Tools and Materials:
3/4″ Hardwood Scrap:
Stationary Belt Sander
10″ Table Saw
Woodworkers Marking Knife
Woodworkers Try Square
Plastic Tipped Hammer:
Titebond III Glue
Self-Lubricating Jig Plastic – 1/8″ Thick:
Brad Point Drill Set
Dremel Moto Tool 4000:
1/4 x 20 x Female Steel Clamping Knobs 3/4″ Knob Diameter:
Saddle Channel Routing Jig:
Sometimes it may seem a bit frivolous to have a special tool for just one cutting operation, but you will not appreciate the convenience of this jig once you have completely ruined a fully finished belly bridge, prism bridge or classical guitar bridge by a router slipping every so slightly.
I first developed this gadget for my father who raved about it”s usefulness and how easy it was to set up and use. He had several failures in cutting the saddle channel in bridges and way expressing total frustration. This little jig did the trick. That first jig was a crude version of the one you see here. This refined jig has total control over saddle angle, cutting length and clamping an holding ability. Quite a few refinements.
How To Make The Saddle Channel Routing Jig:
The plans for the jig are very precise and very well noted and dimensioned, so I will just cover some of the highlights and details you should pay attention to here.
1. By all means use the Knurled Metal Knobs for this jig. Not only will they give you precise adjustment, they will make this jig a masterpiece in your shop. They will give you the adjustment you need and the strength that is needed as well.
2. Make sure you order or purchase your Carriage Bolts before you cut the adjustment slots and the channels for the bolt head to travel. There are variations from bolt manufacturer to manufacturer and you should have them in hand before you start your milling processes.
3. You can cut the slots and channels with hand tools and I don’t really want to discourage that, but you will save tons of time if you have access to a router table. With this handy little bench top or stationary tool you can precisely cut all of these difficult slots, channels etc. in not time.
4. Make sure you test fit your holes, slots channels etc. in scrap pieces of wood with the actual bolts before you try it on the jig. You want to have free movement in the adjustment bolts and not have them bind up. (You don’t want them too loose either.)
5. Be sure you laminate the 1/8″ piece of template plastic on the edge of the jig. This will allow easy travel of the restraining block without binding.
6. Make slight radius cuts on all edges of this jig. You are placing the jig on a completely finished guitar in most cases and it is easy to put a ding in that new finish with a sharp jig edge or corner.
7. Glue a piece of 1/16″ sheet rubber on the bottom of the jig. This will keep the jig in place.
8. Make your own Dremel Router Base. I have given you a pattern that I used from my Dremel Router, but yours may be slightly different and you will then need to make adjustments to the jig dimensions. Clear Plexiglas will allow better viewing of the router at work and there will be much less ‘blind area’.
The Saddle Channel Routing Jig Plans:
The plans for the Saddle Channel Routing Jig are available at the Georgia Luthier Supply. I have priced this very reasonably at $5.99.
The plans, as all my plans are very detailed and to full scale so you can choose to make templates from them, or you can follow the very complete dimensions in both decimal inches or mm.
The plans are on one sheet of 24″ x 36″ paper and available as a PDF instant download.
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