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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:40 pm 
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First name: Gil
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I have a 1980's Guild F-50 in the shop for a new bridge. I believe the original bridge has been shaved down. Could someone with a correct original Guild bridge please tell me the thickness of the bridge at the center just in front of the saddle? Also the thickness just in front of the saddle at the low E and high E strings would be useful. Also any close up pics would be very helpful showing the side profile and front of the bridge (although I am sure I will find plenty of good pics on the internet :)). Thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:37 pm 
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I can't help with the measurements but I will share an anecdote. A fellow brought a beautiful blond maple Guild 12 string to me to have it set up - the action was kind of high. I told him I couldn't lower it any more and the guitar needed a neck reset. I also told him that I did not want to do it because of the way Guild finishes with the neck on - gave him the names of a couple of people with more experience.

Sometime later he came back to me wanting an under saddle transducer pickup installed (he had the pup, bought it somewhere on the internet). I took some measurements, told him that whoever had "fixed" his action had shaved the bridge instead of resetting the neck and if I was to shave the bottom of the saddle for the pickup it would probably be too weak and might break the bridge. I also told him that I have better luck with sound board piezo transducers (K&K) instead of UST's on 12 strings. He took his guitar and pickup and went somewhere else.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:29 pm 
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Seems like shaving bridges was common a handful of decades ago. I hate to hear that there are some people still doing that nowadays.

There shouldn't be any need to shave the bottom of the saddle to install an undersaddle pickup, just drill a little hole in the bottom of the saddle for the wire to go through. Unless, what you are saying is the saddle slot wasn't deep enough because the bridge had been shaved.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:39 pm 
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Goodin wrote:
Seems like shaving bridges was common a handful of decades ago. I hate to hear that there are some people still doing that nowadays.

There shouldn't be any need to shave the bottom of the saddle to install an undersaddle pickup, just drill a little hole in the bottom of the saddle for the wire to go through. Unless, what you are saying is the saddle slot wasn't deep enough because the bridge had been shaved.


Shaving bridges is common in situations where they either can't afford to have the neck reset or the tech/luthier in question is stuck in the 1980s and refuses to accept that there are better ways now.

Edit for clarity: on a very cheap guitar I do think that it is perfectly acceptable to shave the bridge. What I am taking issue with are the techs that insist that shaving the bridge down super thin on a nice guitar (Martin/Gibson) is perfectly acceptable and should be done to avoid a neck reset. I have had multiple very nice acoustics in my shop that had both the fingerboard and the bridge shaved down too thin by well meaning repair folks.

So, for clarity sake, I do not have an issue with shaving the bridge on a cheapo guitar. I have issue with the people that insist it's a viable way to make a nice guitar play better.

When you install an undersaddle pickup it raises the action slightly, to keep it consistent to what it was before (and likely what the player is used to) you do have to lower the saddle slightly. If you're not doing this then the action is raising according to the thickness of the pickup you install.

What it sounds like happened with Freeman's story is that the bridge had been shaved down which lowered the height of the bridge and also made the saddle slot shallow. If he put the pickup in there he'd have to shave down the saddle even farther which would result in too low of a break angle on the saddle thus giving a weak tone because there's no pressure on the bridge. If the saddle slot is too shallow too, then the saddle sits too high even if it's shaved down a bit, this puts pressure on only the upper portion of the bridge which can (and usually does) break the bridge.


Last edited by DanKirkland on Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:07 am 
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I shave the bridge in instances where the guitar is worth less than a neck reset. Customers choice of course.

I'm sure that Freeman was talking about the saddle slot depth being too shallow and the saddle would probably be tipping.

New username, same ole Pat Macaluso!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:37 am 
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So besides a neck reset how do you avoid shaving the bridge???

I shave bridges when that is what is needed and appropriate like guitars that are not worth the cost of a reset. The pros and cons are always explained including the UST problems if one is ever wanted. The choice is always the customers. This is a service industry and I serve the client on the other side of my counter whenever possible in the manner he wants.

Sending people out the door by refusing to do a $50-$75 fix on a $200 dollar guitar because you think it needs a $500 neck set is a great way to get a bad reputation among local players.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:48 am 
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Good point on shaving bridges on cheap instruments. Makes sense.

I've only installed a few undersaddle pickups but when I did I lowered the saddle to compensate for the height of the new pickup. There was plenty of saddle slot depth though.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:31 am 
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Koa
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Goodin wrote:
Good point on shaving bridges on cheap instruments. Makes sense.

I've only installed a few undersaddle pickups but when I did I lowered the saddle to compensate for the height of the new pickup. There was plenty of saddle slot depth though.


I agree about shaving bridges on cheap guitars - I'll even admit to having done it.

Every time I've installed a UST I have had to sand 50 thousands off the bottom of the saddle to maintain the old action. If the player wants something else then thats the time to do it.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:14 pm 
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Koa
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B. Howard wrote:
So besides a neck reset how do you avoid shaving the bridge???

I shave bridges when that is what is needed and appropriate like guitars that are not worth the cost of a reset. The pros and cons are always explained including the UST problems if one is ever wanted. The choice is always the customers. This is a service industry and I serve the client on the other side of my counter whenever possible in the manner he wants.

Sending people out the door by refusing to do a $50-$75 fix on a $200 dollar guitar because you think it needs a $500 neck set is a great way to get a bad reputation among local players.


That is not what I meant. What I was referring to are the techs that get a good guitar (Gibson/Martin) and insist that they don't need a neck reset and just shave the bridge down to a wafer.

I should've been clearer with what I wrote so I apologize for not being specific. Shaving a bridge on a cheap guitar is fine.

What I have issue with and do not like seeing are the techs that do everything possible to avoid a neck reset and do more damage than good. I hope that made my point a little clearer. Not knocking shaving bridges just those techs that think it's the best solution no matter what the guitar is.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:41 pm 
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Since I never got an answer to my initial question I thought I would post how I proceeded, for future reference. I decided to make the bridge thickness the same as how I make Martin style bridges and it worked out just fine. The fretboard thickness and fretboard radius is about the same as a Martin, so I was confident this would work out ok. Plus I was doing a neck reset so had some wiggle room. I made the thickness of the bridge in the center just in front of the saddle .360", at the bass string .350", and treble string .320".

Many Guild bridges had the transition to the wings rounded over including this one, but I think a sharp transition looks much better so I went with that.

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These users thanked the author Goodin for the post: Clinchriver (Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:40 am)
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:52 am 
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Came out looking good. I agree the sharp transition looks better.

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These users thanked the author SteveSmith for the post: Goodin (Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:57 pm)
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:41 am 
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Excellent!



These users thanked the author Clinchriver for the post: Goodin (Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:40 am)
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:35 pm 
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Koa
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Definitely an improvement! nice work



These users thanked the author DanKirkland for the post: Goodin (Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:39 pm)
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