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meteo

1964 LG0 Scale Length help

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Hello all,

 

This is my first post and I am a fairly new member. I don't have lots experience working on guitars however I am wanting to learn.

 

I am currently working on a 1964 LG0 that had the plastic bridge on it, which was in bad condition. I had a bridge made for it by a gent in I believe in Connecticut, I can't think of his name at the moment. The bridge plate was trashed and the top under the bridge plate was trashed, a hole was drilled into the bridge I assume to accomadate a switch. I made a bridge plate per information I got from frets.com and glued it over the old plate with hide glue, I then used dowel rods and filled in all the bridge pin, screw and the switch holes.

 

Now to my question. I am trying to figure out the location of the bridge. I went to Stew Mac and watch a video on the subject and used the free scale length calculator. I used a scale length of 24.75 inches and based on the information I gathered the treble E side should be at 24.836 inches and the bass side should be at 24.958 inches. The problem is that puts the bridge almost 1 inch toward the sound hole more than it was originally. uncovers all the bridge pin holes. What am I missing here? Any guidance is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

 

 

DSC06002_zps3dd801e4.jpgDSC06001_zpsba48b033.jpg

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I performed a bridge-replacement on a adj-saddle bridge on a B25 awhile back. I sent the broken bridge to the luthier and had him make a fixed-saddle replacement. It glued to the original bridge footprint with no problems.

I don,t quite see why your replacement would need to be set so far ahead [confused]

 

Also, I don,t understand what you mean about the original bridge with a hole being drilled for a switch ?

 

Do you have some 'before' pictures?

 

Re-think your measurements. The length from the nut to the 12th fret should be the same length as from the 12th fret to the saddle (compensated) This should put you in "ballpark' range no matter what the scale length is. If that measurement leaves you with the bridge THAT FAR advanced??....I am not sure :rolleyes: .... you may have to contact Victory Pete for a 'definitive' answer!

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Retrorod, thanks for the reply. The replacement bridge is the same as the old one. The hole was drill din the bridge for a switch or pot for a sound hole pickup that must have been on the guitar at some time. When I make the measurments you mention about the distance from the nut to the middle of the 12 fret being the same as the 12th fret to the saddle is where my issue is. That is when the bridge ends up an 1" forward. That is where the confusion comes in for me. I will se see if I can find some before photos and post them. Again thanks.

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Something in your numbers does not line up.

 

Gibson used a (roughly) 24.75" base scale length, but since they spaced their frets to a different system (an even 18 divisor rather than 17.817, the 12th root of 2 derivative used by most others), their 12th fret and bridge both end up a bit short of what you may expect. With tooling errors added in, their mid-60's boards end up averaging around 24.6" to 24.625", though some can certainly be found longer or shorter.

 

This means you should most likely find a measurement of around 12.3" from the nut to the center of the 12th fret, and end up with the center of your saddle positioned around 12.375" from the 12th center at the high E, and 12.5" at the low E, give or take .025". I would double and triple check your measurements, as it seems to be a good ways off from where it should be.

 

And the StewMac scale calculator has no place at all in a job like this. Listed specs offer a limited glimpse of original intentions, which can often differ drastically from the actual dimensions that were implemented. The listed 24.75" scale length is utterly meaningless here - what matters is what you actually measure on the guitar.

 

In this case though, with the position shown in the photo, I honestly think this has to be a simple measurement error.

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Dave, Thanks I will check again. When I measure I actully get 11 15/16" from the nut to the center of the 12th fret. I will try and take some photos of the measurement and post them. again thanks, matt

 

Update: here is a photo of the way I measured to the 12th fret. When I do the math the bridge still ends up nearly 1" forward. Not sure what to do!

 

 

guitarclose_zps40da506d.jpg

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I was wondering if this may have been the confusion. The spaces between the frets are just empty patches of wood which mean nothing. When we talk of fret measurements, we are talking about the center of the frets themselves, not the spaces in between.

 

I don't mean to discourage, but it may be in your best interest to take this in to a professional shop to have the bridge properly positioned, prepped, fit, and installed. This really is a critical point where proper measurements are key (a 12" fractional scale isn't suitable for the job in my opinion), and proper fit and installation includes a lot of details which can make or break the outcome. This guitar may not be the most priceless vintage piece, but it's also not something that should be considered a practice project either. If any mistakes are made in installation it is generally much more difficult to rework and undo mistakes than it is to ensure everything is done right on the first attempt.

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I was wondering if this may have been the confusion. The spaces between the frets are just empty patches of wood which mean nothing. When we talk of fret measurements, we are talking about the center of the frets themselves, not the spaces in between.

