Setting bridge position on new build...

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by NickyTyler, May 29, 2020.

  1. NickyTyler

    NickyTyler TDPRI Member

    Apr 1, 2011
    Hi all...

    First guitar "build" here... Made a body, transplanting a donor neck and now need to mount my bridge... It's a hardtail and my scale is 25.5". So from reading different sources I've gathered the easiest way to mount is mark a line across at 25.5" and position the saddles roughly around the middle of the bridge, then match the line up with the point of the saddle the string runs through.. pretty much at the point between the height adjust hex screws.

    Seems easy enough... Just wanted to confirm best position to have the saddles in when matching up to the line at 25.5" using this method to allow room for intonation both ways.. I've seen different sources suggest positioning them at 1/2, 2/3, or 3/4 their range... Can someone confirm?

    Thanks so much!
  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    If you are intonating, you are moving the saddle away from the scale length measurement. If you are drilling for a bridge by hand you may want some wiggle room. I move my saddles back some to compensate for drilling and mounting error. Probably 10% from maximum forward travel, as I've done this for a while. The top dead center of the saddle goes on the scale length measurement( after its been adjusted back 10% or so.) IT depends on how much travel you have on a bridge too. A Gibson Nashville has more usable travel than an ABR-1 as an example.

    Check out around post 129 in this thread I did.
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
  3. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

    Aug 22, 2018
    There are three ways to approach this. First, you always add length to a string from its scale length to compensate it, you never shorten it. If you put the middle of the saddle adjustment at the scale you are effectively throwing away half of the travel. A more reasonable approach is to put the most forward position of the saddle at the scale.

    A second way to do this is to use the fret calculator at StewMac's web site. After you have run the calcs there is a little chart at the bottom that will give the location of every bridge that they sell based on that scale. They will give you a convenient point to measure to on the bridge - usually a mounting hole.

    The third way is to actually do the math for the string gauges that you intend to use. I doubt that you want to go thru this but if you do I can point you to a wizard that will do it for you.
  4. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    a simple method is to run the e 1st about 80%. of the way out.. then measure from the inside edge of the nut to the break point on that first saddle... I say 80% so it leaves a little room for any "weirdness" that may pop up requiring an even shorter e 1st leg..

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