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Washburn Acoustic Guitars Forums => Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions => Topic started by: newlywashed on January 18, 2007, 12:24:25 PM

Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
Post by: newlywashed on January 18, 2007, 12:24:25 PM
I figured it might be time to start up a new topic on this...Check out the last few on the Sub $300?? post to get you started if you haven't been following along..Plastic, Resin, Bone, Metal, Carbon Fiber? What'll it be? Dreadman and dlovegrove seem to be the pros in this subject...
Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
Post by: Dreadman on January 18, 2007, 01:01:26 PM
Excellent Washed. I was thinking the same thing.

Dreadman
My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
Post by: Pike on January 18, 2007, 01:18:17 PM
I like bone or tusq. You can click the various saddle materials against your teeth, the one with the highest ping will give you the brighter sound. Bone will ping just a little higher than tusq.
Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
Post by: Dreadman on January 18, 2007, 01:22:14 PM
quote:
Originally posted by dlovegrove

You are right that it's hard to work with in a casting environment. The best way is to mix milled carbon fiber into powdered thermoresins, then melt & inject - a technique I can't quite pull off in my kitchen. While it's not as strong as laminating sheet fabric, the numbers are amazing - it adds an immense amount of strength to the plastic.

After reading up a little, it looks like I can stir finely chopped fiber into the resin and pour, but with an increase in the chance of introducing air bubbles. It's worth a shot, at least. I'll look around for a source for fiber.

I didn't think of milled CF. That makes sense, in a very high concentration. How about an inexpensive pastry bag for injecting? Not very high pressure but it's some and should keep the air bubbles to a minimum.

Dreadman
My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
Post by: newlywashed on January 18, 2007, 01:56:49 PM
I never heard of using carbon fiber like that - only in sheets. I've learned something I guess.

If you're going through the efforts, how about looking around for some place with a pressure chamber and rotocast machine? I'm sure somebody would be willing to help do it right.

Once you find some options...throw them in a bag with a label and send some off to Dave at RGGmusic? People might be interested enough!
Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
Post by: evenkeel on January 18, 2007, 02:46:38 PM
If you want to experiment with exotic fibers for saddles e.g.  kevlar, carbon, boron, etc..  the marine world is a good place to look for the stuff.  Racing yachts and even some production boats are now using carbon fiber, kevlar composite hulls and masts.  Incredibly strong, stiff, very low weight and mass.  Energy transfer is a particular strength of carbon and kevlar.  I've known repairs done by chopping carbon mat into a epoxy resin.  Amazingly strong, light stuff.  Aluminum powder is another commonly used material that's suspended in epoxy.

Dread, dlovegrove if any of this is of interest, I can get you more info/source.
Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
Post by: nogin007 on January 18, 2007, 04:48:15 PM
Reading this topic gave me a thought. Anyone know what Rainsong uses for saddles in their guitars? Their guitars are made from carbon fiber, and I thought if it was better they might have already put it into use. I don't know, just a thought.
Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
Post by: just strum on January 18, 2007, 06:10:35 PM
quote:
Originally posted by nogin007

Reading this topic gave me a thought. Anyone know what Rainsong uses for saddles in their guitars? Their guitars are made from carbon fiber, and I thought if it was better they might have already put it into use. I don't know, just a thought.



I checked there website and all their guitars list:

Tusqâ„¢ Nut, saddle. Abalone inlaid, Tusqâ„¢ bridgepins.


Mark

http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
Post by: dlovegrove on January 18, 2007, 06:41:05 PM
Nogin - Rainsong uses Tusq. That's a fascinating point.
Evenkeel - although aluminum is commonly used, I think it will hurt the sound. I'm pretty sure the final product needs some porosity - that's why  the discussion turned to additives like powdered ceramic.
Newlywashed - I was hoping to avoid having to seek out rotocasting equipment since I'm just doing one-off tests for now. If a given mix indicates a lot of promise, then I'll move up. Right now I'm doing way to much guessing. My expertise is visual arts, not material science!
Pike - My original intent was to find a way to mold a decent Washburn acoustic saddle replacement, so that a beginner like me has an option that doesn't involve a) spending lots of money or b) handcrafting one. We all like bone saddles but it's hard to produce cheaply or in quantity (unless Dreadman gets his cool duplicator off the drawing board). Tusq saddles are decent, but I can't buy an off-the-shelf Tusq replacement for my Washburn (that I know of).
Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
Post by: just strum on January 18, 2007, 06:52:18 PM
quote:
Originally posted by dlovegrove
Tusq saddles are decent, but I can't buy an off-the-shelf Tusq replacement for my Washburn (that I know of).

David




David,

What Washburn do you own that you don't believe you could find an off-the-shelf tusq saddle?

I've tried both tusq and bone and I didn't have favorable results with the tusq.  I don't remember which guitar I installed the tusq saddle, but I remember that I took it out after a couple of days and replaced it with bone.  To me there was just a better sound with bone.

Mark

http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
Post by: Dreadman on January 18, 2007, 07:25:11 PM
Strummy - In my experience all Washburn acoustic saddles have the same exact compensation profile as well as length and width dimensions (12 strings too). I've also searched high and low for exact duplicates with no luck. Tusq sells some for Washburns so I ordered one but it's not correct, compensation-wise. I even tried Washburn (looking for a small quantity in the better material for another project) but it would've been a special order from Korea to get them.

It looks like we're on our own but between David and I there should be quite a selection available eventually.

Dreadman
My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
Post by: spt on January 18, 2007, 09:04:46 PM
I've thought of casting saddles (when my jeweller friend was still alive and I had easy access to a kiln) but I was more interested in ceramics than CF composites, somehow... Finish work is the tough part here, particularly with hand tools only.

My knowledge of CF is limited but are there resins hard enough to withstand the grinding or cutting action of the strings? Or would it be necessary to use a metal (or other hard material) insert on the contact edge?

So far, I have experimented with bone, ivory, fossilized ivory, mother of pearl, sterling, brass and Lignum Vitae (wood) saddles. I'm not done experimenting yet but I must say I would be the first surprised if I found something that beats bone.

Bone:
http://www.madaboutguitars.com/viewtopic.php?t=64

Fossilized ivory:
http://www.madaboutguitars.com/viewtopic.php?t=63

MOP:
http://www.madaboutguitars.com/viewtopic.php?t=69

Lignum Vitae:
http://www.madaboutguitars.com/viewtopic.php?t=66

My nut and saddle toolbox:
http://www.madaboutguitars.com/viewtopic.php?t=70
Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
Post by: dlovegrove on January 18, 2007, 09:46:49 PM
SPT, glad to see your work (which is beautiful in its precision, by the way). Honestly, I'm not trying to beat bone. My goal is to produce an inexpensive option to the soft plastic stock saddle on the normal Washburns. When an additive like powdered porcelain is added to resin, the finished hardness actually measures much higher than bone.

You mentioned that you have experimented with ivory (as opposed to fossilized ivory) - elephant? And you still found the bone to be preferrable? It seems like conventional wisdom holds elephant ivory to be the ultimate. I've thought about buying a small slab of the legal old stuff to check out the characteristics.

Your results still point in the direction of my general theory: the characteristics that define a good saddle are hardness, density, and porosity. The MOP, sterling, and brass would all lack porosity; the wood lacks hardness and density.

By the way, Newlywashed wondered about different types of bone in the other thread. I've checked the numbers, and it looks like we use cow femur for a reason. To get a better bone you have to move up to large exotic animals, which is either cost-prohibitive or illegal.
Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
Post by: spt on January 18, 2007, 10:10:20 PM
Hey David, don't worry, I'd be delighted if bone was beat with something I personally like and can find easily... Porcelain powdered resin sounds interesting. Keep me posted if you do use it.
I really believe ivory has a particular mystique because of the ban. It IS a nice material and I wouldn't hesitate to use it if I had a good supply of legal ivory, from any animal but elephant. Like the fossilized ivory that I had (softest of the 3, BTW), ivory has a silkier tone than bone. It also has a peculiar sheen...
I'd be curious to know the hardness and density of Lignum Vitae. This stuff is really something, heavier and harder than ebony. It is also a naturally oily wood, near impossible to glue, which is really good for the nut because the strings slide on it.
You say hardness, density and porosity would be desirable. Wouldn't density and porosity work against each other?
Also, would you have a link showing the different Rockwell #s for various bones? Would love to see that.
Although it has been my experience that cow femur is very hard, I have no experience with other types of bone.
Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
Post by: dlovegrove on January 18, 2007, 11:27:10 PM
I can't find hardness numbers on Lignum Vitae, but it's density is widely reported as 1.09 g/cc; compare to 2.06 for cow femur and  2.69 for aluminum.

Yes on density/porosity working against each other, but I think that conflict is in our favor. Here are my major data points, crudely summarized:
 That leads to the key question: what do bone and ceramics have in common that isn't density or hardness, to make them both sound better?
My theory: their porosity. I'm thinking that the voids are damping the higher vibrations, resulting in a sound more in tune with the natural vibrations of the wood top, thus sounding more natural to our ears. There are several powdered materials than can be added to resin which bring characteristics of both porosity and additional hardness; powdered ceramics or calcium carbonate are examples. My hope is to find a mix that makes a suitable replacement for bone, yet is easily cast for faster production.

If that theory is correct, it might be that true ivory actually does sound better than bone - because the voids in ivory are much smaller and more organized than the voids in bone, resulting in more consistent damping and the silkier tone.

My starting place for materials data is http://www.matweb.com. There are several other materials databases out there, but that one is most extensive.

One more time: this isn't my field of expertise. I'm just a sucker for a challenge.
Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
Post by: spt on January 18, 2007, 11:45:51 PM
quote:
Originally posted by dlovegrove

  • A ceramic saddle is more dense and hard than brass, yet doesn't sound too bright.



  • I know Gibson used ceramic saddles in some of their cheaper L models.  I'm not familiar, soundwise, with the material myself. Are you?
    quote:

    My starting place for materials data is http://www.matweb.com. There are several other materials databases out there, but that one is most extensive.


    Thanks for the link!
    quote:

    One more time: this isn't my field of expertise. I'm just a sucker for a challenge.


    We like that, don't we...?

    One thing that wasn't mentioned yet (I think?) is the fact that a heavier (denser?) material does increase sustain (metal saddles). It takes more energy to move it but carries it longer just by inertia.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: newlywashed on January 19, 2007, 08:07:52 AM
    Well, this has all gotten pretty interesting. I know they make bone china where bone ash is mixed with the porcelain. Again though this is something that would require a kiln. Who knows if that would offer anything desirable, but it sounds good in name alone!
    I also did a quick google search and found this informative site:  http://www.guitarsaddles.com/

    He makes saddles in a variety of bone/ivory - Fossilized Walrus, and legally obtained ivory among them. Personally, I'm opposed to using ivory for anything - creating a market for it only can have a negative impact on elephants - but I won't impose my views on that any further. Other materials are also discussed on the website above.

    I can't get his e-mail to work from my work computer here, but I was going to write him and ask that he pops in on the forum and offers his words of wisdom. I think much of this thread has to do with making them yourself though. It's simply fun to play around with this sort of thing and see what works best for you!

    Quote from his site:

    A LOT of people ask about the density and porosity of these materials as compared to the plastic materials such as Tusq or Micarta….and if  â€œdenser is better.”   Density of the material alone is not a controlling factor.  If this were the case, we'd all have brass, ceramic or iron saddles.  The trick is to get a material that has the optimum density so the resonation gets to the top of the guitar at a frequency that vibrates it most effectively.  Not too fast.....not too slow.  Bone, Elephant and Walrus have different densities, but ALL within a spectrum that is OPTIMUM for guitar usage.

    dlovegrove - what sort of visual arts? I'm a fine arts major  graphic designer/illustrator and now in product design/development. Guitar is a newfound creative outlet.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: spt on January 19, 2007, 09:12:48 AM
    David's suggestion to use a resin to bind the porcelain sidesteps the kiln completely (and shrinkage due to heat). Can't wait to see where this goes...

    If you do a search on the forum for Bob Colosi, you'll find a few people here have already dealt with him (mostly with success, I think).

    I'm always worried about declarations on OPTIMUM... A LOT has to do with what one LIKES.
    Although there is a large consensus behind bone and ivory, ultimately, beauty is in the ear of the beholder, not in someone else's wisdom. And — science, $ and wisdom notwithstanding — it seems nobody but Stradivarius yet knows what turns a brilliant violin into a Stradivarius...

    Also, I see this more as an experiment for the curious than the reasonable mind... If a new, cheap, and better material is discovered, hallelluya! If not, hey, it was a fun journey!

    To me, bone is already easily accessible, reasonably priced, easy to work with AND terrific sounding... All the rest is gravy.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: vheissu on January 19, 2007, 09:23:54 AM
    Can I please just ask ... What is Tusq? What is it like? Looks? Feel? Weight?

    Ben
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: spt on January 19, 2007, 10:06:44 AM
    Tusq is a man-made substance that looks greyish, feels like plastic, is easy to work and sounds glassy when dropped on a hard surface.
    That's about all I can tell you...
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: dlovegrove on January 19, 2007, 02:07:12 PM
    I had a brief talk with my brother, who has a doctorate in physics and is also an accomplished musician. He said, without hesitation, that the disorganized structure of bone is what makes the sound work.

    The smooth even-ness of plastic (and, for that matter, metal) works against the quality of sound. They might transmit a pure wave shape better, but the guitar wave is extremely complex. The less perfect structure actually does a better job of transmitting the complexity. He even said that a plastic saddle would be improved simply by dimpling and marring the surface (at a very small scale, of course), which I'm going to try for the fun of it. I'll get more info from him later, but that's a pretty interesting view.

    I've searched for a patent on Tusq, hoping to get a little more insight in how it's made, but haven't found anything. They do say it is made with both pressure and heat.

    Newlywashed, I did my college work in fine art (drawing/painting), gradually shifted to graphic design and worked in that for a dozen years, and now have ended up managing a creative team of both designers and artists.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: newlywashed on January 19, 2007, 03:06:49 PM
    Hey - pretty interesting information there dlovegrove. It's amazing how something seemingly simple can be so complex. I'm definitely of the mindset that likes to learn the why's along the way. I'm just starting out on the guitar so I think much of this is lost on me, but what's more fun than modifying something you use frequently to better suit you?! When I get a little more proficient, you bet I'm going to tinker around a bit and come back to this forum for wisdom.

    dlovegrove - I also manage a creative team - designers, painters, and sculptors and am trying to grab some freelance design work on the side.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: 1 Cal on January 19, 2007, 05:09:36 PM
    Interesting thread guys! [8D]

    I can't add anything on the technical side but...
    I did get a bone saddle from Bob Colosi (great guy).  When I fitted it I also replaced my nearly new EJ17s with brand new EJ17s (so there would be no noticeable difference in sound from the string change).

