This could be git related or not. So, what's on your workbench at the moment?
I have 4 scarf joint necks in different stages of work.
A 25" scale pine 5 string neck for a Banjo-Res, A 25" scale Red Oak neck for my 6 string Strat-Res build, A 24 & 1/2" scale Red Oak neck for my 6 string Double Cut Tele build and a 27" scale 6 string Baritone Conversion neck for a Modern Strat body I have.
A fret will work, but you'll need to put some grooves on it to keep the strings from wandering around while playing.
If you've every looked at a Gibson style guitar you'll notice that the bridge is angled. It's important to have that angle because each string has it's own length measurement above or below the Scale measurement. The lower strings(E-A-D) will be slightly longer than the scale length while the higher strings(G-B-E) will be shorter than the scale length. So the solid bridge will be placed at an angle. I find that placing the low string side 3mm towards the rear of the guitar and the high string side 3mm towards the neck of the guitar works best for intonation on a 6 string guitar. 3 or 4 string guitars will be different depending on which strings used and some people find that using the middle strings don't need much of an angle to get the intonation close enough.
Just be mindful of the angle and find the best spot for the placement before finally securing the bridge to the body.
When I am setting up bridge position, I look at it this way.
I get the scale length plotted, say 25”. Now if I tune the guitar strings to concert pitch with the saddle straight, that is all strings at 25”, at this point they will all play in tune. Open.
If I then press down on the 1st string, say at the 12 fret, it should sound the same but an octave higher. However due to the stretching of the string on its way down to the fret it goes tighter and so the pitch goes up. Its not ‘E’ but ‘E’ plus say 2-3 cents, or whatever.
The same with the low ‘E’ string only as this string is thicker and normally higher than the high ‘E’ it stretches further and so its pitch could be ‘E’ plus say 4-5 cents.
So, I compensate the treble approximately ‘E’ 3/32” back [lengthening the scale length and the bass ‘E’ back approximately 7/32” which lowers the string pitch and tension but I then retune to concert pitch to give me a close starting point for setting the intonation.
The amount of compensation needed is a result of differing scale lengths, different string gauges and different string heights from the fingerboard. All of which effect the stretching rates of the strings.
Part of my method for achieving good/better intonation on my acoustic guitar builds is shown here and done while the bridge is still movable.
Photo one shows bridge sitting at scale length position with compensation as described above. The guitar is set up with intended gauge strings and action height and tuned to concert.
Photo Two shows the device I made to fine tune the positioning.
Photo Three shows bridge being moved back until correct tuning is achieved, shown by the Boss tuner. The knob on the left of the device moves the bridge, the knob on the right lock’s things in place.
There are a few other variables to address later, but a wide saddle gives me even more room for adjustment if needed.
Wow Taff, do you make and sell the device, have plans for it, or information to get one? I have learn a lot from you and whole heartily appreciated every scrap of knowledge.
Great jig taff, a good jig makes everything that much easier?
Hi, thanks for the comments guys. Here are a couple of detailed photos of the jig. I made it out of leftover parts from some of the Makita Trimmers I have, and other odds and ends.
Not shown in the earlier photos, but the bridge clamps to the jig and so is able to be worked back and forth during fine tuning.
Thank you for all that fine information, Taffy. As always, a well-thought out post with tons of experience. I really appreciate it.
Awesome Jig Taffy.
Hi, thanks for your comments everybody, if somebody gets something out of this I'm happy.
I will find the photos of the non jig method just as a matter of interest.
As a matter of fact, Taffy, I'm interested.
Hi Ray, l checked my photo collection (thank god for the digital age) must be 3000 photos, maybe more, looks like I lost some of The early ones. I'll make up a post of that method, watch this space......or one like it.
Since I don't have a workbench at this time, I did stack out my new to be built workshop. It's going to be 12' by 20' and have a sloped roof of 10' on one side and 8' on the other. It'll have a gutter on the low side with one down spout that will feed a 55 gallon barrel for watering my tomatoes and the wife's flowers.