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Old 02-12-2010, 08:47 PM
BoomerSooner BoomerSooner is offline
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Default Changing Saddle on My Little Martin....Lil Help

OK, over the last couple of years in changing strings the saddle has gotten a few grooves that dont belong there. Its not a big issue but one of them is getting worse and I want to change it out. My shop gave me a blank plastic saddle made for this guitar. They told me I will probably need to sand down the overall height. Ok. But what is the easiest way to make the slots? This I have never done So.....Thanks for any suggestions. Scott
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:35 PM
ironman187 ironman187 is offline
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Slots are bad on a saddle...plastic is soft enough they will form in a relatively short period of time.
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:29 AM
Sordid Tales Sordid Tales is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoomerSooner View Post
OK, over the last couple of years in changing strings the saddle has gotten a few grooves that dont belong there. Its not a big issue but one of them is getting worse and I want to change it out. My shop gave me a blank plastic saddle made for this guitar. They told me I will probably need to sand down the overall height. Ok. But what is the easiest way to make the slots? This I have never done So.....Thanks for any suggestions. Scott
Take the original saddle and line the top up with the pre-shaped saddle from the shop. Using a thin pencil (.05) make a mark on the oversized saddle indicating the bottom of the original.

Using 220 grit sandpaper sand the bottom of the saddle flat until you reach your line. Place the saddle in the guitar, and string it up. Fine tune as you see needed.

My personal favorite is placing the saddle upside down in a bench vice. I use a file to get very close to the line, or right on it. This gives me a perfectly flat and square bottom, without hardly any effort.

As for the grooves being worn into the saddle, you really don't want that. Not only does it remove a proper break point for correct intonation and string ring, but strings wind up wearing the slots unevenly and removes the proper radius needed for maximum playability.

You might want to consider upgrading to bone, or ivory, depending on the tone desired. I would suggest Tusq, but it's very similar to the material used by Martin and tends to wear pretty quick as well (especially for a guy like me, who kills strings in a matter of days).
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:58 AM
martinedwards martinedwards is offline
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OK, I've done a few of these now, and EVERYONE with an acoustic should have a bone nut & saddle, right?

all righty, first carve (or sand) the top of the saddle to the curve you want, about 1mm taller than you want (just copy the plastic one you're replacing.)

I've just noticed that the string spacing in these pics is a hair off, its fine once things are straightened up and all is sorted.

string it up with the gauge of string you'll be using.....



using an old string, make a temp saddle and adjust it til the harmonic is the same note as the fretted 12 th fet note.

your ears may be good, but a good digital tuner is better!! get a free download like AP tuner 3.06



mark on the soundhole side of the wire, repeat for each string.





shade everything on the soundhole side



file away all the pencil marked bone. then file in from the back to make each individual string support a dome rather than a flat on top



string it up again and you're done.......

although you may want to lower the action a hair by sanding the BOTTOM of the saddle



and yes, these pics are of a doubleneck, but that doesn't affect the process.......
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