    WOW!  What a difference.  The sound was SO different I didn't like it at first because it didn't sound like MY guitar any more.  After half an hour or so, I simply LOVED my NEW guitar.  More volume, more precise sound at every string/fret and, well, a different/better (I can't explain it) sound.

    Just my 2 cents

    Cal
    _____________
    Washburn D13S
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 19, 2007, 07:49:24 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by 1 Cal

    The sound was SO different I didn't like it at first because it didn't sound like MY guitar any more.  After half an hour or so, I simply LOVED my NEW guitar.
    That's interesting Cal. When I got my first all solid acoustic I didn't really like the sound because I was used to my laminate B&S D10's. Also, about 6 years ago I went to the music store with $1000 in my pocket, played everything in my price range and decided on a $300 D10SCE (yet another D10! LOL). Looking back it wasn't the best sounding guitar I played that day, it was just the one that sounded the most like I was used to. I've since learned that choosing a guitar based on materials and construction is at least as important (if not more so) as choosing it on sound.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: dlovegrove on January 19, 2007, 09:20:20 PM
    The time has come. The box of specialty resins was waiting on my porch, so I'll begin casting tomorrow. Maybe!

    Can't cast without a suitable mold, and that started the problem. Ideally, I would have a new, unused saddle from Washburn to use as the model. Without that, I was planning on using the saddle from my WD18SW, since it is basically new and should theoretically be in fine condition. I knew already that it has one strike against it - the plastic is so soft the strings have cut tiny notches in the top. But I wasn't expecting what was hidden underneath.

    First, it came out too easily... very little pressure. Then I noticed clear hand-sanding scratches on the sides - someone has definitely run a piece of sandpaper across both sides, quickly and unevenly.

    But then I saw the bottom - the critical contact edge. Holy cow! It has clearly been hand-sanded, with the following results...
     - the bottom is no longer flat; it is angled back, away from the neck. That is, the front face of the saddle is about 1/32 taller than the back face. And that angle is not consistent - the bass side is nearly flat, while the angle gradually steepens across to the treble side.
     - The bottom is arched, so when it is sitting on a flat surface the outside corners touch with the middle about 1/32 off.
     - But the arch isn't smooth and consistent: it is comprised of three smaller scallops, exactly finger-sized.

    In other words, someone took  sandpaper, laid it across their open fingers, and slid the saddle forward and backward across it, pressing pretty hard. They weren't holding the saddle vertically, thus the fore/aft angle; they didn't sand side-to-side, thus the scallops and the arch.

    The end result is that the base of the saddle makes contact with the bridge at three miniscule points - the two extreme front corners, and at a low spot on the back edge halfway between the G and B strings.

    I'm going to go ahead and mold this one; I can easily eliminate the bottom problems, but it will still show the string notches. I don't know how much the height has been changed from its original state.

    I've got a little slab of micarta here; I think I'll cut/grind this down to match, guess at the original height, and make another mold from that.

    Does anyone have an original OEM unmodified cheapo Washburn plastic saddle laying around?
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 19, 2007, 09:24:19 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by dlovegrove


    Does anyone have an original OEM unmodified cheapo Washburn plastic saddle laying around?

    David







    I might have one, I'll check and if I do I'll e-mail you.

    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 19, 2007, 09:44:01 PM
    If Strummy doesn't have one I'll look around. The problem in using one for molding though is that Washburn plastic saddles are only about .110 thick and Washburn saddle slots run anywhere from .125 to as much as .135 (or more sometimes). You might want to apply some kind of resistant tape (.010 thick should do it) to each side of the saddle to build the mold out enough so the finished saddles can be custom width-sanded for proper fit.

    I actually just measured a heavily grooved one and it seems that they're molded with what I think is called a draft. That is where the sides have a slight taper to ease the removal from metal molds. The top of the saddle is .105 wide, the bottom is .110 and the very edge of the bottom is .115. You may have to do some building up and sanding, even on a new one, just to get a good cast.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 20, 2007, 08:45:38 AM
    quote:
    Originally posted by just strum

    quote:
    Originally posted by dlovegrove


    Does anyone have an original OEM unmodified cheapo Washburn plastic saddle laying around?

    David







    I might have one, I'll check and if I do I'll e-mail you.

    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645






    David,

    I can't find one for your project.  I thought I had one that Washburn or Toaster sent me that had never been used, but I can't locate it.  

    Sorry,

    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: spt on January 20, 2007, 11:15:19 AM
    David, I've got one. It's bone and was made to replace the saddle of the WD-56SW I had for a brief period. I am saving it for another Washburn with the same slot dimension. It should be a fairly standard one though.
    You're welcome to borrow it... Just email me your address.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: dlovegrove on January 20, 2007, 12:48:31 PM
    My original plan was to cast my plastic one for these early tests, then hand-make a perfect model to cast finished pieces from. Given the state of my plastic one, I just decided to go ahead and make a better model now. Working on that today... hope to have it done and ready to mold from this afternoon.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: spt on January 20, 2007, 12:56:47 PM
    David, when you're done and have a minute, please tell me what specialty resins you use and if the finished product is easy to work with (sand, file)... TIA
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: dlovegrove on January 20, 2007, 01:10:00 PM
    Dreadman, my measurements are similar to yours - except for the saddle slot on my 18SW, which is .120. Do you have a suggestion for the saddle height? I assume I should aim slightly high, so people can adjust action as necessary. This one is measuring .3265 from the base to the top of the crown at its highest point, but it has been sanded.

    SPT, my first casting here will be with Smooth-On's Task-9 as the base; I've got some Polytek 15-3 on the way. A guy at Smooth-On told me they have a couple other formulas that match our needs better, but the complexity and precision of mixture is quite high; he suggested I start with the Task-9, and move to those if it looks like I'm going in the right direction.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 20, 2007, 02:34:48 PM
    David - I've seen everywhere from .325 - .350 in height and I've always sanded even the lower ones to acheive good action. I'd think around .325 would be a good starting point.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: dlovegrove on January 22, 2007, 05:53:07 AM
    Just an update, for anyone who was following this...

    I made a new master out of micarta, because it has a very slight surface texture that's not unlike bone. Given my brother's thoughts about surface imperfections, I thought that might be a good thing. I'm fairly pleased with it; it measures out identically to my plastic one, except that I kept the sides straight. Okay, measuring out isn't necessarily good... most of these resins have a shrinkage rate around .005 per 1. But the various additives should cut that in half, and at this size the shrinkage won't be measurable.

    Since then, I've just been casting molds of it. Might as well make multiples of each test, if I'm going to the trouble!

    (http://www.planetlovegrove.com/photos/saddle.jpg)

    There it is, in my favorite tiny-item mold box - the Altoids tin.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: spt on January 22, 2007, 07:07:14 AM
    Looks good! (Next: sounds good?)
    Thanks for the update.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: newlywashed on January 22, 2007, 08:21:36 AM
    HEY! - great work there dlovegrove! - I'm looking forward to find out your thoughts on sound quality improvements.  - on a side note...HOW do you post pictures on here? I just got my new guitar and would love to share...
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: vheissu on January 22, 2007, 08:34:44 AM
    That's some good work you did there David. How long did it take you to make?

    Ben
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: spt on January 22, 2007, 09:15:25 AM
    quote:
    Originally posted by newlywashed

      - on a side note...HOW do you post pictures on here? I just got my new guitar and would love to share...


    On Pike's suggestion, quite a few of us use photobucket.com, but there are others.
    On Photobucket, you create a free account and upload your pictures. Photobucket gives you a web link that you just have to copy, then paste into your post on the forum.
    If you have trouble, just get back to us and someone will surely pick it up.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: newlywashed on January 22, 2007, 09:53:33 AM
    Thanks spt.
    TEST:
    http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p227/newlywashed/1765.jpg
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: newlywashed on January 22, 2007, 09:55:20 AM
    (http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p227/newlywashed/1765.jpg)
    sorry to use up space with this test again...
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 22, 2007, 11:31:13 AM
    Wow. Looks good David. The details are nice and crisp. Did you mold that one or cut it?

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: dlovegrove on January 22, 2007, 12:32:21 PM
    I cut that one; Dremel to general size and then files/sandpaper to finish. I'm a little fanatical about precision. Took me a couple hours Saturday afternoon. I've got three molds made from it now, so I hope to cast tonight.

    You can't tell in that photo but it's much taller than a typical saddle, because I'll fill the mold from that bottom edge. Then I'll grind it down to size, eliminating any unevenness resulting from the cast.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: newlywashed on January 22, 2007, 01:25:16 PM
    Thanks for being fanatical - it shows! I'm sure all of this work will pay off for you. How much cure time for these?
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: dlovegrove on January 22, 2007, 02:30:56 PM
    The silicone molds take 6 hours to cure, then 4 hours to post-cure in an oven. The resin I'll be pouring tonight only takes 30 minutes for the initial cure, then 2 hours post-cure.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: dlovegrove on January 23, 2007, 09:24:30 AM
    Here are the first out of the mold:
    (http://planetlovegrove.com/photos/saddle2.jpg)
    The ivory-colored one is the micarta master; the clear ones are just pure resin, as I was testing the material; the black one has stuff mixed in. I haven't tried any of the most promising additives yet; I was just trying to get used to the stuff. None of these have been sanded down to height. I'll cast more tonight.

    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: newlywashed on January 23, 2007, 09:36:44 AM
    Looking great there David. Very anxious to know how they work out for you. Keep us informed!!!
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 23, 2007, 11:02:54 AM
    Wow, I'm jealous. I bet you're having a ball.

    How did the molding go? Were there any hang ups or difficulties that you weren't expecting?

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: spt on January 23, 2007, 01:06:31 PM
    Great work David. Please, keep us posted as you go along...
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 24, 2007, 09:18:38 PM
    Well I found a way to get my mill to cut all 3 dimensions of a saddle. My problem was that I was trying to duplicate the curved radius at the top when that's not necessary. There are only 6 strings so as long as they're at the right heights (following the radius) then each string landing can be straight across.

    I wrote a CAM program for the saddle top and made up some ebony, rosewood & birdseye maple blanks for testing. I cut one from ebony, sanded the sharp edges then I came in to make and eat a turkey sandwich with chips and a can of root beer. As soon as I'm done with that I'm going to install it in my WD32SW to check the intonation and see how it sounds. I don't expect much in the way of sound because the ebony is even softer than the plastic but I'll let y'all know.


    (http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g164/phobuk/EbonySaddleCNC.jpg)

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: newlywashed on January 24, 2007, 09:30:51 PM
    what kind of chips?
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: newlywashed on January 24, 2007, 09:41:02 PM
    ..sorry, got distracted. Nice looking work there.  This was done with a computerized mill? It looks very precise.  As you said, the ebony will be softer than the plastic. It will be interesting to hear your thoughts on the sound. Even if it's not what some might call better, it still could produce a a good tone. Are you planning on trying with the other wood types you have pictured? Is that maple and.. um.. rosewood? I'm rusty on my wood ID
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 24, 2007, 10:42:40 PM
    Ruffles. And Barq's root beer. [:D] I love Barq's root beer and I usually drink two a day. LOL

    Yes, a Sony Millstation. I own a small machine shop.

    Well I've got the ebony saddle in the WD32SW and I've got to say, it doesn't sound bad at all. Just a hair quieter but it took the slight brittleness out of the sound. I know it will wear pretty quickly but I might make a few more just for this guitar because I really like the sound. Intonation is very good too.

    I do plan to make several from the rosewood and maple too, just for testing and fine tuning of the CNC program. Once I'm happy with everything I plan to make several from bone, Corian, Snakewood and Lignum Vitae for sale to benefit the Guitars For Kids program (Snakewood and Lignum Vitae are VERY hard woods and I believe neither floats in water). I might fool around with some plastics/composites too but it looks like David L. has that well covered. Maybe I'll make a video with good quality audio showing the sound differences of the different materials.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: dlovegrove on January 25, 2007, 12:10:18 PM
    Popping my head out of the basement like the mad uncle inventor -

    I'm excited about what you are doing, Dreadman. A way to mass-produce bone is certainly the holy grail.

    I've been casting non-stop, with all sorts of composites... fused silica, bone ash, powdered marble, various earth compounds. Still waiting on delivery of powdered porcelain and milled carbon fiber.

    I've installed a couple, with decent success so far. I haven't found the perfect solution yet, but I doubt I ever will :).

    If anyone wants a free saddle in trade for giving me feedback on how it compares to whatever you are currently using, just e-mail me an address and I'll send you one (or more than one, if you are willing to do the work of swapping them out!).
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: spt on January 26, 2007, 11:47:05 AM
    Hey David, I'd be interested for some experiments of my own, soundwise and workwise. I'd compare them to bone as it's my reference and a commonly available upgrade. I'm also curious to know how easy porcelain composites are to work with...
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 26, 2007, 12:19:45 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by dlovegrove

    I'm excited about what you are doing, Dreadman. A way to mass-produce bone is certainly the holy grail.
    I don't know if it's mass production, more like small production but it will give us all low cost access to bone saddles. Low enough that a beginner can try saddle sanding/fitting without worry. If ya screw it up, throw it away and start again. [:D]

    Once we've each got a pile of finished ones we can make a trade. I'll include all of both of ours in the comparison video to make a definitive record.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 26, 2007, 12:34:25 PM
    Well that was quite a forum outage, huh? Once I detoxed I ended up working, then when that got boring I made a fixture for milling saddles. [:D] I didn't like the look or feel of the top of the first milled saddle because it felt bumpy and looked rough so I set out to get that radius on there. What I came up with is a fixture that allows me to machine the radius in one set up then flip the fixture over to machine the compensation. The fixture is basically a precision aluminum clamp that mounts easily in the machine vise.

    I cut the top radius on about a dozen wood saddles yesterday and the following video ( I like having a video camera [:D]) shows this process from a few different angles. At the end I flip the fixture and put in the saddle that I cut straight compensation on just to show the position it will be in for the next process. Hopefully I'll have a matching video in a couple days to show the compensation being cut.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irCBMoehcUQ

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: dlovegrove on January 26, 2007, 12:38:43 PM
    I received the carbon fiber last night, and cast a series with various formulations. A warning to anyone: that stuff takes extreme care. Not a problem in long fiber form, but when it is finely chopped/ground it easily goes airborn and is very irritating to skin and lungs. Anyway, I didn't get to install one and try it out yesterday, but up to this point they look excellent. They are very hard - in fact, it takes quite a bit of work to sand down the bottom edges. It's interesting that they don't ring - you know, the story has always been that saddles should sound like glass when dropped. Instead, they sound more like wood. I'll try it out tonight. Still waiting on the porcelain to arrive... hmmm, maybe a porcelain/carbon fiber mix?!
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: spt on January 26, 2007, 02:26:59 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by Dreadman

    Well that was quite a forum outage, huh? Once I detoxed I ended up working, then when that got boring I made a fixture for milling saddles. [:D] I didn't like the look or feel of the top of the first milled saddle because it felt bumpy and looked rough so I set out to get that radius on there. What I came up with is a fixture that allows me to machine the radius in one set up then flip the fixture over to machine the compensation. The fixture is basically a precision aluminum clamp that mounts easily in the machine vise.

