Making A Bone Saddle
This 1964 Hagstrom J45/H45 is in for a new nut and saddle. The original saddle had been worn low from years of use and at some point a small piece of metal was placed on the bridge to prop the strings up.
This guitar has a Martin style open end saddle rather than the more common drop in saddle that's found on most guitars. The first step was to remove the old saddle by gently tapping it out sideways. There was no glue holding it in and it came out easily.
A bone saddle of this size wasn't available off the shelf so I opted to shape one from a blank of cow bone. As it is, the blank is too tall, long and wide to fit. The worst is removed on the belt sander and then a finer grit sand paper is used on a flat surface to reduce the saddle thickness down to around 3.2mm.
The saddle is placed in the slot and the bridge profile is traced onto the blank. The final saddle height can now me measured and is marked using the correct radius gauge that matches the shape of the fretboard.
The excess material is removed using the belt sander and a radius sanding block, which for this guitar is a 12".
The top of the saddle is shaped and filed to improve the intonation before being sanded with micro mesh papers up to a fine shine.