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Author Topic: Saddle Experiments - Best material???  (Read 50961 times)

Offline skip77

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Saddle Experiments - Best material???
« Reply #75 on: January 27, 2007, 02:19:23 PM »
Dread, when I posted last night, for some reason I was unable to view the first page of posts in this thread. I'm a little embarrassed today to see what was written/shown previously. You guys are further along than I thought so please accept my apology for describing basic methods. From the recent comments I presume you guys are using what I call push molds as opposed to closed systems? That would be much simpler and eliminate air problems that I was offering solutions for with vents etc. I want to comment on some new developments further down so will end here and say - keep up the good work. You buys are BUSTIN!  skip
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Offline just strum

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« Reply #76 on: January 27, 2007, 02:38:13 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by spt

No difference. Maybe workmanship, fit? Intonation...
But it is a reasonably priced material, and easily available.
I think a few of us like to find out for ourselves, maybe the hard way.



I certainly can understand that since I like to tinker, but maybe not to the degree that is going on here only due to lack of knowledge (that's why I've been following it so closely).  The only point or observation I was making is that if the $10 bone saddle is the objective (I am referring to the milling, not the mold experiment), the objective has already been achieved.

Don't take my comments as stating that people are wasting their time, I have far too much respect for these people that are trying different approaches to making guitar parts.

Mark

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Offline Dreadman

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« Reply #77 on: January 27, 2007, 02:46:59 PM »
Wow. A bone saddle for six bucks? Not bad! That saddle looks like it's only compensated on the B string though (like the Tusq saddles for Washburn). Strum - is yours straight across on the long part or does the top edge go at an angle from front to back?

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Offline skip77

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« Reply #78 on: January 27, 2007, 02:53:36 PM »
David, good comments, great work and good observations! First, as a new user of TUSQ I want to point out that I am making no claims that the material with withstand wear like natural bone. I am yet to learn this. Someone else in the thread is stating to the contrary and so I concur with them that TUSQ may not hold up.

However, whatever wear properties TUSQ is achieving, is due to the combination of resin and filler formulation. Amount of total filler is key as is kind of filler and type of resin.

Your remarks about getting a maxium amount of porcelain filler into the resin and then adding CF without effecting viscosity is probably the effect I mentioned earlier - particle packing theory at work! You have found, by chance, two fillers having particle sizes that allow one to fill in the gaps between the other, so that no change in formula viscosity is noticed! Imagine a shoebox lid filled with a single layer of pingpong balls. There is no room for another ball and the box lid is perfectly filled with one layer of balls. Let's pretend this is the porcelain filler. The resin you are using can only stretch so far. Microscopically, it is a pile of tangled polymer chains. If the resin is real runny like water, it has very short polymer chains and if it is thick and viscous all by itself, it has longer chains. The entanglement of these long chains is one aspect effecting resin viscosity or thickness. Hydrogen is a comment element in polymer chains and if the polymer chains contain Hydrogen in the right position on the chains, another effect can happen called Hydrogen bonding, which will cause the resin to have higher viscosity and be more thick and difficult to handle.

As someone pointed out, polymerization shrinkage is an issue that could effect how well your exact replicas will fit in the tailpiece of your guitar. For this reason, you might want to apply a piece of cellophane tape to one side of the actual model saddle or possibly coat it with clean nail polish before making the mold. this will cause the cast part to come out a little thicker and leave room for sanding later to fit. Again, as previously mentioned (and whoever said this has the kind of background I have) the more filler you get into the mix, the lower your resulting shrinkage will be, to a point.

There will always be some shrinkage but it is less with more and more filler. The reason for this reaction kinetics. At the atomic level, when catalyst and base components are mixed, higher viscosity makes it more difficult for the catalyst or initiator to actually move to reaction sites on polymer chains. Because of this, % conversion is actually lower in the first minutes of cure and therefore shrinkage is lower also. As time passes, conversion creeps up toward the normal level but shrinkage does not necessarily increase with it because the system has become rigid. At that time a new kind of enemy enters the picture - stress. The materal wants to continue shrinking with further conversion but cannot and so stress builds in the system. Stress is the main enemy leading to failure of materials, whether wear via strings or more dramatic problems like breakage.

I do not know that TUSQ uses glass fillers. I suspect it because glass fillers are very commonly used in industry and are widely available. I have two more comments. I hope you guys will bear with me.

