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slotting saddles

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by 50hz, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. 50hz


    May 13, 2012
    Kirtland, Ohio
    I have read all the post I can find on the subject AND talked to local luthiers and I'm getting conflicting advice.

    I have a badass ii on the way and I plan on slotting the saddles.

    my questions are..... what size do I slot the saddles? according to string size? smaller? bigger? I heard it all. one thing I did notice is that on vintage style bridges all the slots are the same size resulting in the low e slot being too small for the string up the the high g being too big,?

    what to do and why?
    does it really make a difference?
    pros and cons?

    any help is appreciated!!
  2. lethargytartare


    Sep 7, 2004
    Yes it makes a difference -- too small and you're either going to get some binding there, or if the slot is shallow, the string won't make good solid contact with the saddle. I whatever file I have on hand that is slightly larger than the string-saddle I'm slotting. So I wouldn't use a .062 for a .065 string, but I would use a .078 or .085, depending on which I have.

    You want good contact, no binding, and not so big that the string wants to slide around.

    Good luck!
  3. 202dy


    Sep 26, 2006
    Nut files: Use the .062 for .065 string. It is the right size but the technique is different. The file is "rolled" through the slot while cutting it deeper. This will cut the slot just a few thousandths wider. Ten degrees off axis in both directions will widen the slot just about right. Much better fit than stepping up to the next size file.
  4. 50hz


    May 13, 2012
    Kirtland, Ohio
    so the consensus is bigger is better then smaller?
    I'm going to try to get them as close to size as possible but I don't have a million files, so I can get close but not perfect.
  5. 50hz


    May 13, 2012
    Kirtland, Ohio
    if I need the action lower then what the saddles will go to, can I file the slots deep? or is shimming a better choice? are deep slots not recommended?
  6. mech

    mech Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    My preference is for the slot to be bigger than the string although too small works for keeping the string in place. Look at how many Fender's there are with threaded saddles. The slots can be deep but need to follow the contour of the saddle to prevent sharp points that could damage the string.


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