    I cut the top radius on about a dozen wood saddles yesterday and the following video ( I like having a video camera [:D]) shows this process from a few different angles. At the end I flip the fixture and put in the saddle that I cut straight compensation on just to show the position it will be in for the next process. Hopefully I'll have a matching video in a couple days to show the compensation being cut.


    Fun to watch. This simple process would cut almost an hour of hand work for me...
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 26, 2007, 02:55:40 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by spt

    Fun to watch. This simple process would cut almost an hour of hand work for me...

    Simple process yeah, but it took 3 hours to design and make the fixture plus another hour writing the program and setting up the mill. [:D]

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 26, 2007, 06:25:53 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by luvmyshiner

    What were the various materials you were using to make the saddles?
    Birdseye maple, rosewood & ebony. I've decided against all wood for anything except screwing around though. After just one day on my WD32SW the string grooves in the ebony were terrible. I'll use these ones for proofing CNC programs but that's it (unless anyone else wants to try one).

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: skip77 on January 26, 2007, 08:41:16 PM
    Gentlemen, I work with resin based composites. As the name implies, these materials are highly filled, usually with various ground glass particles. Each resin system has limitations in terms of how much filler it can withstand or wet. Generally, the thicker or more viscous resins will allow lower levels of filler but tend to be stronger than lower viscosity resins. There are nano particles in many composites these days and when particle sizes of various fillers are carefully matched, higher filler levels can be achieved than usual - this is called particle packing theory and it is a very real phenomenon.

    I just installed a TUSQ saddle into my Oscar Schmidt OS11CE and added high tension classical strings by Fender at the same time. The difference over the original plastic saddle and cheap strings is very noticeable and I'm quite pleased. As soon as TUSQ tech support guy, Javier, recommends the closest TUSQ nut, I'll replace it as well. Right now, my OS11CE classical is putting out about as much volume as my larger Alvarez accoustic with metal strings. Sustain is much improved as promised by TUSQ. The higher tension nylon strings help the guitar feel and play more like the steel string Alvarez I am used to - a perfect scenario for me.

    I suspect the TUSQ saddle and other TUSQ parts are really nothing more than a modern composite, similar to what I work with every day. It is a proprietary resin/glass filler composite and probably nothing more. That is why it sounds like glass when you plop in on the table - it is essentially, glass. It is tougher than glass, however, because the strong resin matrix is highly crosslinked, making it hard to break. There are limits, of course, and they will break. However, in the normal range of stress applied during installation, removal and from string tensions, the material is quite able to stand up. The reason strings do not dig into the TUSQ material is the glass filler. My guess is the filler level in TUSQ parts is somewhere between 75-85% by weight. This is nothing special in today's composite world. None the less, I suspect that TUSQ has a very optimium formulation which would be difficult to match without many hours experimenting and testing.

    I would like to suggest to the guys that are talking about trying to cast these parts - consider this - get some syringes, at least 3ml size or larger. Get some 10 min epoxy from ACE hardware and separated the two parts. Get the smallest particle size filler you can find, whether CF or other types, and mix them separately into the two epoxy components in equal amounts. Experiment with the amount you can mix in. The resulting composite will begin to take on a clay-like texture and body. If you can heat the components seperately, you will notice viscosity will go down quite a bit, allowing more filler to enter the formula. While still warm, and with your mold nearby and ready, combine the two pre-mixed components and mix thoughly but quickly. Try not to whip air into the mixture. Tap the mixture on the counter or bench top several times to force air to the top. Scrape the air bubbles off with a tongue depresser or piece of paper. Pull the plunger out of your syringe. Pour the composite mixture out on a clean piece of plexiglass or similar smooth surface. Back-fill the syringe by dragging it across the thin film of composite several times with the back end of syringe down and tip up. When the syringe is full enough to fill your mold, insert the plunger and extrude a little composite to get rid of air bubbles. Inject the composite into your mold. It will be helpful if you have vent holes in your mold - this will allow you to push the composite into and through the mold until it vents - that is how you will actually fill the entire mold as opposed to leaving trapped air pockets. On this note, you may want to place the vents in the mold at the far corners and middle of saddle, for example. When composite squirts out of all vents, you will know the mold is perfectly full.

    Allow to harden the recommended time. Trim excess flash and vent sprues. Sand and fit. I have experience molding and casting as well. If anyone wants to pick my brain, please contact me via email since I don't visit the forum very often. skip@mytowntennis.com  Keep in mind if you heat the epoxy or whatever kind of resin you are working with, when added to the catalyst component, it will react faster than suggested on the package. Sometimes it will react much faster. If you use epoxy from ACE, select one with long enough work time to allow all the pre-mixing, heating and syringe loading - better to have it set slow than too fast. Once the mold is filled, so what if it takes an hour to harden, right? Good luck men.  skip in delaware
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: skip77 on January 26, 2007, 08:52:44 PM
    One other thing I would like to mention to you guys that want to attempt casting your own saddles. Most resins and resin based composites, when cured, will have what is called an air-inhibited layer on all of the exterior surfaces of the part. Some will have more air-inhibition than others. Do not be dismayed by this. Have some ordinary rubbing alcohol handy and be careful working the rubbing alcohol - it is very flammable and the flame is invisible.

    Dab a rag or paper towel with the alcohol and begin wiping the cast saddle. The alcohol will not harm the cured composite but it will dissolve and remove the air-inhibited layer. You may need to wipe it two or three times with fresh alcohol and fresh rags. Then, finishing the part with fine sand paper to fit, will also result in a very clean and no longer sticky saddle.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 26, 2007, 10:43:57 PM
    Right on Skip. At first it looked like too long of a post but by the time I got to the end I was craving more. I'm fascinated with just about all aspects of manufacturing/science/technology and you added a nice little nugget into my permanent memory. Thanks!

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: dlovegrove on January 26, 2007, 11:41:50 PM
    Skip, what you are describing is mostly similar to the process I'm using. No question about mixing half of the additives in each part of the resin... you gain greater additive volume, smoother mix, and more mix time. I hadn't thought about warming the resin components before mixing, to increase additive capacity - that makes sense. I've already been hitting 60-65% additive with ease, so that's an exciting idea.

    I haven't found any need for venting; saddles are so very small that they simply don't have room to trap air. I've been planning on pressure-curing once I reach a viscosity too thick to release air, but I haven't got there yet.

    Success with porcelain tonight. One run of straight cold-cast porcelain and one with an additional 50% CF - they are post-curing now, can't wait to install one and find out how they sound.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 26, 2007, 11:52:56 PM
    I bet the porcelain will give interesting results. I'm not familiar with working with it, is it a powder and water kind of thing? Any special handling?

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: spt on January 26, 2007, 11:57:08 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by dlovegrove
    Success with porcelain tonight. One run of straight cold-cast porcelain and one with an additional 50% CF - they are post-curing now, can't wait to install one and find out how they sound.


    Me too, the can't wait part...
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: nogin007 on January 27, 2007, 09:33:20 AM
    After just one day on my WD32SW the string grooves in the ebony were terrible.>>>>>>>  Dreadman, do they use a denser grade of ebony on resonator saddles? A lot of the saddles on resonators are maple, with an ebony cap. If I'm not mistaken, resonators use heavier strings also.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: nogin007 on January 27, 2007, 09:39:38 AM
    The reason strings do not dig into the TUSQ material is the glass filler.>>>>>>> The guitars I have owned with TUSQ saddles had to be replaced with bone, after some use. The TUSQ would have string grooves develop quicker than bone. And the bone seemed to have better tone. When I would change them out, I wouldn't change the strings at the same time. So I could compare just one thing at a time. Of course, it's all relevant to our individual ears, and the sound we want.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: dlovegrove on January 27, 2007, 10:25:55 AM
    After my recent experience, I think it doubtful that any resin-based composite will be able to resist string grooves completely. But what if a composite saddle with great sound characteristics was so inexpensive you could change it with the strings? Say, a dollar or two?

    On the other hand, if Dreadman can get bone manufacturing perfected, it would make that pointless. A $10 bone saddle would certainly be superior in terms of durability.

    Dread, the porcelain is a very fine powder that mixes directly into the resin components. Obviously, unfired porcelain will have a completely different molecular structure than fired; but it does add significant mass and porosity.

    If Tusq really has glass fillers, that might explain why some people don't like the sound as much. Glass will carry the vibration better, which would enable those graphs on their web pages, but won't improve the tone.

    I'm finding that CF can be added in extremely high amounts. For example, I can max out the resin with an equivalent amount of porcelain powder until it won't take any more (about a full 1:1 ratio); then I can go back and add a huge amount of CF with no discernible change in the viscosity or mix - pretty much 1:1:1, though it's hard to really measure the CF.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: gregjones on January 27, 2007, 10:32:34 AM
    quote:
    Originally posted by dlovegrove

    If anyone wants a free saddle in trade for giving me feedback on how it compares to whatever you are currently using, just e-mail me an address and I'll send you one (or more than one, if you are willing to do the work of swapping them out!).


    I came to this forum just to see if there was anything about saddles.  I just bought a new D10 for a travel guitar.  I tried to e-mail you but couldn't because I don't have enough posts.  If you want this new saddle for a mold let me know.  gregajones@hotmail.com
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 27, 2007, 12:45:13 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by nogin007

    Dreadman, do they use a denser grade of ebony on resonator saddles? A lot of the saddles on resonators are maple, with an ebony cap. If I'm not mistaken, resonators use heavier strings also.

    That ebony could very well be more dense. I know there are different varieties of ebony and that may be the difference. The heavier strings would probably do less damage too. My deepest grooves were from the high strings which seemed to slice right through and the heavier ones floated a little better.

    SPT, who's got experience with lignum vitae, told me not to give up on it yet so if my local hardwood store has it (and snakewood) I'll give them a try.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 27, 2007, 01:08:43 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by dlovegrove

    After my recent experience, I think it doubtful that any resin-based composite will be able to resist string grooves completely. But what if a composite saddle with great sound characteristics was so inexpensive you could change it with the strings? Say, a dollar or two?
    I hear what you're saying. Even if the filler was diamond the resin is still the limiting factor on groove resistance. Cheap replacement is a great idea. Until now accurate replacements for Washburn saddles have been hard to come by. I've got nine Washburn acoustics with plastic, corian(?) and my experimental aluminum and wood and all could stand for replacement.

    quote:
    Originally posted by dlovegrove

    On the other hand, if Dreadman can get bone manufacturing perfected, it would make that pointless. A $10 bone saddle would certainly be superior in terms of durability.
    I am shooting for $10-$15 but I don't consider bone to be the only way to go. Once you factor in each guitars different sound and each players different preference for sound I think every possible material has a place. I have some guitars that sound best to me with stock plastic.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: spt on January 27, 2007, 01:17:56 PM
    Here's my very unscientific assessment of the usual materials and then some.
    On a spectrum from metallic sound to wood sound (say from a brass wind to a wood wind instrument, or from a bronze bell to a wood bell), tusq is the closest to pure metal sound, lignum vitae is the closest to pure wood sound. It goes without saying that the dryness, sharpness of the sound is greater towards the metal end of the spectrum than the wood end. I have found this to be true regardless of the richness of the tone itself (the density of harmonics for each single note).
    Bone is the best balanced to my ear.
    Ivory adds a crystal dimension in the spectrum, between metallic and wood. You give up a bit of the dryness-sharpness thing in the change.
    So, if I wanted to decrease the shrill of a guitar, I'd try to go towards the wood sound. If I wanted to clean up muddyness, have a sharper, better defined sound, I'd go towards the metal sound.
    I have no idea how this applies to recorded sound but it seems it doesn't translate the same once recorded, unless you equalize it to sound similar.
    Now, I'd still love to find out where porcelain is in that mix...
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 27, 2007, 01:24:38 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by dlovegrove


    On the other hand, if Dreadman can get bone manufacturing perfected, it would make that pointless. A $10 bone saddle would certainly be superior in terms of durability.





    I've been following this thread with interest and the idea of alternative materials is fascinating, however I don't understand the above comment.

    I see bone saddles for $6.00, am I missing something other than the challenge of making ones own saddle?

    I purchased one from First Quality and installed it my J28SDL and it works just fine.  I also installed one from Bob Colosi for $25, installed it in my WD32SW and to be honest, I cannot tell the difference between the $6 saddle and the $25 saddle.

    http://www.fqms.com/Guitar_Bone_Saddle_Blank_-_Wid_P18129C1909.cfm?UserID=2295793&jsessionid=2c30b4274618U$A3f$CC



    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: spt on January 27, 2007, 01:53:16 PM
    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.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: skip77 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
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum 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

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman 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?

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: skip77 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
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum 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?

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)



    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

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 27, 2007, 02:57:57 PM
    This is what a Washburn saddle top profile should look like.

    (http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g164/phobuk/WashburnSaddleTopProfile.jpg)

    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.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum 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

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: skip77 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
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 27, 2007, 03:09:49 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by Dreadman

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

    (http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g164/phobuk/WashburnSaddleTopProfile.jpg)

    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.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)



    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

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman 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]).

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman 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!

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum 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

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman 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.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum 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
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)



    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

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: skip77 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
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 27, 2007, 07:00:21 PM
    Skip,

    I enjoyed your post just based on learning something in an area I knew nothing about. I usually pass on the long posts but read yours and learned a thing or two today.  That's what it's all about.

    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: skip77 on January 27, 2007, 08:55:37 PM
    You guys are the best!
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: spt on January 27, 2007, 10:25:02 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by just strum
    Do I need special tools or should I say expensive tools?


    Strum, I do all my saddles with diamond coated nail files. Works fine, lasts forever, 3-4 bucks...
    You probably saw this before but, just in case, here is my nut and saddle toolbox.

    (http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h66/espiti/Divers/DSC07196web.jpg)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 27, 2007, 11:26:05 PM
    Well I got the program written (and re-written and re-written....) for the saddle compensation. It took quite a bit of manipulation (the CNC code) to make up for the top radius but I got it just right.

