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Building the bridge - Telecaster

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by Missing Link, Nov 30, 2020.

  1. Missing Link

    Missing Link Tele-Meister

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    Hey folks just getting ready to set the new home for a Strat/Teley bridge for a Strat/Teley (Teley body) build.
    Question is the measurement- Would this be correct?
    This is what has been does so far:
    Measured from under (inside of the nut) with straight edge ruler to middle of 12 fret - reads 12"-3/8"
    X 2 = 25.75"
    Set the High "E" saddle out from the backside of the bridge (or 3/4 on the treads)
    Measured to were the string comes off the front of the saddle "High E" or from the hex screw.
    Would this be a correct setting for the bridge?

    Cheers

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  2. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Afflicted

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    12-6/8 or 12-3/4" x 2 = 25.5"

    You want to measure 25.5" on the high "e" saddle, with the saddle positioned near the limit of its travel towards the neck - in other words your numbers in your post are probably just a scrivener's error. That saddle looks like it needs to go further forward as the saddle looks already maxed on the intonation screw.
     
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  3. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Link, we have recently had at least two long discussions about this at the DIY subforum, in both cases builders put the bridge in the wrong place and didn't have enough adjustment to properly compensate their guitars. I'm not going to rehash the whole discussion (and frankly there was a bunch of bad information presented) but I'll summarize what I know and do.

    First, if you go thru the theory of why you need to compensate you will know that you always ADD distance from the nut to the open string length, and that the amount is a function of the diameter of the string CORE, its unit weight, and the action height. Luthier RM Mottola has a wonderful wizard on his web page that lets you calculate the theoretical compensation for almost any instrument, scale, string material, etc. If I run it for the smallest reasonable electric guitar string (9 - 42) with 25.5 scale and reasonable action the wizard says I need 0.050 compensation for the high E and 0.274 for the low E. Those are good numbers to shoot for.

    In practice what I do is mark the uncompensated scale just has you have done - 25.500. Move the saddles as far forward as you can and place the break point right over the scale line. You know you will never need to move the saddle farther forward than that (which is the common mistake) - clamp the bridge in place and confirm that you can move the low E saddle at least a quarter of an inch farther - I like to see more since phatter strings will require more that what I gave above.

    This works for any saddle on any guitar. You might approach it slightly differently with a ToM or a bone bridge on an acoustic, but the principal is the same. Put the break point of the saddle when it is at its most forward adjustment on the uncompensated scale and you should have enough adjustment to compensate it.
     
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  4. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    There is good reason why ToM style bridges don't sit perpendicular to the center line on any guitar you might recognize that uses that style bridge. There is a good chance that there will not be enough room to intonate on a ToM, especially with heavier strings, if you place the bridge along a line which is perpendicular to the center line. You need extra length on the low E side. I typically layout a perpendicular line at the scale length and then add about 1/16" to 3/32" to the length on the treble side, and add about 1/4" on the bass side.

    I like to have a small amount of adjustment on both the treble and bass side to shorten the string length but I agree that having more adjustment available to lengthen the string length is more important.
     
  5. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    ^^^ Same argument applies to an acoustic guitar bridge. Most fender style bridges have adequate adjustment if they are set perpendicular to the strings.
     
  6. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    Yep. That has been my experience as well.
     
  7. Missing Link

    Missing Link Tele-Meister

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    What I did with the saddles was to screw Both "E" saddle in to were they bottomed out on the springs (end of travel) measured what thread was left on the screw ends in MM than calculated were 3/4 of travel out towards the neck would be then set the saddle using the front of the hex screw as the brake for the 25.5. This gives me some forward movement for the High "E" and plenty for the Low "E" as it seems the low e is always close to the rear of the bridge. I believe I can move the High "E" string forward if needed at least 1/4" as you stated.
    The measurement from the nut to the 12th fret center is 12-3/8" (12.75" x2=25.5") how did I miss that:D
    Pictures are always helpful so I am showing a few, one is I almost screwed up and had one on the two short screws out of the six that is meant for the Low E and A on the High "E" saddle.
    I am showing were I have all the screws now set for the High-E, would this be enough or should is go out some more towards the nut? also do you guys use the roll off of the saddle end for the 25.5" for the high "E" saddle as the reference line before screwing the bridge down.
    I appreciate your input and hope the pictures are a help.

    Cheers

    Stay safe


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  8. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    This isn't the picture I wanted but it shows a well compensated bridge on a guitar with medium gauge strings. It one of the Gotoh modern bridges but the idea is the same

    IMG_6613.JPG

    The break point for the low E is a hair more than a 1/4 inch of compensation, the high E is just a tad past the 25.5 mark (just what the theory said). An interesting thing is how much more compensation the 0.046 6th string requires over the 0.036 5th - again, related to the core diameter and the unit mass, predicted by the wizard)
     
  9. Missing Link

    Missing Link Tele-Meister

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    I usually put 9s or 8s for strings on but if I sell the guitar I want it to accommodate what other may use. On my last Telecaster build it seemed as my low E barely made adjustment as it seemed to bottom out were I had to remove half the spring in order for it to go back a touch further.
    Hence this post so I can get it dead on at both E strings.
    I will set the high string at the 25.5" mark and as the picture shows maybe move the saddle towards the nut a few turns. I guess my biggest concern is the low E bottoming out.

    Thank you so much for the guidance information.

    Cheers
     
  10. McGlamRock

    McGlamRock Poster Extraordinaire

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    Looks like it'll be a cool guitar when you're done!
     
  11. Missing Link

    Missing Link Tele-Meister

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    Thank you, I sure hope so. Still have not decided to have a pick guard with routed face surface or just an open face (no pick guard) with the knobs and pickups installed from the back.

    Cheers
     
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