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Moving bridge saddle on an Acoustic bridge

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by PilbaraBass, Nov 10, 2005.

  1. Hi Guys,

    I have a question?

    I have a Carvin AC-40 that I'm pretty sure that I'd like to convert to BEAD tuning...

    It has an acoustic type bridge and I don't think that the intonation will be right if I change the strings and tuning...

    judging from where the EAD strings already are, I'm probably going to have to move the saddle channel back a couple of milimeters.

    In your opinion, is the best way to do this to fill the existing slot with a strip of ebony (Bridge piece is ebony) and then cut a new slot?

    if so, what's the best way to cut this new slot? would a dremel tool with a router base mounted on it work, if I clamped on a piece of guide wood as a fence?

    anyone had any experiences with such an operation? Say on an ABG or something?
  2. are you telling me, that among all the highly talented luthiers that frequent this forum, noone can shed light on this subject?

  3. Scott French

    Scott French Dude

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    Depending on how wide your saddle is and where the crown is now you may be able to make a new saddle with the crown further back and avoid the new slot.

    A dremel would probably be a little underpowered to make an 1/8" slot. I've used a laminate trimmer in the past with good results.
  4. saddle is 1/8" wide and I'm looking at moving it back about 2mm (possibly 3mm)... 3 mm would be just about 1/8" and would pretty much take me to the back edge of the slot...

    I could carve a stepped-bridge (cantelevered), but that would be quite an arduous task, IMO (too fiddly for me)...

    I think I could do it with a dremel...i'd just have to take a gazillion passes...:)

    you don't see any issues with the plug-and-recut approach?
  5. jeffhigh


    May 16, 2005
    plugging and cutting another slot would destroy any resale value and make it very hard to reverse.
    You could do a cantilevered saddle by superglueing a strip of bone onto the back of the existing saddle so that it rests on the top surface of the bridge.
  6. Scott French

    Scott French Dude

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    Plug and recut is the way to do it but the dremel is a potential mess. With a tough wood and a small tool you can end up with slop somewhere (either in the adjustments for many passes or defelction from hogging to much wood at a time). It depends on how much of a stickler you are about saddle fits. I would remake the saddle no matter what but if you are planning on using the original it probably wont match the new slot perfectly.
  7. thanks for the advice...I'll try it out on a practice piece of wood, and if I don't get the results I'm after, I'll look into a more substantial tool like a laminate cutter.