    Here's a video of some saddles getting the compensation cut. It's kind of long but I left the CD player on in the shop while shooting and couldn't bring myself to cut much of the good tunes. [:D]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8F6Cvc6WRvo

    I'm going to order some bone and corian tomorrow so I should have some good stuff ready in a week or so. If anyone wants one of the wood ones to experiment with just let me know. No charge and the shipping's on me. There's 1 birdseye maple, 4 rosewood and 4 ebony that are useable so let me know your preference. If you pick the birdseye let me know your second choice too in case someone beats you to it.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: TREEROOT on January 28, 2007, 02:07:09 AM
    If any of you Washburn fans are looking for improved tone and resonance from your favorite steel 6/12 string then check out my wide range of hand-crafted saddles from my U.K. eBay store janet-the-cat / TREE-ROOT products. I will do you FREE shipping if you quote that you are a member of this forum!...(Plug over!), Thanks for reading, keep on playin'.
    All the best from the U.K.
    Gary Bowles (A 'Limey' Washburn fan!)
    See examples;
    Mammoth ivory, Ox-bone, Buffalo horn, Buffalo bone
    (http://i22.ebayimg.com/05/i/08/c2/7d/fc_1.JPG)
    (http://i19.ebayimg.com/03/i/000/87/2d/4ec9_1.JPG)
    (http://i4.ebayimg.com/03/i/000/87/2d/4c2d_1.JPG)
    (http://i23.ebayimg.com/05/i/08/c2/20/78_1.JPG)
    (http://i16.ebayimg.com/04/i/000/7f/ec/9785_1.JPG)
    (http://i19.ebayimg.com/06/i/000/7f/ec/9866_1.JPG)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 28, 2007, 06:12:47 AM
    quote:
    Originally posted by TREEROOT

    If any of you Washburn fans are looking for improved tone and resonance from your favorite steel 6/12 string then check out my wide range of hand-crafted saddles from my U.K. eBay store janet-the-cat / TREE-ROOT products. I will do you FREE shipping if you quote that you are a member of this forum!...(Plug over!), Thanks for reading, keep on playin'.
    All the best from the U.K.
    Gary Bowles (A 'Limey' Washburn fan!)
    See examples;
    Mammoth ivory, Ox-bone, Buffalo horn, Buffalo bone





    Interesting - I'll have to get out my currency conversion calculator.

    99.9% rating

    http://search.ebay.co.uk/ws/search/SaleSearch?sofocus=bs&satitle=&sacat=-1%26catref%3DC5&fbd=1&sspagename=h%3Ah%3Aadvsearch%3AUk&from=R6&nojspr=y&pfid=0&fswc=1&few=&saprclo=&saprchi=&fss=1&saslop=1&sasl=janet-the-cat+&fls=4%26floc%3D1&sargn=-1%26saslc%3D0&salic=3&saatc=3&sadis=200&fpos=&fsct=&sacur=0&sacqyop=ge&sacqy=&ga10244=10425&saslt=2&ftrt=1&ftrv=1&sabdlo=&sabdhi=&saaff=afdefault&afcj=&afmp=&fsop=1%26fsoo%3D1&fcl=3&frpp=50

    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: skip77 on January 28, 2007, 08:30:22 AM
    Spt, Dread, Treeroot and David - you guys are awesome! The TUSQ saddle I just installed in my OS11CE classical is only slightly compensated. I have read somewhere how to test individual string tuning and I'm sure you guys all know this method. Can someone share again for a beginning player like me? Thanks very much.  skip
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: skip77 on January 28, 2007, 08:33:29 AM
    Dread, thanks for sharing the video. Very cool. I have a question for you and Spt - based on images of the wood saddle versions - Has anyone tried cutting the pattern so that wood grain is vertical as opposed to horozonal? I wonder if woods like ebony might have enough strength lengthwise since the main forces are vertical, and make use of the grain direction to help prevent wear? Or, does the force of string tension actually split wood if aligned with grain vertical?
    skip
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: nogin007 on January 28, 2007, 08:46:26 AM
    Skip, a lot of the builders I've read about state that they install bridge plates either 45 or 90 degrees from the grain in the top. To prevent the force from the ball ends  possibly splitting the bridge plate.
     SPT, on your photo of your saddle kit, in the upper left corner, the third saddle down. Is that made from MOP? If so, how are the sound charistics? Thanks.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: dlovegrove on January 28, 2007, 09:43:50 AM
    The recent activity has been great... Skip, thanks for joining the conversation. I'm learning a lot from your input. If you haven't read the original thread that started all this, it will fill in some details:
    http://washburn.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=7868

    The CF particles are larger than the porcelain by quite a bit. You described their interaction exactly. Last night I surpassed the limit on the CF, and it reacted in bizarre ways! Weird stuff.

    Anyway, a few notes... I've had the Micarta saddle in my 18SW for a few days, and I'm pretty used to that sound. Last night I took it out and replaced it with a porcelain/carbon fiber mix.
     

    Dread, I love your latest video. You really are getting it down. Now you've got me wondering about using stabilized wood and CF solid sheets. They could be cut down on your machine easily. I used stabilized woods back when I was handmaking knives... they are commonly used for knife handles that are more durable than untreated wood.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: vheissu on January 28, 2007, 09:50:09 AM
    Typical you guys, I go away for a few days, come back, and the topic is way out of the range of my understanding (not that it was ever in) [:P][:D][:D]
    To be honest, when I saw the length of skips post, I skipped it, but when I saw you guys recomended it, I went back and had a read.
    It was very informative and helpful. Thanks man.

    Ben
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: gregjones on January 28, 2007, 10:09:04 AM
    quote:
    Originally posted by just strum

    Quote
    Interesting - I'll have to get out my currency conversion calculator.


    Convert 13.83 to USD.[:D]  

    That's the price for a mammoth saddle.[8D]
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: spt on January 28, 2007, 11:54:05 AM
    quote:
    Originally posted by dreadman
     Well I got the program written (and re-written and re-written....)



    And it shows... Beautiful work! They do have a strange look compared to regular saddles, but I now find them easy on the eye (compared to the first generation in the previous video) thanks in part to the pointed vs square bit.
    I'd love a maple one, but it's really just for the kick of it. In fact, if you still had the curved blank you start with, I would even prefer. I'd try an earlier generation of composite, the sandwich kind, with a lamination of bone on top of the original curve to serve as a harder bearing surface. The purpose of it? Frankly, I don't really know anymore... For fun...?
    I love your videos. I could watch that bit cut all day. I really have no life, do I?

    Nice work, TREEROOT!


    quote:
    Originally posted by skip
    (...) is only slightly compensated. I have read somewhere how to test individual string tuning (...)


    I'll try to dig up the link for you unless someone beats me to it. Simple to do, long to explain... You might want to use the search engine on the forum to look for compensation.

    quote:
    Originally posted by noggin
    Is that made from MOP? If so, how are the sound charistics?


    Yes, it's MOP. I've been quiet about it because it's not installed yet. I'm just slightly oversize on this one. It's meant to go in my D-78, my unfortunate test bed. I just changed strings on it after the experimentation with the fossilized ivory and I want to leave it alone (and play it!) for a while. The whole process of saddle changing and multiple adjustments in action (and sometimes compensation) usually kills the set of strings. Remember, I do all of this by hand, so it's slow...
    Anyhow, I will get to it, eventually, and will tell of the results, soundwise...


    quote:
    Originally posted by dlovegrove
        * Second thing I noticed - wow, this porcelain/CF sounds great! It is a brighter tone, but not tinny; louder, much longer sustain. This is my best effort so far.


    Good to hear that, David! How does it compare with its glass-filled industrial cousin? Let me know when/if you find out.

    quote:
    Originally posted by vheissu
    Typical you guys, I go away for a few days, come back, and the topic is way out...


    Hey Ben! Good to see you back...
    Look at my ridiculously long post! I only left the forum last night around 10:30 PM...
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: gregjones on January 28, 2007, 01:41:08 PM
    Nevermind-it's an easy Google.

    13.83=27.1+USD

    I think I'm gonna try one of these mammoth ivory jobs From TREEROOT.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 28, 2007, 01:48:02 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by gregjones

    Nevermind-it's an easy Google.

    13.83=27.1+USD

    I think I'm gonna try one of these mammoth ivory jobs From TREEROOT.



    I come up with 13.83 = $17.87 US

    1 EUR = $1.29229 US

    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 28, 2007, 02:28:51 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by just strum


    I come up with 13.83 = $17.87 US

    1 EUR = $1.29229 US
    His price is in pounds, not euros. Greg has it right at just over $27.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 28, 2007, 02:45:21 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by spt

    They do have a strange look compared to regular saddles

    The difference is that on my machined saddles the compensation for each string is straight from side to side. On the stock ones if your string spacing is off then your intonation changes (except for the B & E).

     but I now find them easy on the eye (compared to the first generation in the previous video) thanks in part to the pointed vs square bit.

    Actually the only difference is that the string height on the first one was cut in steps where the second ones have a radius. The 45 degree end mill was used to cut the compensation on both.

    I'd love a maple one, but it's really just for the kick of it.

    I'll put one in the mail for you.

    with a lamination of bone on top of the original curve to serve as a harder bearing surface.

    Now you're just creating more work for me. [:D] You know that I have to try it now......LOL

    I love your videos. I could watch that bit cut all day. I really have no life, do I?

    I've been doing this work for over 14 years and I still enjoy watching it all day!



    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 28, 2007, 02:51:15 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by dlovegrove

    wow, this porcelain/CF sounds great! It is a brighter tone, but not tinny; louder, much longer sustain. This is my best effort so far.[/*][/list]

    That's a pretty unique composite, I bet it's a bear to sand. How did it mold? Any difficulties?

    Now you've got me wondering about using stabilized wood and CF solid sheets. They could be cut down on your machine easily.

    Actually carbon fiber is very difficult to machine. It's tough and abrasive and wears cutting tools fast. Tell me more about stabilized wood wood though, I'm not familiar with the term.




    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: TREEROOT on January 28, 2007, 02:52:19 PM
    Hey guys, Thanks for the interest and sorry about the u.k. price, To make things a little easier for you I will do the B-compensated saddles at:
    Ancient Mammoth  $25.00
    Buffalo Horn     $21.00
    Ox-Bone          $19.00
    Buffalo Bone     $17.00
     
    They all inc free shipping for members of this site only! Just let me know before you make your payment and I will adjust the invoice!
    All the best!
    Gazza [;)]
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 28, 2007, 02:55:42 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by luvmyshiner

    Hey Dreadman, definitely put me down for one of those saddles.  It really doesn't matter which one, but I've been itching to play around with a wood saddle for awhile.
    I'll pop an ebony in the mail to you tomorrow.

    Just so you guys know, these wood saddles could use a bit of sanding on the top. Just a smoothing really as the machined edges are still sharp. In other words the part of the saddle that the string crosses doesn't have a crown but a .030 flat. Real easy to sand though.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 28, 2007, 03:00:50 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by Dreadman

    quote:
    Originally posted by just strum


    I come up with 13.83 = $17.87 US

    1 EUR = $1.29229 US
    His price is in pounds, not euros. Greg has it right at just over $27.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)



    Hmm, I thought they all used the Euro now.


    Oh well, then I will have to look this over.


    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 28, 2007, 03:02:46 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by skip77

    Dread, thanks for sharing the video. Very cool. I have a question for you and Spt - based on images of the wood saddle versions - Has anyone tried cutting the pattern so that wood grain is vertical as opposed to horozonal? I wonder if woods like ebony might have enough strength lengthwise since the main forces are vertical, and make use of the grain direction to help prevent wear? Or, does the force of string tension actually split wood if aligned with grain vertical?
    skip

    Aside from potential for splitting that idea sounds like it has merit. I've been trying to think of a tough coating that I could dip the tops of wood saddles in to toughen them up. If I come up with something it would probably go a long way toward preventing splitting on end grain. Anyone have any ideas on something like superglue but harder?

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 28, 2007, 03:13:36 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by skip77

    I have read somewhere how to test individual string tuning and I'm sure you guys all know this method. Can someone share again for a beginning player like me? Thanks very much.  skip

    What you're referring to is checking/adjusting intonation. If you google checking intonation you'll get a better description but here it is in a nutshell:

    Tune the 12th fret harmonic of a string to pitch (perfectly)- then check the tuning of the 12th fret note of the same string. If the fretted note is sharp then the saddle top under that string has to be further away from the nut. If it's flat the saddle top has to be closer to the nut.

    It's tricky to adjust intonation on an acoustic guitar because in order to change the free length of the string (by filing the saddle top) you end up changing it's height too. Intonation that is only slightly off is very hard to discern by ear but if it's real bad you're better off starting with a saddle that's too high to begin with then adjust it's height (by sanding the bottom) after the intonation is correct.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: TREEROOT on January 28, 2007, 03:21:03 PM
    Hey Dreadman, Nice work!...I love your YouTube video, I make mine in a similar way but do most of the radius and compesation by hand from a StewMac saddle vice and radius gauges, and well graized fingers to prove it! I will have to post a vid so you can see. Thanks for the Q's from eBay, I will try to bring my prices down but I have to get my stock from the U.S. and ship from here! If anyone has got pictures of their saddle set-ups I'd like to see em! Thanks again!
    Gary[;)]
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: dlovegrove on January 28, 2007, 03:29:57 PM
    Dreadman, stabilized wood is a generic term for wood that is resin-impregnated using pressure and heat. I ran across it back in the day when I was handmaking knives - it is used extensively in that business. You can get solid fancy woods...
    http://www.knifeandgun.com/catalog/stabilized_woods_186716_products.htm
    and numerous branded varieties of laminates, like Dymondwood, Staminawood, Resinwood, Pakkawood...
    http://www.knifeandgun.com/catalog/tiger_stripe_resinwood_2077244.htm
    http://www.knifeandgun.com/catalog/pakkawood_186689_products.htm

    That particular company just came up early in a google search - I know there are much cheaper sources.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: gregjones on January 28, 2007, 03:37:54 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by Dreadman

    Aside from potential for splitting that idea sounds like it has merit. I've been trying to think of a tough coating that I could dip the tops of wood saddles in to toughen them up. If I come up with something it would probably go a long way toward preventing splitting on end grain. Anyone have any ideas on something like superglue but harder?


    I used Systems Three epoxy resions to build canoes.  In places is would thin the resin a whole bunch ('til it was water thin) to soak into the wood to waterproof it.  When it dried it would look like it had been varnished.  I don't know, but I imagine it made it harder.  

