NEW VIDEO- Fool Proof Straight Saddle Slotting Jig

Beau Hannam Ukuleles

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A straight saddle slotting jig that works really well. (This jig is an evolution of Aaron Oya's jig.)

Please consider subscribing to my youtube channel if you enjoy Lutherie content :)- Thanks

 
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Very (intensifier) much appreciated. I had viewed your original video a few times with certainly I would incorporate the ideas behind making my own jig. Awesome. Your most recent video, appeared as I was nearing this prioritization, ever so timely.
Again--thank you.

"For he's a jolly good fellow!"
 

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Rather than using a hand-held router I slot bridges using a router table. (I have mounted a router beneath an end of my workbench so I have a router table when I need it, and otherwise I have bench space.) I have a long piece of counter-top material to use as a fence, clamped on either side of the workbench, and made a set of stop-blocks for different sized bridges. For a given bridge blank length you get exactly a particular saddle length. The depth of the bridge slot is set with the router (table) and the distance of the saddle slot from the front edge of the bridge is set with the fence. Butt the blank up against the stop on one end, lower the blank onto the router, feed slowly until it hits the stop at the other end, turn off the router with the foot switch, done. I cut the slot in a single pass without problems.
 

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Rather than using a hand-held router I slot bridges using a router table. (I have mounted a router beneath an end of my workbench so I have a router table when I need it, and otherwise I have bench space.) I have a long piece of counter-top material to use as a fence, clamped on either side of the workbench, and made a set of stop-blocks for different sized bridges. For a given bridge blank length you get exactly a particular saddle length. The depth of the bridge slot is set with the router (table) and the distance of the saddle slot from the front edge of the bridge is set with the fence. Butt the blank up against the stop on one end, lower the blank onto the router, feed slowly until it hits the stop at the other end, turn off the router with the foot switch, done. I cut the slot in a single pass without problems.

Thanks for this. I've been pondering how to do this and wondered if using a router table was a workable approach, as opposed to making a jig like Beau's. I've actually cut mortises for furniture casework like you described a number of times, with the principle difference being that those were much larger pieces of wood with more distance between fingers and bit. But with care it can be done very accurately. I might take a look at my setup and see how it would work.

You probably thought of this already, but for anyone else contemplating this.... I would note that you could make setup bridge blanks out of scrap wood to aid in setting the fence quickly to the needed setback from the bit. Just set the setup bridge (with slot cut previously) over the bit and then move the fence (with stop blocks attached) up to it and lock down. Actually, you can set the height of the bit with the same setup bridge. Raise the bit until the bridge just starts to raise off the table, then back off a tiny bit until it's flush with the table again.
 
Thanks for this. I've been pondering how to do this and wondered if using a router table was a workable approach, as opposed to making a jig like Beau's. I've actually cut mortises for furniture casework like you described a number of times, with the principle difference being that those were much larger pieces of wood with more distance between fingers and bit. But with care it can be done very accurately. I might take a look at my setup and see how it would work.

You probably thought of this already, but for anyone else contemplating this.... I would note that you could make setup bridge blanks out of scrap wood to aid in setting the fence quickly to the needed setback from the bit. Just set the setup bridge (with slot cut previously) over the bit and then move the fence (with stop blocks attached) up to it and lock down. Actually, you can set the height of the bit with the same setup bridge. Raise the bit until the bridge just starts to raise off the table, then back off a tiny bit until it's flush with the table again.
I actually set the fence position as you suggest. I have a 'master', put the slot down over the bit, and then move the fence up against the master.
When routing it is important to get the feed direction right, so the bit is forcing the bridge against the fence. For me, with the fence to the right of the router, the feed is from right to left. Other than that, there is always wood between the bit and fingers, the bit is never exposed, so it is pretty safe.
 
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