Nut and Saddle Sander demo by Roberto Fontanot

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Roberto Fontanot, inventor of the Nut and Saddle Sander, demonstrates the Nut and Saddle Sander from his shop in Italy.

Video Transcription

[Roberto Fontanot speaking Italian]

Roberto Fontanot: Good Morning Guys! I'm Roberto Fontanot from Heart Sound.  What am I going to do today? I'm going to explain to you how to make it easy for a luthier who wants to do an acoustic instrument setup. And how do we do that? First thing to do, as all luthiers know, is to set up the guitar neck concavity and the nut height and then adjust the saddle. It's not so simple. I know right?! That's why we designed a special tool! Here's how to use it.

Measuring string height

Let's start with a very simple technical parameter. "The measurement made at the 12th fret will double at the saddle level." So, in the first place we have to measure the height at the 12th fret. How can you measure this? Our dear friend, Mr. Stewart MacDonald, highly recommends this useful tool [Roberto picks up a StewMac String Action Gauge]. Otherwise you can use some other gauges to measure the height at the 12th fret on the first and the last string.  In this case we have four tenths of a millimetre on the first string, and five tenths of a millimetre on the last string. What does this mean? It means that we have to remove eight tenths from the saddle from the first string and one millimetre from the last string. Ok, lets do it!

Using the Nut and Saddle Sander tool

Remove the saddle from the guitar and put it in our Nut and Saddle Sander tool. Find a flat surface, lay it down on it and then tighten the screws until the saddle touches the flat surface. Now you have to remember to remove eight tenths of a millimetre from the first string, and ten tenths from the last string of the saddle. We can do this by using the graduated scale located on the top of the tool where each notch corresponds to one tenth of a millimetre. What's happended? We exposed the saddle at the exact measure that we have to remove. That's because it works using an instrument with four ball bearingss.

Now we block the saddle to avoid problems during the sanding. If we have a flat surface coated with sanding paper then we can work it by hand until the four ball bearings touch the sanding paper [Roberto pushes the saddle sander tool up and down the sandpaper pad]. Alternatively, we can do the same using a belt sander until the four ball bearings touch the sanding paper [Roberto holds the saddle sander onto the belt sander].

Ready to be installed with perfect measurements

Finally, we can remove the saddle from the tool. It will be ready to be installed with the right measurement. Perfectly placed at right angles and absolutely flat. This is also useful to improve the under-saddle sensor's performance. Thank you guys!

[on-screen text reads: Heart Sound -]



Roberto Fontanot

Luthier and Inventor of the Nut and Saddle Sander

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