    I was just looking to stay dry.[:I]
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: TREEROOT on January 28, 2007, 03:49:47 PM
    Hey guys, sorry for butting in but could you not take a piece of hardwood then burn it for a while in hot embers, then scrape and file away the softer blackened outer edges leaving a toughened piece in the centre to work into a saddle? I've not tried it for this application but it works well for the cedar arrows that I make!
    Gary
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 28, 2007, 03:55:46 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by Dreadman


    Tune the 12th fret harmonic of a string to pitch (perfectly)- then check the tuning of the 12th fret note of the same string.


    Dreadman,

    What is meant by Tune the 12th fret harmonic of a string to pitch  are you referring to an open string struck at the 12th fret?

    I know this is a beginner question, but I'm still a beginner (something tells me I'll be saying that for 10 years).

    Edit: and what is considered slightly off when you stated Intonation that is only slightly off is very hard to discern by ear


    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 28, 2007, 04:48:29 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by just strum

    What is meant by Tune the 12th fret harmonic of a string to pitch

    A harmonic is a note that is played by picking the string as usual but instead of holding the string down on the fret you just barely touch your finger to the string right above the fret. Kind of makes a bell like sound.

    Edit: and what is considered slightly off when you stated Intonation that is only slightly off is very hard to discern by ear

    If you have a tuner that measures the note in cents (1/100 of a tone I believe) then I'd call slightly off to be no more than about 10 cents.




    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 28, 2007, 04:53:17 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by luvmyshiner

    Hey Dreadman, thanks for the saddle.  I know you said they were free,
    but I'm going to send a little something extra to Toaster for your
    guitar's for kids fund anyway![:)]

    You da man Shiner. Thanks for that. If you want to wait on sending money though I'll have bone, corian and others for sale (cheap) in a week or so and all of that dough will be going to GFK.

    Now another question I've been wondering about.  Would finishing the wood saddle have any effect on the sound?  And if so, would different finishes effect the sound in different ways?  I realize this is probably a question that can't be answer without just trying it, but it does have me curious.

    In some small way I'm sure anything would have some effect. Trial and error. There doesn't seem to be much demand for the wood ones so I'll send you a couple to fool around with.



    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: spt on January 28, 2007, 04:57:39 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by TREEROOT
    Ancient Mammoth  $25.00


    Hey Treeroot, at that price I'd want mine to be New Mammoth...
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 28, 2007, 05:03:48 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by spt

    quote:
    Originally posted by TREEROOT
    Ancient Mammoth  $25.00


    Hey Treeroot, at that price I'd want mine to be New Mammoth...



    A little Jurassic Park DNA experiments [:D]

    I did a little research on price, and Gary at Treeroot has some decent pricing on these saddles.

    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: spt on January 28, 2007, 05:04:45 PM
    Never mind me... I just couldn't resist.
    On the Customs form, I'd write: MINT. 30 000 years of slight use.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: gregjones on January 28, 2007, 06:30:14 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by just strum
    [br
    I did a little research on price, and Gary at Treeroot has some decent pricing on these saddles.


    Well, that's a good thing.[8D]

    Since I just ordered one.[:I]
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 28, 2007, 06:30:27 PM
    Here's a brief article about Mammoth found in Russia - I'm not sure why this stuff is so readily available.

    And for you chemist, noted under Breaking News there's an article about work being done with silicone.

    http://english.pravda.ru/science/19/94/377/15472_mammoth.html

    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: steve206 on January 28, 2007, 09:13:45 PM
    Hey there Dread,,,

    I now it is a long shot,but, if you still have that bird's eye maple saddle available, I would like to give it a try on the j28 with the maple buttons and headstock.

    If its possible and if it sounds really great.  Cool,

    If it does not suit the guitar, I will gladly send it along to the next member.

    Thanks ahead,, no second choice.

    Steve
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 28, 2007, 09:24:40 PM
    Sorry Steve. I only made 2 maple blanks because it's the softest of three. One broke and SPT asked for the other one. How about a rosewood or ebony?

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)

    (EDIT) I just noticed you don't have a second choice. Well if you want one it's yours anyway. [:)]
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: steve206 on January 28, 2007, 09:28:40 PM
    Dreadman,,

    Thanks for the thought.  A rosewood saddle may just look fantastic on the rosewood 12 string with the Dreaded rosewood tuning buttons.

    Your call,,

    Steve
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 28, 2007, 09:38:12 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by TREEROOT

    Hey guys, sorry for butting in but could you not take a piece of hardwood then burn it for a while in hot embers, then scrape and file away the softer blackened outer edges leaving a toughened piece in the centre to work into a saddle? I've not tried it for this application but it works well for the cedar arrows that I make!
    Gary



    Gary,

    I think your idea got lost in my babble.  You might be on to something.  How exactly do you prep the wood for making arrows?

    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: skip77 on January 28, 2007, 10:04:22 PM
    Hey David, thanks for the welcome in. I'll take a look at the original string when I get a chance - thanks. My guess is the over-addition of CF and wierd handling/casting characteristics you mentioned are a phenomenon we call dilatancy. When particles of very uniform size and added to a resin at near maximum level or beyond, they can form a dilatant compound that has unusual flow behaviors. Ordinarily, dilatancy is avoided in industry because it presents problems. Dilatant compounds have what seems a magical ability to become more stiff when effort is made to move or shear the material. The harder you push, the stiffer it becomes, instantaneously. Yet, if you let it flow or pour on it's own, it is quite liquid. If you stick a spatula or something into a dilatant material and pull it out, a long string of the material might hang from the spatula and resist stretching or bend oddly, due to the nature of resisting movement. It's very interesting stuff. There is more to this behavior but I'll stop short of going in too deep this time. David, let me know if this describes your observation at all. If so, my suggestion for purposes of good castings, is to move away from that level of CF and total filler.  skip
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: ChangeLing on January 28, 2007, 10:04:33 PM
    For stabilizing wood, there is also a product called 'Cure Rot'.

    This is used to repair rotted wood on decks, houses, boats...
    It is a two part epoxy that might be able to soak into the wood
    farther than other epoxies.

     I haven't seen it for some time but there must be something
    similar available.

    ChangeLing
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: ChangeLing on January 28, 2007, 10:10:32 PM
    dilatancy

    VERY neat.

     Take some 'corn starch' and slowly add some water,
    (not sure if its water or something else), only until it is
    very thick.

     When you get the mix right you can pour it into your hand
    and bounce it off the floor.

     Just make sure that you catch it when it bounces up
    or you will end up with a puddle to clean off the floor.

    ChangeLing
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: skip77 on January 28, 2007, 10:14:48 PM
    Hey Dread,
    Thanks for replying to my notes. For my purposes, I'll just stop worrying about intonation :) I'm a technical guy but sound is out of my range. I don't play for anyone else anyway so no biggie for me.

    I have to say again, you guys are kicking ass on all the saddle work! My goodness! The idea of laying bone over wood sounds like a very serious prospect. David's ceram/CF composite sounds promising too. Dread, Spt and Treeroot are saddle carving genius's and Dread, your free offer is stone cold, bone rolled crazy :) Very generous. You're THE man!  skip
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: skip77 on January 28, 2007, 10:25:40 PM
    Strum, thanks for the link to mammoth article - very cool and also a great website filled with unusual stories. skip
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 28, 2007, 10:51:39 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by steve206

    Dreadman,,

    Thanks for the thought.  A rosewood saddle may just look fantastic on the rosewood 12 string with the Dreaded rosewood tuning buttons.

    It's on it's way.....[:D]

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: TREEROOT on January 29, 2007, 06:52:06 AM
    quote:
    I think your idea got lost in my babble. You might be on to something. How exactly do you prep the wood for making arrows?

    Mark


    Hey Mark, I normally use willow cut into lengths of 6-8inches and get them cooking in a wood burner but you can do this just as well in the open, when they have burned enough to be glowing orange I then lay my arrow stave's (Port Orford Cedar is good for this!)in the embers until they have burned and blackened about 3-4 inches from the end. When they cool down I scrape the charred wood away leaving a dark brown tip which when shaped and turned can pierce a car door without a metal point fitted..I will experiment with some hardwoods over the next few weeks and so what (if any) works best for saddles!..... If any one else wants to try this let me know how you get on!...
      Back to the Guitars now, I am working with copper, brass and silver for my saddle making at the moment to see how they look and sound on a steel strung guitar. will be back soon. Lol
    Gary[;)]
    (http://i4.ebayimg.com/06/i/000/88/0f/8548_1.JPG)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: newlywashed on January 29, 2007, 09:24:29 AM
    WOW!! - I've not checked this in a few days and ..again WOW - you've been busy! Makes me wish I paid closer attention in physics class. With any luck, you'll stumble onto something great!  Hopefully this is still as fun and fascinating for you to do the work as it is for us to read it.  Somewhere in this thread, there was mention that a dimpled surface might produce a better sound - to use the ping pong ball reference, would having some space between the balls act as internal dimples and thereby positively effect the sound? If I understood correctly this would make the material wear more quickly as well though - not necessarily a bad thing if sound is improved.  Again, I have no idea what I'm talking about here, this just has my brain working a little.  - Thanks again for the work you're putting in and sharing with us!
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: skip77 on January 29, 2007, 11:32:25 AM
    Newly, not bad thinking at all. In the pingpong ball analogy, not filling the spaces between them with the small ball (filler) would not necessarily mean an air-pocket or void. Instead, the resin matrix would fill those spaces. However, your idea is not without merit. For example, to test the accoustic effects of dimpled or porous saddle materials, air could be intentionally incorporated into the casting medium. It would weaken the product and possibly allow wear to happen quicker but for the purposes of accoustic research, might be a quick way to test your idea!
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: skip77 on January 29, 2007, 11:35:14 AM
    Gary, I haven't shot a bow in years but used to shoot all the time. Now you have me wondering. First, what is your interest in fashioning your own arrow shafts from fire hardened wood? Obviously, you can get plenty of arrow shafts made from superior materals without going to the trouble. Secondly, if you rely on fire hardened arrow shafts with the auto body piercing point that you described, doesn't the lack of weight at the shaft tip lead to more wobble and less stable, less predictable flight patterns?
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: gregjones on January 29, 2007, 01:15:55 PM
    Too cool.

    A picture of Gary working on my new saddle.[:D][:p][:D]
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: TREEROOT on January 29, 2007, 01:43:56 PM
    quote:
    skip77
    New Member



    20 Posts
     Posted - 01/29/2007 :  11:35:14 AM      
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Gary, I haven't shot a bow in years but used to shoot all the time. Now you have me wondering. First, what is your interest in fashioning your own arrow shafts from fire hardened wood? Obviously, you can get plenty of arrow shafts made from superior materals without going to the trouble. Secondly, if you rely on fire hardened arrow shafts with the auto body piercing point that you described, doesn't the lack of weight at the shaft tip lead to more wobble and less stable, less predictable flight patterns?
     


     
    Hi Skip, Its taken us away from the guitar saddles again but sure!(I'm really gonna bore you all now!) I have been into my toxophily since I was 15.. nearly 30 yrs ago and along with my passion for Falconry, Guitars, I love making falconry hoods and furniture and repairing and refinishing gun stocks and guitars, mostly by traditional methods. Ive always loved making my own arrows  sometimes using some of my hawks feathers for fletchings and your right they aren't a patch on a pricey set of Easton's best aluminum arrows but I can only field arch over here so I prefer take-down or a good semi-recurve bow (I am ashamed to say but I've never had enough strength to draw a good quality longbow) and cedar arrows, I harden the tips to stop them shattering so much but they are set with iron or steel tips so I can re-use them...I was just commenting on one of the other guys ideas on toughening wood for the purpose of using it for a saddle...Trust me! a toughened wood arrow shaft is pretty tough but not very accurate at a distance!.....Anyone like my saddles?
    Gary[;)]
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 29, 2007, 05:42:37 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by spt

    quote:
    Originally posted by just strum
    Do I need special tools or should I say expensive tools?


    Strum, I do all my saddles with diamond coated nail files. Works fine, lasts forever, 3-4 bucks...
    You probably saw this before but, just in case, here is my nut and saddle toolbox.




    This thread has been moving so fast I missed your post.  What's the cost of the files you have in the red file holder?  I assume those are the tools for making nuts.

    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 29, 2007, 05:55:24 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by TREEROOT
    .....Anyone like my saddles?
    Gary[;)]



    Gary,

    I thinking of buying one for my J28SDL and EA20SDL.  We've had a number of debates regarding if bone makes a difference over the stock plastic saddles that come with the Washburn and I am one that believes it does.  That said, you have a few different materials that you use, how do these differ in performance?

    Mammoth Ivory
    Buffalo Bone
    Buffalo Horn
    Ox Bone

    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: dlovegrove on January 29, 2007, 08:02:46 PM
    quote:

    This thread has been moving so fast I missed your post.  What's the cost of the files you have in the red file holder?  I assume those are the tools for making nuts.



    Mark, Amazon has a great deal on a set of those right now:
    http://www.amazon.com/Cummins-Industrial-Tools-Diamond-Needle/dp/B000FOIILY
    Another good deal...
    http://www.utopiatools.com/Detail.bok?no=325
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: dlovegrove on January 29, 2007, 08:21:06 PM
    Sorry I haven't been participating much, I'm just in a testing frenzy. I've gone through a couple dozen formulations now, and tested many of them. I'm hearing sounds come out of my guitar I've never heard before - clearer, crisper sound for sure; I'll need opinions from people whose ears have more experience than mine. I've pretty much refined it to a four-component mix: resin, porcelain, fused silica, and carbon fiber. I'll be back soon!
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 29, 2007, 08:44:45 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by dlovegrove

    quote:

    This thread has been moving so fast I missed your post.  What's the cost of the files you have in the red file holder?  I assume those are the tools for making nuts.



    Mark, Amazon has a great deal on a set of those right now:
    http://www.amazon.com/Cummins-Industrial-Tools-Diamond-Needle/dp/B000FOIILY
    Another good deal...
    http://www.utopiatools.com/Detail.bok?no=325


    David







    David,

    Thanks for the info.  

    The set from utopia tools looks like a decent set, although I know nothing about the quality of files.

    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 29, 2007, 08:51:57 PM
    I've tried looking for information on making a saddle from bone, but haven't been successful.  Does anyone have information showing the steps to take in making a saddle?

    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: dlovegrove on January 29, 2007, 09:31:38 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by just strum

    I've tried looking for information on making a saddle from bone, but haven't been successful.  Does anyone have information showing the steps to take in making a saddle?

