Nut and Saddle Sander Video

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For solid contact and good tone, the bottom of a nut or saddle must be squared up. This “vise on wheels” is the fastest, surest way to do this.

Video Transcription

[on-screen text reads: Stewart MacDonald Nut and Saddle Sander]

Erick Coleman: It's very important for your nut and saddle blanks to be square on the bottom for the proper transmission of tone and vibration. If they're in there crooked, you won't get contact that you're looking for to achieve a really good and even sound. And squaring up the nut and saddle can be difficult. I mean, you're standing at your belt sander or at your bench and you're trying to either eyeball this or maybe you're using a fence, but it's really easy to get that even just a little bit cockeyed and crooked to where it's not going to fit properly.

So that's where this cool tool comes in, it's essentially a little vice on wheels that will hold your blanks in place with a spring loaded jaw [on-screen text reads: Nut and Saddle Sander]. You put it in position, and then with the adjusting screws, you adjust out just the right amount that you're going to want to take off. Tighten down the jaw and then roll the tool over a piece of sandpaper on a known flat surface, whether it's your work bench, and you're confident that it's flat, or maybe your belt sander or something. Just run the tool over it a few strokes and there's my saddle blank. It's all square and ready for fitting and shaping.

For nuts, there's a little metal shim in here. You want to remove that in order to place the nut in there. There's two sets of adjusting holes on the top. The interior ones are for adjusting the height of a nut and the exterior ones are for your saddles. So again, you just adjust out the material that you want to remove. Each increment is about a 64th of an inch. So each little notch will expose about a 64th of an inch more out of the bottom of the tool. Tighten down the jaw and you're ready to sand. When all four wheels are rolling, that's when you know you've made good contact. Nice and flat, ready for installation.

The Nut and Saddle Sander can also be used to lower existing nuts and saddles. In the case of this acoustic, the owner's overall happy with the way it's playing, but he just wants the action lowered just a little bit at the bridge here. The top of it is nicely shaped and it's compensated. So rather than mess with that, I'm just going to pop it out, put it in the sander and then just kiss a little bit off the bottom. Accurate results in very little time. I really, really like this tool.



Erick Coleman

StewMac Senior Technical Advisor

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