1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

DIY Gotoh or Rutters style grooves on vintage saddles

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by PeterUK, Feb 11, 2021.

  1. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    6,499
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    I've used search but can't locate what I'm looking for so here I go.

    Has anyone created Gotoh or Rutters style grooves on vintage brass saddles?

    I'd buy Rutters stuff in a heatbeat but since Brexit, COVID and the end of the world, importing from the USA is expensive and takes forever. It might be quicker if I walked and swam there and back!

    I use the Gotoh's on contempory builds and the 'grooves' look machined - and to honest, a little clinical. They do intonate superbly though.

    But I'm looking to recreate something similar to the vintage look Marc Rutters creates.

    I can get vintage-style brass saddles for look change but before I start, does anyone have any tips, tricks and advice.

    Thanks in advance. :)

    AEF9B2A8-453D-470E-8757-934DF67FBA02.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2021
    BorderRadio likes this.
  2. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    565
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2016
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I’ve been curious about this idea myself.

    I would think if you came up with offset compensation lines for each string, and could mark them on the saddles while they were installed in the bridge, you could then remove the saddles and file the grooves with a nut slotting file.
     
    PeterUK likes this.
  3. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    6,499
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    If you look at what Marc Rutters has done it seems to be two ellipses of different widths to form a tadpole shape.

    I've got some cheap saddles I'm going to try it on. Mark the tadpoles with a Sharpie and try doing the bigger shape first and add the tail, and vice versa. :)
     
  4. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    565
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2016
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I really don’t think the shape has anything special about it. I have a set of the Rutter’s steel saddles with the compensation grooves. I would assume they are done with a milling machine somehow. His method of doing it may be the cause of the large and small groove combination. All I think really matters is the location of the U shaped ridge that’s formed where the two grooves meet. That will be the point from which your string vibrates.
     
  5. LuckyJinx

    LuckyJinx Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    135
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Location:
    Portsmouth, Shire of Hamp
    To me they sort of look like two slots cut as tangents to the barrel, meeting to form a lip, and one of them is deeper so the tool cuts it a bit wider. It doesn't look like the shape of the slot is meant to have any particular effect.
     
    PeterUK likes this.
  6. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    565
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2016
    Location:
    Arkansas

    I think this is a very accurate description. I have a set of the Rutters saddles and that is how it looks to me. I haven’t a clue how he cuts the grooves, but I would assume it’s done in some mechanized way with a jig or something that ensures they are the same every time. I notice the larger/wider/deeper groove alternates sides, so I would assume that it is not for string vibration clearance or any thing like that. I think it’s just how the machine cuts them based on where the grooves need to meet.
     
    PeterUK likes this.
  7. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    6,499
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    But both the Rutters & Gotoh have the same shape.

    So is the assumption that the shape of the 'groove' is the result of a machining technique or tool?

    I understand Marc was the first to make this commercially available with Gotoh following his lead but would Gotoh have followed the shape if it didn't have purpose.

    The shape does allow the stings to move naturally? Or otherwise a simple 'nut style' groove would suffice?

    Apologies, more questions than answers. I haven't had chance to experiment. :)
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
  8. yegbert

    yegbert Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,365
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    Maryland (US)
    An admirable effort! Could you carefully plan where to make the grooves and then have a CNC execute the cuts? Maybe customize the grooves for each position? I’d love to see your results!

    Surely a relatively soft brass would be easier than a harder steel. But if you’re enterprising enough...
     
  9. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    12,381
    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    the grooves are asymmetrical, with the apex creating the actual saddle. recreating that is gonna take a very high level of skill...

    You may realize a more rewarding experience if you simply continue using whatever you have until you can order the genuine article... There's been a hellova lotta great music recorded with saddles with NO compensation, and/or whatever compensation you currently have.

    I've seen so many guitars boogered by good intentioned amateurs, using the incorrect tools with no knowledge as to how to go about accomplishing the desired task.

    r
     
    igor5 and PeterUK like this.
  10. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    6,499
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    Ron, ain't that the truth!

    I always love your down-to-earth no-nonsense posts.

    Thank you. :D
     
  11. LuckyJinx

    LuckyJinx Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    135
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Location:
    Portsmouth, Shire of Hamp
    What I was saying is this. Imagine those greys half cylinders are the paths of your round nosed milling head and the greenish yellow thing is your saddle blank. You run the tool one way to cut the deeper groove, roll the barrel by 30 degrees, lift the cutting head 1mm or so and run it back along the same path, and the result is a cut that is very similar to the picture.

    toolpaths2.png after cutting.png

    If you line up a whole bunch of brass rods on the mill bed and build some sort of jig to speed up rolling them the 30º you can get a fairly big batch of saddles with compensation grooves cut in a very short time.

    N.B.: I don't really know the first thing about machining, I'm just taking some guesses about how it might be possible to do this assuming certain capabilities in the tool. It might also be possible to move a tray of rods under a fixed cutting head, that may be more plausible (this was also my first attempt at a CAD tool, so I probably didn't do a very good job).
     
    gerhard_k, yegbert and PeterUK like this.
  12. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    6,499
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    Thanks for this. I missed your post at the time. :)
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.