 

I don't mean to discourage, but it may be in your best interest to take this in to a professional shop to have the bridge properly positioned, prepped, fit, and installed. This really is a critical point where proper measurements are key (a 12" fractional scale isn't suitable for the job in my opinion), and proper fit and installation includes a lot of details which can make or break the outcome. This guitar may not be the most priceless vintage piece, but it's also not something that should be considered a practice project either. If any mistakes are made in installation it is generally much more difficult to rework and undo mistakes than it is to ensure everything is done right on the first attempt.

 

Dave, Thanks and no you won't discourage me I am here to learn, I now better understand how to take the measurement. I did fit the bridge by sanding it to the top of the guitar using 320 grit sandpaper on the top after marking the bottom of the bridge. sanding until all the marks were gone and the bridge fit tight. I will consider your suggestion about the pro shop, however I am willing to make a few mistakes to learn. Thanks again and I will post the outcome no matter which way I go.

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Very good then. You're on the right path of asking questions when uncertainty arises, and so please, for the good of the guitar, don't hesitate at all to ask any more should uncertainties arise in how best to proceed.

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Just to note for what it's worth, when replacing a bridge (especially on a vintage piece) I consider maintaining the original footprint to be a top priority. This means the new bridge should be made of the same shape and size as the original, and fit within the original lines without changing the original footprint.

 

This is why I always install the bridge without a slot and then cut the slot to proper position once it's on the guitar. Of course not everyone has the proper tools for this, so I can understand installing a pre-slotted bridge if you have to have one made off-site. Still, if it turns out that the saddle position is so far out that you would have to move the new bridge outside of it's original footprint, it may be worth having another one made with a new saddle position cut to fit this guitar. Once you glue the bridge in a new place, the remnants of this modification will remain with the guitar long after it passes on to future owners, and impede proper restorations in the future. The golden rule of guitar work - first do no harm.

 

Of course you probably won't have to worry about it, as if whoever made this bridge put the saddle slot where they were on the original plastic bridges it should likely line up fine, and you should be able to intonate well enough in the saddle shaping to glue it right back on where the original came off. Just in case it doesn't line up though, I wanted to advocate emphasis on fair standards of preservation, and discourage irreversible alterations unless absolutely necessary. Rather than measure the saddle to position the bridge, better to position the bridge as original then measure the saddle to check. If it doesn't line up, then this bridge may not be right for this guitar.

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Hey David, you have so nicely spoke of what I 'thought' and 'felt' about this thread. I hope that meteo 'gets it' and will proceed with caution. I , in no way am "as experienced" with performing these repairs as you, but have benefited greatly from the knowledge that is SO unselfishly and patiently 'given'!

 

I, as an avid vintage guy, have been the recipient and buyer of many guitars with BAD repairs that come under the heading of "What were they thinking????" Ingenuity OR stupidty? What is done IS done and can't ever be original again.... It 'seemed' like a good idea.....at the time!

 

I applaude meteo, for wanting to learn and hope all works out !

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David, Well said and good advice. The bridge was made here http://vintageparlorguitars.com/current.html and matches the old plastic bridge to the tee, other than the saddle being a hair thinner. I also believe in the preservation of vintage instruments, and they must play well no matter the value. I have spent a lot of dollars paying for work on instruments and now have created space and invested in tools to do my own work. I have worked on Harmonys and Regals with a fair amount of success. I know I have lots to learn and I appreciate people like yourself who invest there time in people like me. I have decided not to refinish this guitar to maintain its character. As I progress I will update thread, again thanks and your input gives me even more confidence in doing what I know I can do.

Health & Happiness, matt

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Update: It has taken a while to get this done. We had lots of rain in Florida so I decided to hold off on glueing the bridge in place. Here is what it looks like after I finished the glue up. I am now working with the saddle to get the intonation correct and the string height is in the clouds. David as you can see from the photos part of the old food print of the old bridge is visible. Some of it is from the old plastic bridge that was warped, broken and on with just two screws. And a bit of it was my doing. After stringing it up and tuning it to concert pitch I found that the bridge placement was correct thanks in part to the informatin I received here . I can fine tune it now with the saddle. Another learning curve but I am looking forward to it. I will update as I proceed. As you can see it has lots of love yet to receive. I included a poto of a tip I learned from frets.com which also shows my newly dressed fret board.

 

p.s. I have not yet oiled the saddle. After the setup is done I want to protect it some how. What is the best way to do that?

 

 

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Looks good. I have never oiled a saddle...???? Do you mean the bridge? Just use some skin oil or other and buff it up. I know what you mean. I bought a replacement bridge from the same dude and it was rather 'dull' looking also.

Rod

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