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Bone Saddle for the Silvertone Baritone Ukulele

After a couple weeks of fiddling with the chips on the headstock, I'm finally moving forward with making a new saddle and nut for the baritone ukulele.  Finally.

On the left we have the original plastic saddle and the 'vintage' (unbleached) bone blank to make a new one from. You see I've traced the shape of the old one onto the new. 

The new bone blank is about three times thicker than the slot, so it needs to be thickness sanded.  I started with 220 grit paper, but it was taking an eternity, so I wound up using 150.  Went pretty fast, but I still want a random orbital spindle sander for times like these.

Perhaps in the future I shall buy one.

Then we cut the blank in half to get it down to the approximate height.  From here I'll just file away until it's exact.

There need to be curves at the end to follow the contour of the bridge ends. 

To accomplish this, I use a combination of a round file, a piece of sandpaper wrapped around a pencil, and my own bad eyesight.

The saddle getting close.  You can see the curves I was referring to.  It was my first go-around with something with ends like this.  I'll do better next time.

After some more filing, we get this.  I deliberately left some height in it, since I'll fine tune the action after the nut is finished and it's strung up.  My guess is it may be 50 percent too high right now.  But the basic shape is there.

In these last shots, you can see the beautiful mahogany on the top of the ukulele.  And remember this was a relatively inexpensive instrument in its day.  Really lovely wood.

 
 
 
 

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