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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Harmony H-45 Stratotone question

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by 67_tele, Jul 5, 2017.

  1. 67_tele

    67_tele TDPRI Member

    Age:
    32
    49
    Dec 5, 2009
    NYC,NY
    hey everyone,

    Just picked up a really cool old h45. The bridge on it is plastic and I want to get a real one. What do you suggest? I found an actual one from an old h-45 but the seller wants $100 for it, which, for a guitar I bought for $250 seems kind of crazy. If I were to buy just a wooden bridge and slot the saddles myself is that doable? I would think if not done properly that would cause intonation issues? Any help would be appreciated.
     

  2. Zepfan

    Zepfan Friend of Leo's

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    Check out Stewmac if you don't want to keep it original parts.
     

  3. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Tele-Holic

    Age:
    55
    607
    Jun 7, 2017
    GCDB
    Is the whole thing plastic or just the saddle? Harmony often used cheep plastic saddles in later years. If so you should be able to just replace that with Tusq or something similar. As for intonation, you will never get it perfect, on such a basic system, the saddle slots are more for side to side spacing, and to hold the strings in place although you want that to be well done for best playability. Intonation on these is basically done by sliding the bridge back and forth (slightly) and then perhaps angling it a bit. If whats on there is beat a number of suitable replacements are available online.
     

  4. 4 Cat Slim

    4 Cat Slim Friend of Leo's

    Oct 17, 2012
    Nelson City TX
    H-45 Harmonys used a 2-piece wooden bridge (a base, and a bridge piece) with two thumbwheel adjustment screws. The bridge is held in place by string tension.

    As the bridge base is not arched, you should be able to fabricate something in a dark or dark-stained wood that will serve the purpose.

    The upper part of the bridge is slotted to locate and space the strings.
    Check out this link for Harmony photos:http://harmony.demont.net/guitars/H45/132.htm

    Good luck with your project!
     

  5. 67_tele

    67_tele TDPRI Member

    Age:
    32
    49
    Dec 5, 2009
    NYC,NY
    It's just the saddle that's plastic, the base is wood. I've attached a photo of it so you can see. If I use a Tusq, what's the process for slotting the saddle? Do I just use a file and be sure to space them correctly? There must be some kind of science for how far down to file the slots I would think? Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:


  6. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Tele-Holic

    Age:
    55
    607
    Jun 7, 2017
    GCDB
    These are the instructions I used when fitting a new saddle to my mandolin, the concept is the same...
    If you feel that the previous spacing felt good for you, then you can try transfering those locations to the new saddle, or you can string it up over the unnotched saddle to get a feel for the spacing. I wouldn't do this at full tension because it will mark the saddle. Maybe half tension. You can look at and feel the spacing to see if it's what you want. The grooves don't have to be cut extremely deep, in the beginning they only need be deep enough to keep the string in it's place and the slightest scoring will often suffice. You may find that the middle strings will stay where you put them just from the string pressure when they are tuned up, which gives you the opportunity to try out different spacings before committing to them.
    A small triangular file works well for the wound strings, and a sharp blade can be enough for the plain strings. After they are tuned up they eventually settle in a bit. Always angle the slots back towards the tailpiece so the strings bear on the front-most edge of the saddle to avoid intonation problems, always keeping in mind that you can take more off, but putting back is difficult.
     
    Cam and Zepfan like this.

  7. zhyla

    zhyla TDPRI Member

    40
    Aug 30, 2013
    Northern Hemisphere
    That's not what the original bridge looked like. The original is height adjustable. But you can make that work.

    String spacing... take two straight edges and lay them parallel to either side of the neck and offset from the neck where you think the strings should go. Measure the distance where they cross the bridge and divide that by 5 to get the string spacing.
     

  8. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    55
    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    Some of the original bridges looked like that.
    You can probably google search a pic of Richie Valens' Stratotone.
    Same bridge.
     

  9. BradKM

    BradKM Tele-Holic

    884
    Apr 27, 2003
    Charlotte, NC

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