A Little Detour . . . Making a Compensation Jig!

Sunday, September 26th, 2010:

Well, it's been about two weeks since I last did an update. School has been really taking up my time, so I haven't really had much of a chance to work on the uke.

In the past few weeks, as I mentioned earlier, I had been putting out queries on different ukulele forums as to how to determine my exact bridge and saddle placement for this Kasha low-D tuning baritone ukulele. I got all sorts of different responses, with no really clearly definitive answer. Some said use a straight saddle, while others said to use a slanted saddle. There were also all sorts of differing opinions as to exactly how much compensation to add to the scale length. It was all pretty confusing and indefinite.

Thus, I decided to follow a suggestion I got from a couple of people — I decided to build myself a saddle compensation jig, which I could use to figure out the proper compensation to add for just about any stringed instrument I would build. The first one I had ever seen was on David Hurd's ukulele site here. I also saw one on the OLF site here.

I decided to try to build the OLF version. So....I started it last weekend (September 19th), gathering and buying the various components and making the simple scarf-jointed neck blank with legs. Today I found some more time, and completed what you see in these photos. What I still need to do, hopefully next week, is to shape the nut and saddle, string it up, and see how it works.









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  1. Scatterbrained — Odds 'n' Ends
  2. Soundport and Closing Up the Box
  3. On to the Binding
  4. Beginning the Neck
  5. The Neck, Day 2
  6. The Neck, Day 3
  7. The Allen Wrench Dilemma and the Peghead
  8. Bridge Shaping and Neck Fitting
  9. The Deck is Finished! The Fingerboard is Glued!
  10. Neck Carved, Finish Sanding, Wash Coat, Pore-Filling, Sanding, Sealing, Tru-Oil
  11. Paraffin Oil Polishing and Finishing it All Up!
  12. Saddle Compensation Jig
  13. REALLY Finishing It Up Now!!!



Saturday, October 23rd, 2010:

I'm back.....finally!!! Didn't have any papers to grade this weekend, so I found some time to continue on the uke. Actually, last weekend, I did find a little time to string up the compensation jig and do a little fiddling around with it. I clipped my little Korg guitar tuner onto the peghead, and, plucked the 12th fret harmonic and the 12th fretted note. I adjusted the saddle position until I got both notes to match.

It turns out that the best placement of the saddle was with the center of the 1/8" saddle, at its midpoint (between the 3rd and 2nd strings), at 20-7/32" from the nut. That means that I needed to add 3/32" compensation to the 20-1/8" scale length of this uke. I used the Kasha-style bridge with the slanted saddle, as I am tuning this baritone to low D-G-B-E.

So....it turns out that, with this slanted saddle, the saddle at the low-D string is at 20-9/32", at the midpoint of the saddle (between the G and the B string) is at 20-7/32", and at the E string is at 20-5/32".




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