Ok, so how hard is it to make electric bass saddles

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by dezisapunk, Jul 3, 2020.

  1. dezisapunk


    Oct 8, 2019
    Hey y’all,
    I asked sometime back if I could 3D print saddles and the conclusion was... kinda
    So before I try that, i’ve been wondering if I could make saddles for a bridge out of the traditional metal instead, and what I would need to do so, but there is really only info on acoustic bridges and how to make those. So, has anyone made saddles for an electric bass, the kind you can adjust for intonation, and if so how’d you do it? Was it hard? Enlighten me
    Beej likes this.
  2. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    Sure! Brass and aluminum can be worked with simple power tools and hand tools. You can easily make fender-style hardware out of brass round stock with a drill and some files. You'll need a tap/die set for threading holes. Just recently @Ripthorn made his own bridges here: Cepheid 5: Ripthorn Builds a Bass

    And @JIO recently fabbed up a matching bridge saddle assembly out of brass to replace an obscure missing one: Project Vista Sonic (rut row, JIO's at it again!)

    There are lots of other examples too. :thumbsup:
    2saddleslab likes this.
  3. Jon Clegg

    Jon Clegg Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    I've made saddles for a 60s bass out of brass bar stock using a hacksaw, files a drill press and a tap set. Not hard. Just requires patience and a bit of planning.
  4. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Beyond my abilities but lucky for me well within my dad's wheelhouse. Before he retired he made me a set of solid brass saddles as well as 3 full bridge assemblies that I use on all my solid body basses.
    petrus61, Beej and superheavyfunk like this.
  5. Ripthorn


    Jul 15, 2008
    I've made a wide range of bridges and saddles for both guitar and bass. They can be a easy or hard as you want. I made single string bridges for a multi scale guitar using nothing but a jigsaw, drill press, and sandpaper. I also have made them using aCNC mill. You can make them with just about anything you have.

    I prefer aluminum. It's cheap, easy to find, light weight and sounds great. However, you could probably 3D print using metal PLA if you finish it off to get the ridges out.

    General technique is to start with stock that requires the least amount of material removal. Then, get the base flat and the top parallel. Then do the most critical parts of the design. Aesthetic stuff comes last. Use the right tools for drilling and tapping, if you can.

    I'm happy to answer any other specific questions.
    Beej likes this.
  6. Don't listen to any of this, @Ripthorn is clearly a wizard and uses special magical powers. He's possibly a Jedi! :roflmao: :laugh: :roflmao:
    rojo412 and Beej like this.
  7. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    Although I agree that Ripthorn possibly has deep space origins, I still think one can easily make saddles. :smug:
    TerribleTim68 likes this.
  8. Ripthorn


    Jul 15, 2008
    I'm certainly spaced out! Saddles can be a easy or hard as you want them to be. I usually choose hard because I'm always wanting to try something new. You should see what I'm breadboarding right now...
    Beej likes this.

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