukulele bridges. I learned some things. Here is a photo of one (the only one like it out of mebbe 18 or more.)

    bridge style.jpg

    I didn't understand the LMI plan and somehow thought I was to drill a hole for the string ends and then open that up to the bottom of the bridge. Now I see it is just a hole -much easier!

    bridge plan lmi.jpg

    This saddle slot has open ends and the saddle is scalloped on each end. That seems both simpler (for the creation of the slot) and quite attractive. I don't know why that wouldn't work. What advantage is there to closing in the ends of the saddle?

    I also bought some Aquila Nylgut strings with the low G. Don't know what I'm doing but having fun...
    "Why is it that you never have time to do it right the first time, but you always have time to do it right the second time??"

  9. #19
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    Rule of thumb is what is above is also below...but if someone adds a pickup down the road you lose about 1 mm so its best to have the slot deeper. I make mine about 5mm deep to start but i curve the tops of my bridges (even if i don't have a radiused fingerboard) so I lose depth on the edges.

  10. #20
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    Like Beau, I make my slots so there's more under than above, because I just assume a UST is going in (and its already drilled for it anyway).

    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckBarnett View Post
    This saddle slot has open ends and the saddle is scalloped on each end. That seems both simpler (for the creation of the slot) and quite attractive. I don't know why that wouldn't work. What advantage is there to closing in the ends of the saddle?
    You sort of answered your own question. Straight through saddle slots are easier to make, closed ends takes a little more effort, read: selling point. Mostly for me, you can't see the ends of the UST in a closed end. Also, if you end up adjusting action with a shim, you can't see that either. I've done that once on a repair, a while ago; not my ideal method.

    Glad you liked the clip (and the references?). Hopefully stuff you can use sometime. Beau actually has an upgraded version of the saddle slotting jig, which is adjustable for him. Good stuff.

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