I typically set up my personal guitars with gauge 13-56 strings, and tune down to either D-Standard (DGCFAD) or Open C (CGCEGC). Because of the heavier string gauges, and the lowered tunings, I have always had problems with my Seagull playing in tune, in particular on the Low E and B strings. So, I sought to fix this issue and get this guitar playing in tune.
Since I don’t own any saddle routing jigs, the first thing I had to do was create a routing jig (pictured above). It is simply a piece of 3/4″ plywood with a slot cut in the middle to fit the router’s guide bushing. I then removed some wood around the slot using a forstner bit and a chisel, making room for the bridge. The next tasks were done to allow the template to sit on the domed top of the guitar. I removed the outer layer of veneer everywhere except for the edges, as well as make four silicone “pads” to rest on the top. This was done by placing parchment paper on the guitar top, applying the caulking, and resting the template on top.
After the template was complete, it was a matter of carefully positioning the template on the body (pictured above). I routed the saddle slot with a 1/4″ bit, which has the advantage of giving me more room to intonate the strings (pictured below).
The new saddle was made from Corian (pictured above). Now this guitar is ready to start playing in tune.
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