    Mark



    The fabulous Frets.com!
    http://frets.com/FRETSPages/Musician/Guitar/Setup/MakeNewSaddle/newsaddle01.html
    That's the basic process. It's more challenging for the Washburn saddles, since they have such complicated compensation, but you make it the same way. Most people use the small files to cut the compensation angles. You can use a Dremel for much of the process, but you have to be careful - these things are so small it's easy to take off too much. Precision is critical; I'd highly recommend using a good caliper - a digital model that is accurate to .001 can be found for under $30 at places like harborfreight.com.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: nogin007 on January 29, 2007, 10:44:51 PM
    I think the StewMac site has an article on saddles, not positive. I know there's one for nuts.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 29, 2007, 10:47:18 PM
    That Frets.com page is the best I've seen but as David mentions it doesn't address compensation on the E, A, D & G strings.

    I'm going to make a quick drawing to help anyone interested in making a saddle from scratch. Be right back......

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 29, 2007, 11:36:40 PM
    OK. Here's a drawing showing the dimensions of compensation for Washburn saddles.


    (http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g164/phobuk/SaddleCompensationDimensions.jpg)

    The black dimensions are for the overall blank size and the red are for compensation lines. You really need a caliper to do it accurately and the way to go is to scribe (scratch) lines on the blank with the caliper (after putting the top radius on) at the correct dimensions then fill the lines with pencil to be your witness marks. You'll need to use a flexible straightedge and something sharp to scribe the angled line (or just draw the angled line with pencil). From there you just file up to the witness marks and you've got a well intonated saddle.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: TREEROOT on January 30, 2007, 12:53:27 AM
    quote:
    Originally posted by just strum

    quote:
    Originally posted by TREEROOT
    .....Anyone like my saddles?
    Gary[;)]



    Gary,

    I thinking of buying one for my J28SDL and EA20SDL.  We've had a number of debates regarding if bone makes a difference over the stock plastic saddles that come with the Washburn and I am one that believes it does.  That said, you have a few different materials that you use, how do these differ in performance?

    Mammoth Ivory
    Buffalo Bone
    Buffalo Horn
    Ox Bone

    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645




    Hi Mark, its difficult to keep up with the time difference!..I find that it varies from one guitar to the next! I have two Washburn 12-strings and they sound and feel better with the Ox-bone, it just seems really clean and crisp and rings forever on the treble strings, but makes the base E sound like a cannon going off! Great for attacking styles but the Mammoth is really Nice on my Takamines, it rings forever but has slightly softer tones that seem to compliment the woods, ideal for rhythm and ballads...The buffalo horn looks cool and is quite soft and is not unlike the plastic stock saddles in characteristics so again it depends on your guitar and what style you want to play, but I will say that they are on the whole much better that plastic!...I am working on solid brass, copper and silver at the moment to see how they sound, but it definitely pays to try different combinations, its part of the fun and enjoyment of guitaring! lol[:)]
    Gary

    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: skip77 on January 30, 2007, 06:26:48 AM
    Dread,
    Thanks for the awesome drawing of compensated saddle dimensions for Washburn. This question will show the extent of my beginner status in guitar playing but I'm not ashamed - am I correct that the long angled section is for the first strings - the higher pitched ones? I'm certain if I got my hands on a saddle like that, my OS11CE would sound a lot different or play much more in tune? The TUSQ saddle I have recently installed, and found such improvement in terms of projection/sustain is so slightly compenstated that I cannot even see it! Intonation must be way off in my case. OS11CE is a classical accoustic/electric model. Part of the improved projection is due to the high tension Fender strings that I put on it and I supposed the improved sustain is more from the saddle. I'm wondering if I should try the kind of saddle you have drawn or does it matter less for classical guitars?  skip
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: TexasJPL on January 30, 2007, 11:42:53 AM
    Ok, I think it’s time to jump in and really join this forum.  The first post from KrisH  (thank you) is what gave me the impetus to finally do it.  My story is very similar to hers (won’t bore you with all the details) as I have been lurking for about a year.  The amount of knowledge I have picked up amazes me and I now have done “real” maintenance on my guitars, other than just string changes (which used to be about every 5 years)
    So now my first question…
    Why or how is it that different manufacturers make guitars with different or no compensation if that is what gives the proper intonation to each string?  Shouldn’t they all be the same?  Or are their other differences that account for the adjustments that we see on the compensated saddle?  There seem to be some very expensive guitars being made with a straight, non-compensated saddle and I can’t imagine they would be put out there with intonation issues.  I am very confused on this.

    And, thank you to everyone on this forum for helping me learn a lot of stuff I never knew I needed to know.  


    Washburn J28SDL
    Washburn D122S
    Washburn D10S 12 string
    Epiphone Hummingbird
    Guild D35(c. 1972)
    Guild T-100D(c. 1965)
    Sears Sivertone(c. 1961)
    Beringer Strat copy
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: nogin007 on January 30, 2007, 12:32:42 PM
    Probably one reason a manufacturer will use a straight saddle is you might use a different gauge of string than what was shipped on the guitar. If you use mediums, as opposed to lights, intonation might be off enough to have a new saddle made. Might not. there are a lot of variables in intonating your guitar. String gauge, fret size, playing pressure. If I were to play one of Dreadmans guitars, or if he played one of mine, and we had the intonation set for the way we played, said guitar might not be intoned, as we might have different playing styles, make chords with different pressure, etc. If you think about it, your playing is probably different now than when you started.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 30, 2007, 01:41:27 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by skip77

    am I correct that the long angled section is for the first strings - the higher pitched ones?

    You are exactly correct, just in reverse. [:D] The long angled part goes under the four lower strings.

    I'm wondering if I should try the kind of saddle you have drawn or does it matter less for classical guitars?

    I really don't know that much about classical guitars. I would assume that it's a good idea but then again I think most, if not all, of the classicals I've seen don't have compensated saddles. I bet someone else could address this better.




    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 30, 2007, 01:57:04 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by TexasJPL

    Ok, I think it’s time to jump in and really join this forum.

    Well then welcome Tex! It's good to have you aboard.

    Why or how is it that different manufacturers make guitars with different or no compensation if that is what gives the proper intonation to each string?  Shouldn’t they all be the same?  Or are their other differences that account for the adjustments that we see on the compensated saddle?  There seem to be some very expensive guitars being made with a straight, non-compensated saddle and I can’t imagine they would be put out there with intonation issues.  I am very confused on this.

    That's a very good question. I can't answer it completely but one factor would be that intonation requirements change with scale length (overall distance from nut to saddle). Different manufacturers make guitars with different scale lengths so that's one explaination but it doesn't answer why some have only B string compensation. I guess more thinking/research is required to figure this out.




    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: TREEROOT on January 30, 2007, 03:23:39 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by Dreadman

    quote:
    Originally posted by skip77

    am I correct that the long angled section is for the first strings - the higher pitched ones?

    You are exactly correct, just in reverse. [:D] The long angled part goes under the four lower strings.

    I'm wondering if I should try the kind of saddle you have drawn or does it matter less for classical guitars?

    I really don't know that much about classical guitars. I would assume that it's a good idea but then again I think most, if not all, of the classicals I've seen don't have compensated saddles. I bet someone else could address this better.




    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)


    Hello Dreadman, I hope you don't mind me chipping in but I once asked one of the technical guys at Stewart-MacDonald's about this and I sort of got what he was saying! He explained that it is only steel string guitars that need to be compensated, whether it be a short or long scale instrument, something to do with the way steel strings resonate and cancel the vibrations out against each other, that is why a steel string guitar's saddle slot is at an angle ( the bass string needs to be longer than the treble) from the nut to get perfect intonation! Nylon strings don't respond in the same way. That is why the saddle slot is parallel to the nut on a nylon classical guitar! I'm not as technically minded as you so maybe you could find out more info on this? Gary[:)]
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: TREEROOT on January 30, 2007, 03:31:29 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by gregjones

    quote:
    Originally posted by just strum
    [br
    I did a little research on price, and Gary at Treeroot has some decent pricing on these saddles.


    Well, that's a good thing.[8D]

    Since I just ordered one.[:I]


    Hey Greg, just a quick note to say that I've just finished your Mammoth saddle and will be shipping it out tomorrow..Let us know what you think when it arrives! All the best! Gary[;)]
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: gregjones on January 30, 2007, 03:33:56 PM
    [:D][:D][:D][:D]
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: TexasJPL on January 30, 2007, 04:33:46 PM
    Hey Dreadman, thanks for the welcome.
    I was thinking about this on the way home from work.  Could the specific design of the compensated saddle have something to do with the angle of the slot?  For example, if you take a stock compensated saddle, such as a TUSQ, which is straight across the top from low E to B and if the slot angle is moved very, very, very slightly so that the top matches (lines up with) that of the Washburn compensated saddle, it would just leave that bothersome B string to be compensated...and maybe the high E.

    Washburn J28SDL
    Washburn D122S
    Washburn D10S 12 string
    Epiphone Hummingbird
    Guild D35(c. 1972)
    Guild T-100D(c. 1965)
    Sears Sivertone(c. 1961)
    Beringer Strat copy
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: nogin007 on January 30, 2007, 04:53:41 PM
    There was a poster on here a little over a year ago, that knew a lot about the BFTS( Buzz Feiten), and gave a good explanation of how it worked. But he said that if you changed string gauges from the initial setup, you had to have the guitar reworked to compensate for the change. I can't remember if it was nut and saddle, or just nut.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: TexasJPL on January 30, 2007, 05:07:44 PM
    I don't know if I remember that specifically, but I do remember reading that the BFTS sounded way too complicated and, for me, seemed to require way too much maintenance for a sound correction I probably would not hear.  That's why I did not want it on my J28 and looked for one without it.

    Washburn J28SDL
    Washburn D122S
    Washburn D10S 12 string
    Epiphone Hummingbird
    Guild D35(c. 1972)
    Guild T-100D(c. 1965)
    Sears Sivertone(c. 1961)
    Beringer Strat copy
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: spt on January 30, 2007, 05:08:05 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by just strum
    This thread has been moving so fast I missed your post.  What's the cost of the files you have in the red file holder?  I assume those are the tools for making nuts.


    Hey Mark, sorry for the delay. I've been doing lots of filing and polishing lately...
    The jeweler files set costs between $10 and $20, depending on quality. Diamond files are generally better than simple steel files because they keep their edges longer.
    This being said, I use almost exclusively my diamond nail files (one steel, one glass). I'll use the round jeweler file to make string ramps on a bridge but there are better tools for that; it's just the only one I have that's appropriate...

    quote:

    I've tried looking for information on making a saddle from bone, but haven't been successful. Does anyone have information showing the steps to take in making a saddle?


    I'm not sure what you want to know but I'm pretty sure I have an answer... Would you be starting from a bone blank or from the raw bone?
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 30, 2007, 06:07:26 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by TexasJPL

    Could the specific design of the compensated saddle have something to do with the angle of the slot?  For example, if you take a stock compensated saddle, such as a TUSQ, which is straight across the top from low E to B and if the slot angle is moved very, very, very slightly so that the top matches (lines up with) that of the Washburn compensated saddle, it would just leave that bothersome B string to be compensated...and maybe the high E.

    Good thinking Tex. That doesn't answer the question completely but it does shine some light. Washburn's slots are angled but maybe others are angled more and therefore have differently compensated saddles.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 30, 2007, 06:54:03 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by spt

    quote:
    Originally posted by just strum
    This thread has been moving so fast I missed your post.  What's the cost of the files you have in the red file holder?  I assume those are the tools for making nuts.


    Hey Mark, sorry for the delay. I've been doing lots of filing and polishing lately...
    The jeweler files set costs between $10 and $20, depending on quality. Diamond files are generally better than simple steel files because they keep their edges longer.
    This being said, I use almost exclusively my diamond nail files (one steel, one glass). I'll use the round jeweler file to make string ramps on a bridge but there are better tools for that; it's just the only one I have that's appropriate...

    quote:

    I've tried looking for information on making a saddle from bone, but haven't been successful. Does anyone have information showing the steps to take in making a saddle?


    I'm not sure what you want to know but I'm pretty sure I have an answer... Would you be starting from a bone blank or from the raw bone?



    I have a bone blank that I purchased from Bob Colosi when I purchased the saddle for my WD32SW.  I would like to duplicate the one I purchased from Bob.

    I'm purchasing calipers and files by tomorrow.

    http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=4788&refcode=07IN01NL

    http://www.utopiatools.com/Detail.bok?no=325

    Dreadman pointed out the calipers and David posted the file link.

    Only problem I have now is my work bench and vise are in the garage and it's about 25 degrees in the garage.[:(]

    I'll have to set up a work area in the basement.

    In addition to duplicating Bob Colosi's saddle, I'm going to take a stab at the one Dreadman posted.



    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 30, 2007, 06:57:10 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by TREEROOT

    quote:
    Originally posted by just strum

    quote:
    Originally posted by TREEROOT
    .....Anyone like my saddles?
    Gary[;)]




    Hi Mark, its difficult to keep up with the time difference!..I find that it varies from one guitar to the next! I have two Washburn 12-strings and they sound and feel better with the Ox-bone, it just seems really clean and crisp and rings forever on the treble strings, but makes the base E sound like a cannon going off! Gary





    Although I'm going to take a try at making my own, I still might get one of the Ox-bone from you.

    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 30, 2007, 07:03:30 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by just strum

    In addition to duplicating Bob Colosi's saddle, I'm going to take a stab at the one Dreadman posted.

    They should be one in the same Strum. My drawing is of exact measurements of a Washburn saddle and Bob really seems to know what he's doing so I bet they'd be dimensionally identical. The space between the lines is smooth on Bob's stuff but that's just cosmetic.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 30, 2007, 07:13:56 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by Dreadman

    quote:
    Originally posted by just strum

    In addition to duplicating Bob Colosi's saddle, I'm going to take a stab at the one Dreadman posted.

    They should be one in the same Strum. My drawing is of exact measurements of a Washburn saddle and Bob really seems to know what he's doing so I bet they'd be dimensionally identical. The space between the lines is smooth on Bob's stuff but that's just cosmetic.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)



    I was wondering about that and it certainly makes sense.

    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: nogin007 on January 30, 2007, 07:28:19 PM
    They should be one in the same Strum. My drawing is of exact measurements of a Washburn saddle and Bob really seems to know what he's doing so I bet they'd be dimensionally identical. The space between the lines is smooth on Bob's stuff but that's just cosmetic.
    >>>>>>>>>>  Seems that I remember about the first few times Bob was mentioned on the forum, someone asked him about Washburn saddles. He didn't have one that he knew of. The person that wanted one sent him a saddle out of their guitar, so they should be exact.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 30, 2007, 07:37:04 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by nogin007

    They should be one in the same Strum. My drawing is of exact measurements of a Washburn saddle and Bob really seems to know what he's doing so I bet they'd be dimensionally identical. The space between the lines is smooth on Bob's stuff but that's just cosmetic.
    >>>>>>>>>>  Seems that I remember about the first few times Bob was mentioned on the forum, someone asked him about Washburn saddles. He didn't have one that he knew of. The person that wanted one sent him a saddle out of their guitar, so they should be exact.