Professional resin composite formulators never mix plain fillers with resin. The reason is that most resins will not readily wet the surfaces of most fillers. To the naked eye, you guys are making mixes that seem to be pretty smooth but more than likely, the resins you are using are not adequately wetting filler surfaces. The end result of this is poor physical properties, including wear. This is why, I suspect, some of your experiments are producing disappointing results. In industry, special chemical processes are employed to coat filler particles with substances that not only have compatibility with the resin they will be added to, but the coating also participates in the reaction! What does this mean? It means the filler actually likes the resin and wants to come into contact with it, as opposed to before treatment, when it hates the resin and actually recoils away from it. Microscopically, untreated fillers actually have air pockets surround them, stubbornly not allowing contact with the resin. That means weak, poor performance and opacity. When fillers are wetted adequately by the resin, the resulting mixture is less opaque and more translucent. Translucency is not only dependent on filler/resin compatibility, however. Other properties cause more or less translucency so don't be fool if you have a clear casting. You may still have poor resin/filler adaptation.

Can you guys achieve your own filler treatments at home? That's a tough one. Generally, the standard treatment for glass fillers is called silantation. I don't think you could easily do this at home. If you wanted to try it, you would need to get some form of Silane and mix it at about 10% Silane and in a solution of 85/15 Rubbing alcohol/white vinegar. You could put the solution in a spray bottle and put your filler in a large bowl or bucket. Spray about two good mists into the filler and then stir it around for several minutes until you see that the damp effect is even distributed and the filler kind of appears dry again. Then give it another couple squirts and repeat the process maybe once more. Then leave the filler in a warm place to dry a day or two, stirring it whenever you pass by to speed up the process and help the residual chemicals leave. When you can hardly smell the vinegar in the filler, it is usable. Then go ahead and make your secret mix! You should be much better physical properties and maybe a little more filler into the formula than usual, as well. I'm trying to think of some ordinary household product that would contain silane. So far, I'm coming up blank. That could be a problem.

Finally, there is an auto-body repair epoxy called Quik Steel. Has anyone ever worked with it? It comes in a small tube like the size of a magic marker. The material is difficult to work with and you will need disposable gloves so that you don't get it all over your hands. Mix it up, kneading it like dough. It is quite stiff. You only have 3-5 minutes to work with it depending on room temp. Get it thoroughly mixed, it will be black at that point, and quickly push it into your mold. The material is very dense and sets up hard as a rock. It is an already optimized epoxy/filler system and the stuff is incredible. You've all see it in the old time hardware store demos. The golf ball is epoxied to the top of a glass coke bottle. A wood block is bonded to the side. Other objects are bonded all over the bottle and onto each other. If you can break it off you get a prize. The stuff is truly amazing. There are other products like it but trust me, this stuff, Quik Steel, is THE BOMB. I'd be curious what you might get from a saddle made from it. Good luck men!  skip
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Offline just strum

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« Reply #79 on: January 27, 2007, 02:56:38 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by Dreadman

Wow. A bone saddle for six bucks? Not bad! That saddle looks like it's only compensated on the B string though (like the Tusq saddles for Washburn). Strum - is yours straight across on the long part or does the top edge go at an angle from front to back?

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If I understand your question correctly - the front end (closest to the sound hole) is higher and it tappers down towards the back (closest to the pins).  They refer to it as a blank, but I installed it as is only sanding it for size and a light sand on the edge where the strings cross (just to break the sharp edge).

Mark

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Offline Dreadman

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« Reply #80 on: January 27, 2007, 02:57:57 PM »
This is what a Washburn saddle top profile should look like.



Does your bone saddle from First Quality have the long angle Strum, or is it straight across?

My Tusq saddle for Washburns is straight across on what would be the top of this drawing.

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« Last Edit: January 27, 2007, 03:00:21 PM by Dreadman »
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Offline just strum

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« Reply #81 on: January 27, 2007, 03:02:04 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by skip77
Finally, there is an auto-body repair epoxy called Quik Steel. Has anyone ever worked with it? It comes in a small tube like the size of a magic marker. The material is difficult to work with and you will need disposable gloves so that you don't get it all over your hands. Mix it up, kneading it like dough. It is quite stiff. You only have 3-5 minutes to work with it depending on room temp. Get it thoroughly mixed, it will be black at that point, and quickly push it into your mold. The material is very dense and sets up hard as a rock. It is an already optimized epoxy/filler system and the stuff is incredible. You've all see it in the old time hardware store demos. The golf ball is epoxied to the top of a glass coke bottle. A wood block is bonded to the side. Other objects are bonded all over the bottle and onto each other. If you can break it off you get a prize. The stuff is truly amazing. There are other products like it but trust me, this stuff, Quik Steel, is THE BOMB. I'd be curious what you might get from a saddle made from it. Good luck men!  skip



Well I can finally contribute on something I am familiar with.  I've used quick steel to do a temp fix on an exhaust system and I will agree it's some amazing stuff and would be interesting to see how it might work in this experiment.

