Using The Saddle Channel Routing Jig

How The Jig Works:

The jig is very easy to use. The first thing you do need to do however is to bring your bridge to a fully finished state before you cut the channel. Now I say need to, but really that isn’t essential. I just prefer to do it that way is all.

You can go ahead and glue the bridge in place on the guitar with all but the saddle channel routed in place. After that is finished by can make your final measurements for string scale length and mark that on the center of the saddle between the 3rd and 4th strings. (Now do you understand why I like to complete finish the bridge and install it?) Yep, that’s right, this makes for a higher level of accuracy when it comes to that all-important saddle location.

Scribe a line on the bridge for the centerline of the length of the saddle, and make your compensation adjustments as well.

Take your scribe or a scratch awl and put a hole at each end of the saddle. This hole will be at the radius point of each end of the saddle. What I mean by this is if your saddle is 3/32″ thick, you would place this location hole 3/64″ IN from the end of the bridge to allow for the saddle radius.

Now take your Saddle Channel Routing Jig and place it on the guitar top.

GLS Tip #1: Since the guitar is completely finished, I would recommend that you glue a piece of sheet rubber on the bottom of the jig to protect the fragile guitar finish. The rubber will also help keep the jig in position when cutting the channel.

Ultimate Guitar Building Tip #2: When building the jig, be sure to put a slight radius on all the sharp corners and edges to protect the finished guitar. Just a small bump or oops from a sharp corner of this jig on the finish can put a unsightly ding in the finish and you have now double your repair time on this instrument.

Clamp The Jig In Place:

Shove the jig against the front of the bridge and place the bridge restraints into place to tightly hold each end of the bridge. Tighten up the knurled knobs of each restraint.

Set the Dremel Router against the Aluminum Bar Fence, lower the bit so it is flush with the top of the bridge. Try to use a 3/32″ downcut carbide bit with straight cut sides for the easiest operation. Align the metal fence so the router base travels parallel with the line you scribed on the bridge and make sure that the router bit travels exactly down the center of this line.

You will need to make several small adjustments but if you keep the knurled adjustment knobs just snugged up a little bit you can just tap the fence with a plastic tipped hammer for adjustment.

Next move the router to the left end and center the bit dead center over the ending hole that you made with the scratch awl. Now move the knurled stop knob into position and tighten it down. Move the router to the right end and do the same.

Now all you need to do is set the cutting depth to about 1/2 the required depth and make a pass. Set the bit to the final depth and make your final pass and it is all done. That was easy!

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