    He lists Washburn on his website.  All I had to give him was the width (end to end) dimension and then he provides an over-sized saddle so you can sand it down for a snug fit.

    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 30, 2007, 07:43:16 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by luvmyshiner

    Oops, had to edit to fix the quotes, cause I'm just that anal[:D]

    The girls:

    Washburn D10S
    Washburn Cumberland J28SDL
    Washburn D46S12
    Washburn OE30!
    A beautiful nylon string classical sold in a garage sale!
    ANOTHER PROUD MEMBER OF THE CUMBERLAND BRIGADE
    ANOTHER PROUD MEMBER OF THE BIFOCAL BRIGADE



    I thought I was the only butt-head that did that - mine is correcting spelling errors.

    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: nogin007 on January 30, 2007, 08:23:55 PM
    I thought I was the only butt-head that did that - mine is correcting spelling errors>>>>>>>>  That's what I have been editing for lately, spelling. I can't remember to look it over before I hit post. I guess if you are Butthead, Mark, I'll have to be Beavis. LOL
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 30, 2007, 08:40:49 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by nogin007

    I thought I was the only butt-head that did that - mine is correcting spelling errors>>>>>>>>  That's what I have been editing for lately, spelling. I can't remember to look it over before I hit post. I guess if you are Butthead, Mark, I'll have to be Beavis. LOL



    Hey Beavis[:D], Rocket recommended this a while back and it's a great little add-on that doesn't screw up your computer (I have it on three of mine).

    Just hit download on the left side of the page and it walks you through it.

    You just have to remember to use it.

    http://www.iespell.com/


    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: KrisH on January 30, 2007, 10:16:13 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by Dreadman

    OK. Here's a drawing showing the dimensions of compensation for Washburn saddles.




    Well, I don't have digital calipers, but when I cut my bone bridge I matched the compensation slopes exactly from the plastic one pulled from the guitar, off by only the smallest bit because of the difference in thickness of the blank.  I noticed on my other (non-Washburn) saddle this evening that the ridge follows only along the front edge of the saddle, compensating just for the B string.  Since I plan to cut a saddle for this guitar too, I'm wondering if cutting it the same as a Washburn saddle will affect the intonation on this other instrument, for better or worse?  

    I'm not sure I understand some of the explanations for different compensations I've seen given here.  The saddles in both guitars sit in a slot that is not parallel to the nut, and the scales differ by 1/8 -- with the Washburn being 1/8 longer from nut to saddle on both the high E and low E strings, and the extra compensation provided by the long-sloped saddle edge on the Washburn adding an additional 1/16 to the low E.

    Both instruments have good intonation through the range of their respective fretboards, as far as I can tell.  Does the Washburn compensated saddle really make an objective difference?

    -- Kris

    2003 Washburn WD-46S
    2002 Hohner HF-75
    1995 Fender Stratocaster
    1967 Gibson EB-3
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: spt on January 30, 2007, 10:43:15 PM
    Kris, if the intonation is good on the guitar you want to make a replacement saddle for, just copy it, don't copy the Washburn saddle.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: TREEROOT on January 31, 2007, 05:50:36 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by just strum

    I've tried looking for information on making a saddle from bone, but haven't been successful.  Does anyone have information showing the steps to take in making a saddle?

    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645





    Hi Mark, I've taken a few pics of me making a saddle just as a quick guide, this is not how everyone makes them but it should be of some help for those of you wanting to have a go!
    I will assume that you will be starting with a Bone Blank and an existing saddle to use as a template and that you have a selection of tools for the job!

    (http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s292/TREEROOT4/c9842d13.jpg)

    First thing I do is to measure how long I want it and cut it to length with a jewellers saw.
     
    (http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s292/TREEROOT4/461d7b4e.jpg)
    (http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s292/TREEROOT4/8fe29f85.jpg)

    I then grind it to the required thickness, to help me with this I use carbide paper that I have stuck to a sheet of thick acrylic with double sided tape, this will last a long time and can easily be removed and replaced when it does finally wear down!..I start with a coarse grade and work my way up to a 400 grit. You will be best using a set of digital calipers to get the most accurate measurements.

    (http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s292/TREEROOT4/makingasaddle008.jpg)
    (http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s292/TREEROOT4/makingasaddle009.jpg)

    The next step is to draw round the template with a fine tipped pencil and then cut and file it to the same radius as the fret board

    (http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s292/TREEROOT4/makingasaddle010.jpg)
    (http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s292/TREEROOT4/makingasaddle013.jpg)
    (http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s292/TREEROOT4/makingasaddle015.jpg)
    (http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s292/TREEROOT4/makingasaddle016.jpg)

    Next thing is to mark accuratly where you want the compesation. In this case I am using the template again as my guide but you may have to do a bit of research if you don't have a compensated saddle to copy! Then you need your needle files to grind it to the correct shape, best to take your time and do it gradually if it is the first time of trying!

    (http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s292/TREEROOT4/makingasaddle019.jpg)
    (http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s292/TREEROOT4/makingasaddle020.jpg)

    With a bit of patience it should end up looking like a usable saddle.

    (http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s292/TREEROOT4/makingasaddle018.jpg)

    You can then spend a bit of time grinding it down to the correct height for you guitar and then polish it up with 800-1200 grade paper

    (http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s292/TREEROOT4/makingasaddle021.jpg)

    Well I think that should give you a rough idea of how to do it, but before I go I would like to thank my son Daniel for working hard and helping me take the pictures!

    (http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s292/TREEROOT4/d7135e4b.jpg)
    (http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s292/TREEROOT4/689ef795.jpg)

    Bless!
    All the best!
    Gary

    (http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s292/TREEROOT4/makingasaddlehh006.jpg)



    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: KrisH on January 31, 2007, 06:07:29 PM
    TOO CUTE!!!

    (The photographer after a long jam session, that is!)

    -- Kris

    2003 Washburn WD-46S
    2002 Hohner HF-75
    1995 Fender Stratocaster
    1967 Gibson EB-3
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 31, 2007, 06:20:10 PM
    Gary,

    I do the same thing your son does after a long practice session.

    The photos will be a great help.  Are those plates that you have in your vise to give you more room for filing the radius of the saddle?  I was looking at getting another vise, but I couldn't find one with thin jaws that would allow me to work on a saddle and provide room to angle the file.

    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: TREEROOT on January 31, 2007, 06:35:46 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by just strum

    Gary,

    I do the same thing your son does after a long practice session.

    The photos will be a great help.  Are those plates that you have in your vise to give you more room for filing the radius of the saddle?  I was looking at getting another vise, but I couldn't find one with thin jaws that would allow me to work on a saddle and provide room to angle the file.

    Mark

    Hi Mark, The Vise I use is from Stewart MacDonalds in the U.S. About $30.00 it is perfect for the job!..Here is a link!

    http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Nuts,_saddles/Vises.html

    Gary

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645




    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 31, 2007, 07:23:46 PM
    Right on Treeroot! Awesome post and I bet a lot of folks will benefit from it. At first I was wondering how you got pictures of both of your hands, I thought you might be one of those three handed craftsmen. LOL Looks like you have a great little helper though.

    I hope you don't mind me interjecting but I have some added info about radii. If I weren't a machinist dealing with prescision measurement all day long I would never have realized it but the top radius of a saddle should be about .230 bigger than the radius of the fretboard. Here's how I figure it (approximately, as guitars vary):

    .040 Fret height
    .1875 String height over frets (double the action at the 12th fret, assuming 3/32 or .09375 action at the 12th fret)
    .2275 Total increase in radius

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: TREEROOT on January 31, 2007, 07:44:32 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by KrisH

    TOO CUTE!!!

    (The photographer after a long jam session, that is!)

    -- Kris

    2003 Washburn WD-46S
    2002 Hohner HF-75
    1995 Fender Stratocaster
    1967 Gibson EB-3



    Hey Kris, Thanks for that! He makes it all worth while! I read your article about nursing you guitars back to health...well done!
    You already know and understand more about your guitars than you realise..I know I'm supposed to be drooling over Washburns in this forum but your 67 Gibson looks a bit special!...[:)]

    Best wishes
    Gary (from the U.K.)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: TREEROOT on January 31, 2007, 08:04:33 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by Dreadman

    Right on Treeroot! Awesome post and I bet a lot of folks will benefit from it. At first I was wondering how you got pictures of both of your hands, I thought you might be one of those three handed craftsmen. LOL Looks like you have a great little helper though.

    I hope you don't mind me interjecting but I have some added info about radii. If I weren't a machinist dealing with prescision measurement all day long I would never have realized it but the top radius of a saddle should be about .230 bigger than the radius of the fretboard. Here's how I figure it (approximately, as guitars vary):

    .040 Fret height
    .1875 String height over frets (double the action at the 12th fret, assuming 3/32 or .09375 action at the 12th fret)
    .2275 Total increase in radius

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)



    Thanks Dreadman, He makes it all worth while!...That all sounded very confusing at first but it does make perfect sense and I will adjust my calculations accordingly, this is a great forum with some top quality input and sharing of knowledge! It's 2a.m here so I'll catch up with you all soon!...Thanks again! lol [|)]

    Gary
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 31, 2007, 08:06:01 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by TREEROOT
    ...I know I'm supposed to be drooling over Washburns in this forum but your 67 Gibson looks a bit special!...[:)]

    Best wishes
    Gary (from the U.K.)



    Gary,

    We love our Washburns, but we all drool over other nice guitars.[:D]

    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 31, 2007, 08:47:48 PM
    Ya know what I just realized? Our little group here has the best supply and selection of saddles for Washburn guitars anywhere in the world. Heh heh.

    The vintage bone blanks I ordered should be here later this week but the Corian arrived today. I've never worked with it before and it's pretty interesting. It's harder than ebony and weighs about twice as much but it's more flexible. It looks and feels kind of like light stone. If I had to compare it to another material it would be soapstone, just lighter.

    My mill is tied up with work for the next couple days but as soon as it's free I'll start the experiments.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: just strum on January 31, 2007, 09:02:58 PM
    There seems to be some engineers in the group.

    http://home.pcisys.net/~tbc/sounds/knack.wav

    Mark

    http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6645


    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 31, 2007, 10:03:59 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by just strum

    There seems to be some engineers in the group.

    http://home.pcisys.net/~tbc/sounds/knack.wav

    Ha ha ha

    I was diagnosed with it at an early age and I tried all kinds of (leafy) medications but that only made it worse. [;)] [:D]

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: steve206 on January 31, 2007, 10:48:10 PM
    Dread,,

    Just to let you know, The rosewood saddle was on the mail table when I got home.  When I opened the envelope and got the saddle untaped from the paper, she was in two pieces.  Split down the center from the top to the bottom.  Instead of one narrow saddle. there are two much narrower pieces.  Looks like it could be super glued as the front and back match up perfectly.

    Thank you for the effort and please do not go to the trouble of sending another.  I am planning on getting on the Dread bone saddle bus when it gets underway.

    Steve
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on January 31, 2007, 11:20:06 PM
    Damn post office. I thought it would be safe from their sorting machines with all that paper around it but I guess not. I'm curious, was the envelope damaged?

    I'll put another rosewood in with your bone saddle later. In the mean time I'm sure superglue (or even wood glue) would give you something to try.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: skip77 on February 01, 2007, 06:52:58 AM
    Dread, Spt, Treeroot and others, I will attempt to paste a drawing I made in Paint this morning. It represents my TUSQ Saddle. I want to make sure that I have it in the guitar correctly. After looking at all of saddles shown in this thread, I decided I had it in backwards. I switched it so that the TOP VIEW shown in my drawing is oriented with the milled side facing sound hole. Looking at the saddle from the side, it has an angled top edge and currently, the lower edge faces soundhole along with the milled areas. I notice a slight height difference also - higher end is at lower/high pitch strings. Is this correct? The guitar seems to play even better with even more sustain now than before but it seems the treble strings stick up a little bit from the base strings. I did change to heavier strings which might account for that? Please advise and thanks - you guys are INSANE!  skip
    (http://www.mytowntennis.com/id115.htm/4b3daa90.gif)
    Can't get my image to appear. I published it on my own webpage and added the link between (http:// and ) per forum instructions. Any ideas men?
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: spt on February 01, 2007, 07:36:35 AM
    Skip, since we can't see your drawings, it's hard to reply with certainty. You might want to just post the links to your webpage and we can go look.
    In any event, your longest strings ahould be the low E and B.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: ChangeLing on February 01, 2007, 11:36:37 AM
    Hey Dredman, Treeroot;

    These radius changes aren't enough to cause problems but:

     I would agree with adding the height of the frets but I
    wouldn't add the string hight to a radius.

     Imagine having zero action with the strings laying on the
    frets. I would just want to raise all the strings 'strait up' to
    achieve my desired action while maintaining the exact 'shape'
    and radius of the fretboard/frets.

    ChangeLing
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: skip77 on February 01, 2007, 11:56:23 AM
    Spt - good idea and thanks. From your reply I think I have the saddle positioned correctly now. It seems I can't even show a link here in the forum - it get's blocked with the error icon. I will write the link without the www - here is a page showing my drawing of the saddle: mytowntennis.com/test.htm
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: TREEROOT on February 01, 2007, 12:31:33 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by skip77

    Dread, Spt, Treeroot and others, I will attempt to paste a drawing I made in Paint this morning. It represents my TUSQ Saddle. I want to make sure that I have it in the guitar correctly. After looking at all of saddles shown in this thread, I decided I had it in backwards. I switched it so that the TOP VIEW shown in my drawing is oriented with the milled side facing sound hole. Looking at the saddle from the side, it has an angled top edge and currently, the lower edge faces soundhole along with the milled areas. I notice a slight height difference also - higher end is at lower/high pitch strings. Is this correct? The guitar seems to play even better with even more sustain now than before but it seems the treble strings stick up a little bit from the base strings. I did change to heavier strings which might account for that? Please advise and thanks - you guys are INSANE!  skip
    (http://www.mytowntennis.com/id115.htm/4b3daa90.gif)
    Can't get my image to appear. I published it on my own webpage and added the link between (http:// and ) per forum instructions. Any ideas men?




