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I bought a used guitar and this is the saddle that was installed. It is to be replaced because it's too short and the top doesn't have the proper radius. As you can see, the first thing I tried was to glue on an ebony shim but it really needs a properly-shaped saddle so I sanded off most of the ebony.

The tan-colored "blotches" seem to be on the material and don't remove with sandpaper or soap and water...

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It seems to be real unbleached bone. The different coloured zones are due to different density and natural pigmentation. It's not the best quality of bone you can find. Some fellows, in another forum, advice about a saddle made of ebony, snakewood, lignum vitae or other hardwoods. It seems the tone and sustain will improve dramatically. I've not experienced jet, but sure worth a try.
Good luck
Antonio
Well, that makes perfect sense. I've never actually seen a piece of bone on a guitar other than the bleached-white ones and the "vintage" ones that are bleached and then dyed. Not sure about the hardwood saddles, I'm sure they would work and all but honestly

I've never used a properly-fitted and sized bone one and thought that the saddle was holding back the guitar's tone. This one was killing it because it's so low and flat there were buzzes on the B and D strings and just not a lot of "action" to work with. There's a temporary bleached-bone one in there now that improved the sound immensely. Hmmm, lignum vitae would be a very interesting one to try...

Thanks, Antonio.
Looks like unbleached bone?
Tommy, don't you think it is?
Brent, you should try this email: treeroot4@hotmail.com This guy, Gary Bowles, seems to be a real specialist about saddles materials and how they affect the guitar's tone and sustain. He's somewhere in the U.K. but don't know where or if he's got a web site.
Antonio, I didn't see your reply when posting. The '?' was me visually guessing. Yes, unbleached bone. I like it just fine too. I don't see or hear that much difference other than it tends to not flake/crumble as much as the bleached ones when working it. .
I just asked to have confirmation on what I supposed it would be.
Now (and this is an argument I posted a few days ago), I often hear people saying that bleached bone is more fragile and prone to crack. I think it depends the way one tries to do it. The first time I wanted save time, so I put the bones with all the marrow, grease and various disgusting things in a solution of caustic soda (if the word is correct) to accelerate the process. I practically MELT everything, bone too. Then I started experimenting with oxygenated water and ammonia after taken away all the fleshy parts. I find it useful. Bones stay strong and white. The rest is a question of visual taste. White or Jellowish, the density of the bone is more important.
Ciao.
The regular bleached ones I've gotten from StewMac will sometimes crumble a tiny bit along an edge. And even if you polish them up they still look a little grainy.

So I like this unbleached stuff. Seems like something to keep an eye out for, maybe buy a couple blanks for the next time I want to make a saddle.
Looks bony to me. A good test, should you care to undertake it, is very simple - just bite it. If you bite bone or ivory GENTLY, you should get the sensation of biting your own teeth together.
Take a hot pin, red hot ,and touch the saddle and if it is bone it will smell like burning fingernails and plastic smells like plastic and ivory has a different smell. Ty each that you know and remember the smell. Bone smells horrible when sanding with a belt sander and my daughter will yell No Dad don't sand that while i am here!!

Ron
Whoever had something to do with the dentist drill knows very well how ivory and bone smell when sanded!
Send it to the CDC for testing....looks from here a little like ivory or whale or seal.

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