I guess the title says (asks) it all. I am wondering what those of you who re-set Martin necks (with pyramid bridges) use for the finished saddle height above the bridge? I like 1/8th" protruding on a belly bridge with a long (glue in) saddle...5/32" on a belly bridge with "drop in" saddle but wanted to see what you other folks shoot for on a pyramid bridge??

All the best,
Dennis the Menace in Eugene

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WHAT IS A pyramid bridge??
A pyramid bridge is the classic style of pin bridge that has the "pyramid" shape on the wings. A lot of vintage Martin's have them.

Seems like the saddle vert.measurement should be determined by existing neck/fretboard angle not a preconceived 1/8"......?
When I first read this, a couple of days ago, I thought I didn't understood it. I never knew of predetermined measures of saddle height. Now I see Tim has the same awareness, so I agree with him. It depends on the design and structure of the guitar, and neck to body angle. Pyramid bridges are different just aesthetically.
A re-enactment for you, Tim!
Dennis, if you are resetting an old guitar with pyramid bridge I'd keep the max saddle height to 1/8". The pins are right behind the saddle slot and the steep break angle resulting puts more forward pressure on the saddle. Some modern non-belly bridges have closed-ended saddle slots which are bound to be more resistant to cracking at the ends.

I don't think Tim or Antonio understood why you were asking . . .
Hi and thanks for the comments. Thanks Greg I'm seeing I wasn't clear in my original question. As I'm re-setting a neck how much I trim the heel is in direct proportion to how tall the saddle will be. That's why I'm re-setting the yield a taller saddle (in most cases). The figures I mentioned earlier for a belly bridge, I'm happy with but I know some folks who think that is too tall.

A taller saddle will help drive the top producing better volume and tone. Too tall of a saddle, I believe, will work against that, not to mention the risk of blowing out the saddle slot on the front of the bridge. Also it doesn't look professional. So my original question was to see what folks who do/have done many of these neck re-sets (with pyramid bridges) shoot for saddle height wise.

I talked to Mark up at Folkway Music and he likes to see no more than 3/32" protruding "especially on the bass side) on the pyramid bridges and agrees with my specs for belly bridges.

Thanks! Dennis Berck
If you're looking for a formula, here's one:
I am about to do this on an old, birch-body guitar which I am converting from floating bridge to pin bridge. It's not really an arch-top; it just has a bulge in the middle. I did a certain amount of pressing flat when I installed the X-bracing, but the new bridge definitely cannot be flat on the bottom.

I had been thinking of a variation on the sanding technique: hold the bridge in place and pull a strip of sand paper underneath it -- repeatedly! I think I got this idea from Frank's article on fitting tone bars with Tom Ribbecke. If it's a good idea, I probably did; if it's not, I probably dreamed it. I would be happy to hear from anyone who knows better.

Hi, Rick. I've never been a fan of the "pull the sandpaper" trick, maybe because I'm not very good at it. But, if you don't get consistent pulls parallel to the surface, you always get the ends oversanded and not fitting well. Also, tops and sandpaper grit have just never played well together in my shop.

What's worked better for me is to make a block that has an arched surface with just a little tighter curve than the surface I'm fitting. I cover that with sandpaper (via double sticky tape), clamp it in a vise, and rub the bridge on that. You can then use your eyeball and windage with the curvature to get a good fit. Best of luck.

I agree with Bob.( Not that he needs me to back him up.) I haven't tried anything like this on a bridge but Ive tried it on other wood projects and I always end up with one end cut deeper than the other and both ends rounded up. Cutting a convex curve like on a archtop brace by moving the strip under the wood isn't as hard to keep flat as cutting a concave curve plus the inside of the instrument isn't a finished surface.

I've found that that it's easier to keep track of how much I'm removing if I am working the wood on the paper. I also need to swap the work piece end for end every few strokes to keep thing cutting evenly since I always seem to cut harder on one end/edge than the other.

Thanks, Bob and Ned! I think I'll cancel the "pull-the-sandpaper" plan. Also, I just realized, I meant my post to be a reply in the current "Radius Bridge" thread. Oops! It doesn't actually make sense here, but you have given me very sensible replies anyway. That's why I keep coming back!


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