    Skip,

      I can't see your pics at the moment so I'm not sure, but here is an example of how I set up one of my Takamine's..When I got it was in a bit of a mess (action wise), the saddle was much to high and someone had messed about with the truss rod, and it buzzed like a can of bees, but after a few weeks correcting the faults making a new saddle and finding a set of strings that felt right I finally  set the action to these measurements; ( All are taken from the top of the fret to the bottom of the string)

        Bass-E at the 1st fret  = .030
      Treble-E at the 1st fret  = .013
       Bass-E at the 12th fret  = .090
     Treble-E at the 12th fret  = .070
    with .020 relief at the 8th fret (lay a straightedge across the frets and this is the gap at the 8th)
     
    Now these measurements will vary from one person to another and from one guitar to another depending on how you like your instrument set-up...
    Basically this is long-winded way of saying that there is usually more of a gap between the thicker Bass-E string to the frets than there is from the thin treble E-string to the frets.

    I hope this is of some help! and someone please correct me if I'm wrong!


    This is one of my babes [:p] a Takamine TF250SMC, saved from neglectful owners, deemed unplayable!... You should hear her sing now!
    (http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s292/TREEROOT4/makingasaddlehh.jpg)

    I'll show you my Washburns soon!...lol

    Gary
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: skip77 on February 01, 2007, 03:38:18 PM
    Thanks very much Gary - you are THE man! I was thinking I don't have a suitable tool for measure string gaps but you know what - I just realize that my sparkplug feeler gauges will probably work! I have the thin sheet-tab kind and the wire kind! Will give it a try. Thanks again.  skip

    PS Nice looking guitar. I'm sure you have it singing. Do any of you guys make sound clips available?
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on February 01, 2007, 03:53:28 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by skip77

    www.mytowntennis.com/test.htm

    I don't know how accurate your drawing is but it doesn't look right to me. The high strings should be a little lower but that compensation doesn't look correct. Of course I don't own any Oscars to compare but still I've never seen compensation like that on any guitar. Can you post a pic of the actual saddle?

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on February 01, 2007, 04:27:47 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by ChangeLing

    Hey Dredman, Treeroot;

    These radius changes aren't enough to cause problems but:

     I would agree with adding the height of the frets but I
    wouldn't add the string hight to a radius.

     Imagine having zero action with the strings laying on the
    frets. I would just want to raise all the strings 'strait up' to
    achieve my desired action while maintaining the exact 'shape'
    and radius of the fretboard/frets.

    It is confusing geometry but the higher the strings go, the bigger radius they need to be on to maintain equal distance from the fretboard. If the saddle top radius was the same as the fret height radius that would put outside strings closer to the frets than the middle two. Kind of like when you throw a pebble in the water, the wave rings get bigger in diameter but are concentric with the center.

    (http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g164/phobuk/Radii.jpg)

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on February 01, 2007, 05:45:04 PM
    You're welcome. I'm glad they made it OK. I'm really digging the sound of ebony on the WD32. I'm starting think that I'm not after the best sounding saddle but more like the best sounding saddle at the moment. I'm looking forward to having a wide variety of saddles and I'll probably enjoy the occasional change more than finding the perfect one.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on February 01, 2007, 06:56:43 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by luvmyshiner

    After removing the saddles from the tape, I discovered that one of them was broken, but the other is intact.
    In hind sight I suppose a number 10 envelope probably wasn't the best choice. My bad and everyone gets a full refund. [:D]

    quote:
    Originally posted by luvmyshiner

    Dread said that we needed to sand the tops a little bit, but he is full of crap.  I am unbelievably impressed with the craftsmanship Dread!
    LOL - I'm only half full! [:D] Actually the tops where the strings cross are flat rather than crowned (as they should be) but it's not a big deal as the flats are only .020 across. The strings will dig intothe wood anyway and cause their own flats.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: skip77 on February 01, 2007, 08:31:43 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by Dreadman

    quote:
    Originally posted by skip77

    www.mytowntennis.com/test.htm

    I don't know how accurate your drawing is but it doesn't look right to me. The high strings should be a little lower but that compensation doesn't look correct. Of course I don't own any Oscars to compare but still I've never seen compensation like that on any guitar. Can you post a pic of the actual saddle?

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)



    Dread, thanks again for helping me. I have posted two photo collages on the same webpage mytowntennis.com/test.htm  I cannot take better photos unless I remove the saddle. If that is necessary, just let me know and I'll unwind the strings again and slide it out. I tried to take photos showing front and back sides so that you might be able to tell if I have it in backwards. It does taper height-wise a little but couldn't get that to show in the pics. Also, the cross section is angled and although it doesn't show in photos, the way I have it right now, the highest part is toward the tail, away from sound hole - I notice more sustain and possibly more volume also with it this way. If I turn it around, the end result aside from intonation miters being different on the strings, the highest side is toward sound hole, and that makes the angle out of tailpiece contact the lowest part of the saddle across the back and sort of hug the saddle on the way over the top, resulting in what appears to be a flush or multi-point contact. I think that is why sustain is more pronounced with the saddle in the way it is now - only one point of contact per string? Anyway, I hope the photos are helpful. Any suggestion or conclusion you arrive at will be most appreciated. Thanks again. I'm very impressed with you and the absurdly expert gang in the forum - I wish we could all get together and form the most capable, knowledgable and technically diverse guitar shop in the planet! We could make some waves then, couldn't we! I say we with a laugh - I'm not in the league of any of you guys!  skip
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: skip77 on February 01, 2007, 08:59:38 PM
    Dread,
    meant to add also that my fret board is totally flat with no arch whatsoever. I guess that is why the saddle is pretty much straight across with slight height change for string thicknesses?
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on February 01, 2007, 10:08:54 PM
    Skip - Ohhhhhh, it's a classical. I didn't realize that and that explains why the compensation looked strange to me. I don't know if the Tusq replacement is correct but if you have the stock saddle you should compare it. Really the only thing I can tell you is that the shorter end of the saddle goes under the thinner high E string. If this placement results in the multi-point contact that you mentioned then the saddle is too low and should be shimmed up or replaced with a taller saddle. However if a taller saddle would make the action undesireable that probably means the neck angle is bad. Let me know if any of this helps and ask any corresponding questions.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: TREEROOT on February 02, 2007, 12:08:21 AM
    quote:
    Originally posted by skip77

    Thanks very much Gary - you are THE man! I was thinking I don't have a suitable tool for measure string gaps but you know what - I just realize that my sparkplug feeler gauges will probably work! I have the thin sheet-tab kind and the wire kind! Will give it a try. Thanks again.  skip

    PS Nice looking guitar. I'm sure you have it singing. Do any of you guys make sound clips available?



    Feeler gauges will work just fine!.....My guitars sing but I don't! ha ha! [:)]
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: TREEROOT on February 02, 2007, 02:50:59 AM
    quote:
    Originally posted by Dreadman

    Quote
    Originally posted by ChangeLing

    Hey Dredman, Treeroot;

    These radius changes aren't enough to cause problems but:

     I would agree with adding the height of the frets but I
    wouldn't add the string hight to a radius.

     Imagine having zero action with the strings laying on the
    frets. I would just want to raise all the strings 'strait up' to
    achieve my desired action while maintaining the exact 'shape'
    and radius of the fretboard/frets.

    It is confusing geometry but the higher the strings go, the bigger radius they need to be on to maintain equal distance from the fretboard. If the saddle top radius was the same as the fret height radius that would put outside strings closer to the frets than the middle two. Kind of like when you throw a pebble in the water, the wave rings get bigger in diameter but are concentric with the center.


    Dreadman

    Thanks Dreadman,

    That makes it very clear, but can I just add, so we don't put off those of you thinking Oh my goodness, how am I ever gonna get my axe sounding that perfect, don't worry! your guitar will still sound great if it is not to these precise measurements! Just as long as you keep practising, playing, and keep reading stuff like this. As you learn more about the guitar your enjoyment and love for the guitar will grow also!....

    Thanks again Dreadman, I love your drawings, they help people like me make sense of it all! [;)]

    Gary
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: skip77 on February 02, 2007, 06:25:51 AM
    Dread, yes it's a classical guitar. Thanks for taking more time to help me. I believe you have resolved my questions. The TUSQ saddle, as it is shown in the photos, is already in the guitar so that the lowest end is under the treble E string. I believe the guitar is playing better with this arrangement. The strings contact the top of saddle at more of a single point because the highest edge is on the back side away from sound hole. When turned around the other way, the strings are able to contact the entire bevel on top edge of saddle because it runs in the same direction as the strings exiting the tail piece. The TUSQ saddle is not smoothly milled in one long angle under the lower pitch strings - instead it is stepped in graduations that are centered under each base string, with the longest string being the low E. The original saddle from Washburn is plastic and has no intonation gradients at all. It is higher on one end for the base strings and only rounded over across the top edge. Sound is much better with TUSQ. Thanks again, Sir!  skip
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on February 02, 2007, 05:36:47 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by TREEROOT

    .......but can I just add, so we don't put off those of you thinking Oh my goodness, how am I ever gonna get my axe sounding that perfect, don't worry! your guitar will still sound great if it is not to these precise measurements!

    Good point. I should've mentioned that minor differences don't matter that much. We're talking about radii (on acoustic guitars) that range from around 9-16 and if the radius of a saddle were off by say 1/8 it would only make a few thousandths of an inch difference in string height. Barely noticeable until you aim for NASA tolerances on action.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: TREEROOT on February 02, 2007, 10:15:27 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by Dreadman

    quote:
    Originally posted by TREEROOT

    .......but can I just add, so we don't put off those of you thinking Oh my goodness, how am I ever gonna get my axe sounding that perfect, don't worry! your guitar will still sound great if it is not to these precise measurements!

    Good point. I should've mentioned that minor differences don't matter that much. We're talking about radii (on acoustic guitars) that range from around 9-16 and if the radius of a saddle were off by say 1/8 it would only make a few thousandths of an inch difference in string height. Barely noticeable until you aim for NASA tolerances on action.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)



    Dreadman

         Now that is an interesting thought....could you play a guitar in space and if so would anyone be able to hear it?  ( You'll have to forgive me, I don't get out much!)

         On a more serious note, I've just invested in a small furnace so that I can melt copper/brass, silver/gold for turning into guitar saddles!....Will they be too soft, Will the steel strings cut into them etc, Do you have any thoughts on this?

         I figure that they will look great! Copper would go well with one of my Cedar topped Washburns and the brass would compliment of the Maple bodied models, but it is the sound that is the important thing I'm after, they may sound tinny so I guess I will have to wait and see......It should be here by the end of next week, I will let you know when it arrives! So if anyone else wants to try one out then let me know and I'll get some samples ready!  [:)]

    TREEROOT
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: Dreadman on February 02, 2007, 11:17:28 PM
    Don't spill any on your foot! LOL

    That sounds like a lot of fun. I've machined aluminum saddles before and even they developed grooves over time. Not very big at all and again it was over a long period. I'm sure copper and/or brass would be very groove resistant but that might be pushing the limit on useful hardness (soundwise). Either way try it. It's a cool skill to work on.

    Dreadman
    My Guitars (http://www.washburn.com/forum/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=6153)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: spt on February 02, 2007, 11:53:13 PM
    Hi Treeroot, I've tried brass and sterling but I used bar stock brought to thickness in a manual roll press (?), then heat tempered.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: TREEROOT on February 03, 2007, 12:33:38 AM
    quote:
    Originally posted by spt

    Hi Treeroot, I've tried brass and sterling but I used bar stock brought to thickness in a manual roll press (?), then heat tempered.



    Hi spt,

    Have got any pics of the results and how would you describe the sound quality?

         I will be making matching nut blanks also but I have found that they are more awkward to try and sell mainly because most people can (or are at least prepared to) have a go at fitting a saddle, but there it is more skill required in fitting the nut. I have just made a Mammoth ivory nut for one of my Taks, but that's not anything to do with the copper/brass subject!

       Any info you'd like to share will be appreciated!

    Gary (TREEROOT)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: spt on February 03, 2007, 10:59:37 AM
    Unfortunately, no pics... I did this in the mid-80s and they were on guitars I sold.
    As you would know, they are quite heavy and have enormous ring and sustain (not surprising). I found the overlap from all that sustain to be tiring on the ear unless you were looking for that droning effect. Note to note, the separation was good. Besides the point but worth mentioning: tarnish very quickly (either 925 or brass).
    I don't know what else to say, but if you have specific questions, fire away...
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: TREEROOT on February 03, 2007, 01:34:45 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by spt

    Unfortunately, no pics... I did this in the mid-80s and they were on guitars I sold.
    As you would know, they are quite heavy and have enormous ring and sustain (not surprising). I found the overlap from all that sustain to be tiring on the ear unless you were looking for that droning effect. Note to note, the separation was good. Besides the point but worth mentioning: tarnish very quickly (either 925 or brass).
    I don't know what else to say, but if you have specific questions, fire away...



    That has answered most of my questions in one hit,  I shall enjoy making some and doing a few experiments! Perhaps a thin shim of something to dampen the vibration/resonance slightly? I'm sure it's all been done before but I will have a go anyway! Thanks!



    TREEROOT
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: spt on February 03, 2007, 01:57:10 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by TREEROOT
    I'm sure it's all been done before but I will have a go anyway!


    Exactly how I see it...

    And like all before me, I'm sure, I have pretty much gone full circle to land back on bone... (door ajar for S&S)
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: skip77 on February 04, 2007, 10:07:37 PM
    Spt - could you take a look at the string started by highmesa titled Bummer? I think you will know the answer to the problem he describes there which has to do with grover tuners and things popping out the key seal. None of my grover tuners ever have anything popping out from the black seal.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: spt on February 05, 2007, 12:13:28 AM
    It was all figured out by the time I got there... Thanks for pointing it out, I hadn't checked the thread.
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: newlywashed on February 05, 2007, 10:44:06 AM
    This has got to be close to a record for posts... shows there is apparantly NO interest in saddles - ha ha ha. Good work to all of you expiramenting here!
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: TREEROOT on February 07, 2007, 09:31:05 AM
    quote:
    Originally posted by newlywashed

    This has got to be close to a record for posts... shows there is apparantly NO interest in saddles - ha ha ha. Good work to all of you expiramenting here!



    Wow! It has been quiet! LOL..There is always an interest in saddles...I've been re-arranging my workshop in preparation for the arrival of my furnace! Fire buckets, blankets and extinguishers, (I'm hoping they won't be needed, but better safe than sorry!). I will check the other topics to see what everyone has been up to.  

    Greg, Mark, your saddles are on the way [;)], (The U.K. Postal service is a bit slow at times! [V])let me know when they get there!


    TREEROOT [:D]
    Title: Saddle Experiments - Best material???
    Post by: 2ifbyC on February 13, 2007, 04:52:46 PM
    Well, I just finished reading the whole thread. I must say that ya'll have expanded my understanding of saddles and intonation.

    Actually, you've done more than that. I'll now be looking for all the abused and mis-used gits in my area. I don't even want to think about all the chances I have passed up in the past.[V]

    Thanx to all!