Mark

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Offline skip77

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« Reply #82 on: January 27, 2007, 03:04:15 PM »
Now back to the box lid with a layer of pingpong balls. The balls represent the porcelain filler. You can only get so much of them into the lid. If you have another bag of balls that are much smaller and in fact, exactly the size needed to fit between the pingpong balls, you can add exactly 1 of them to every 3 pingpong balls. It will fit in the middle of them. That is particle packing theory. When you do this, you can add more filler without changing viscosity. Sometimes doing it will even lower the viscosity! If you imagine many more layers of pingpong balls with a tiny ball in the middle of every 3, that would be an optimized system achieving maximum filler loading for better properties.

It is possible and more likely even, that David's observation with porcelain and CF is opposite to what I suggested above. Since David seems able to add a lot of CF after maxxing out the porcelain first, it is quite possible that the CF is actually larger than the fine porcelain filler. In that case, the CF is the pingpong balls and the porcelain is the tiny ball going in between.

Three dimensionally, one tiny ball will actually fit in the middle of 9 pingpong balls. To visualize this draw 3 equal circles touching each other. Draw a smaller circle in the middle just touching all 3 larger circles. Then imagine a layer of larger circles above and below that plane. You will have 9 pingpong balls and 1 tiny ball.

Why is this important? Because it reveals the exact ratio of fillers to achieve maximum filler loading! You need 1 part small balls to every 9 parts big balls! If you add more than 1 part small balls, formulation viscosity will increase quickly.

Ok. I think I've offered about all my wisdom. I hope it helps you guys. skip in delaware
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Offline just strum

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« Reply #83 on: January 27, 2007, 03:09:49 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by Dreadman

This is what a Washburn saddle top profile should look like.



Does your bone saddle from First Quality have the long angle Strum, or is it straight across?

My Tusq saddle for Washburns is straight across on what would be the top of this drawing.

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Now I understand what you are referring to.  No, the First Quality saddle is straight across.  The one from Bob Colosi has the angle.  Maybe that's the difference of $6 versus $25, but that is an expensive angle.  I have a bone blank from Colosi and I was going to try to duplicate his saddle.  Do I need special tools or should I say expensive tools?

If I can get good quality pictures of both, I'll post them.

Mark

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Offline Dreadman

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« Reply #84 on: January 27, 2007, 04:10:16 PM »
Strum - You should be able to do just fine with a steel file. I'd recommend 3/8 - 7/16 wide. Put the saddle in a vise if you can, preferably one with tall, thin jaws and go at it. When you've got the shape right sand it smooth with maybe 300 grit sandpaper and even polish it if you like (I know how you like to polish bone [:D]).

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« Last Edit: January 27, 2007, 04:11:21 PM by Dreadman »
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Offline Dreadman

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« Reply #85 on: January 27, 2007, 04:15:46 PM »
Again, nice piece Skip. I dread long posts but as usual from you, I ate it up. I'm sure David's getting a lot out of it too and if I ever get into casting I'll be beter off for it. Thanks!

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Offline just strum

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« Reply #86 on: January 27, 2007, 04:59:42 PM »
Dreadman,

I think you have the idea of what the First Quality saddle looks like, below are some photos of the Bob Colosi saddle.  Photobucket took away some of the quality, so I will e-mail you copies that you can view with MS software.

Edit: I removed the photos because they suck, hopefully the ones I e-mailed you will give you a better idea.  Taking a picture of a saddle to depict the contours is not as easy as I thought.

Mark

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« Last Edit: January 27, 2007, 05:13:57 PM by just strum »
 

Offline Dreadman

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« Reply #87 on: January 27, 2007, 05:38:10 PM »
I've seen Colosi's stuff on his webpage. No doubt he knows what he's doing. Looks real good on your guitar too, nice break angles as well. I bet she sounds good.

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Offline just strum

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« Reply #88 on: January 27, 2007, 05:48:59 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by Dreadman

I've seen Colosi's stuff on his webpage. No doubt he knows what he's doing. Looks real good on your guitar too, nice break angles as well. I bet she sounds good.

Dreadman
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Yep, it's on the WD32SW which sounds better every time I play her.  I just need to get good enough to give her the respect she deserve.

Mark

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Offline skip77

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« Reply #89 on: January 27, 2007, 06:37:23 PM »
Dread, thank you for letting me know that my extremely long posts have been appreciated. I'm with you 100% that posts should be kept as brief as possible, ordinarily. I took time to go into all that because I saw the very serious efforts underway in this thread to make some very nice experimental saddles. I was hoping to offer some information that might help make all the effort more successful. I'm grateful for your kind reception and happy to be part of the forum. I'll pop in from time to time but am available by email always if anyone wants to bounce anything off me. skip@mytowntennis.com

Keep up the good work guys. I'm very impressed.  skip
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