We need a new Bridge Champion

Discussion of newer designs, copies and reissue offset-waist instruments.
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Re: We need a new Bridge Champion

Post by antisymmetric » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:31 am

Shadoweclipse13 wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:07 am
ThePearDream wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:08 pm
Cut string grooves on the top of the saddles with a 9.5 radius and cut grooves on the bottom of the saddles with a 7.25 radius. Put a little mark on the saddle to show the orientation. This way there is one set of saddles for the two most common radii.
Dude! THAT is some awesome thinking!!
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Re: We need a new Bridge Champion

Post by oid » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:36 am

mackerelmint wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:57 pm
so I'd probably offer them in stainless and brass.
Stainless will be very very slow to work on the china mini lathes if those are still what you are thinking about getting, it is hard stuff and you will have to take a very fine cut with that low horse power and plastic gearing, it also absolutely SUCKS to tap tiny holes in, expect to break taps and ruin saddles. Nickle silver may be a good alternative for silvery saddles, pretty much brass with enough nickle in it to make it silver in color, costs about the same, works just as nicely and nickle silver will sound much more fancy and exotic than the cold sterile stainless steel.

Stainless is not fun.
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Re: We need a new Bridge Champion

Post by Gordon » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:19 am

arkivel wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:14 pm
Cut string grooves on the top of the saddles with a 9.5 radius and cut grooves on the bottom of the saddles with a 7.25 radius. Put a little mark on the saddle to show the orientation. This way there is one set of saddles for the two most common radii.
But I see an issue: the bottom of the saddles have to stay flat to rest on the bridge plate, so if they're reversible, they're rectangular, and the grooves make up the radius. Each groove on a typical saddle should be made according to string gauge, but since it sits on top of the saddle, not much of an issue if you go for a heavier set; however, with a deep groove, one won't be able to do so. And the solution to this (larger grooves) may be problematic for regular/lighter gauge, as there would be some lateral travel and therefore added friction.

Or do I imagine things? :ph34r:
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Re: We need a new Bridge Champion

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:24 am

Gordon wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:19 am
arkivel wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:14 pm
Cut string grooves on the top of the saddles with a 9.5 radius and cut grooves on the bottom of the saddles with a 7.25 radius. Put a little mark on the saddle to show the orientation. This way there is one set of saddles for the two most common radii.
But I see an issue: the bottom of the saddles have to stay flat to rest on the bridge plate, so if they're reversible, they're rectangular, and the grooves make up the radius. Each groove on a typical saddle should be made according to string gauge, but since it sits on top of the saddle, not much of an issue if you go for a heavier set; however, with a deep groove, one won't be able to do so. And the solution to this (larger grooves) may be problematic for regular/lighter gauge, as there would be some lateral travel and therefore added friction.

Or do I imagine things? :ph34r:
I definitely think you're thinking about that correctly. My thought was that any slight difference between 7.25" and 9.5" radius, would be offset by 2 set screws for height, but now looking back, they aren't there. Hmm. I wonder what I'm thinking about now...
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Re: We need a new Bridge Champion

Post by Unicorn Warrior » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:24 am

Nice guys..keep the ideas flowing.

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Re: We need a new Bridge Champion

Post by mackerelmint » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:27 am

oid wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:36 am
mackerelmint wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:57 pm
so I'd probably offer them in stainless and brass.
Stainless will be very very slow to work on the china mini lathes if those are still what you are thinking about getting, it is hard stuff and you will have to take a very fine cut with that low horse power and plastic gearing, it also absolutely SUCKS to tap tiny holes in, expect to break taps and ruin saddles. Nickle silver may be a good alternative for silvery saddles, pretty much brass with enough nickle in it to make it silver in color, costs about the same, works just as nicely and nickle silver will sound much more fancy and exotic than the cold sterile stainless steel.

Stainless is not fun.
Yeah, I'm hip, and it's part of my consideration for lathe shopping. The one I'm looking at right now is smallish and made in China, but a bit higher power and with real gearing instead of the plastic stuff. It sounds like fun and all to buy a real cheap lathe and use it to make improvements on itself, but I'd like to get down to turning saddles well before I think about trying to index and cut new gears. I'd rather just pay for a little more quality up front, since turning stainless down a couple thousandths at a time sounds like a shitty way to spend a day to me. Good looking out, though, and thanks for the tip about breaking taps. That makes total sense, I wonder if a mild steel might be a better option, with that in mind. I'm not sure how much easier it would make working with stainless, the lathe I'm considering not having a big motor. Although that can be changed if need be. What would you suggest in terms of HP for working stainless?
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Re: We need a new Bridge Champion

Post by oid » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:01 pm

mackerelmint wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:27 am
Yeah, I'm hip, and it's part of my consideration for lathe shopping. The one I'm looking at right now is smallish and made in China, but a bit higher power and with real gearing instead of the plastic stuff. It sounds like fun and all to buy a real cheap lathe and use it to make improvements on itself, but I'd like to get down to turning saddles well before I think about trying to index and cut new gears. I'd rather just pay for a little more quality up front, since turning stainless down a couple thousandths at a time sounds like a shitty way to spend a day to me. Good looking out, though, and thanks for the tip about breaking taps. That makes total sense, I wonder if a mild steel might be a better option, with that in mind. I'm not sure how much easier it would make working with stainless, the lathe I'm considering not having a big motor. Although that can be changed if need be. What would you suggest in terms of HP for working stainless?
Mild steel will go much much better, but you have to treat it someway, one of the chemical treatments like gun blue which develops a protective oxide, buff to a mirror finish or plate. Copper platting is easy enough to do at home, but it is not all that hard. As to horse power, no idea, I am not that experienced in the machines, I have run unhardened W1 on a mini lathe and that was a stretch, stainless is harder working. I put in a great deal of time into all this once upon a time and was ready to buy lathe and mill along with odds and ends when I realized that I had no interest in going into such business anymore and the expense was not worth it for my personal needs, I can hire out what I can not do with my tooling.

You will likely be able to get stainless in close to finished size for each saddle so you will have little machining to do, it has a very wide range of sizes in round stock due to its wide spread use in screw making, this would be precision ground stock so more expensive and you would be buying at least 3 sizes so less quantity markdown,, but you will save time at the machine and wear on the tooling so it could be worth it.

Something like this would be a must in my book for tapping those holes in stainless. There are better versions on the market and ones more aimed towards the small sized taps but the cheap grizzly would likely do the job.

Are you looking at the Little Machine Shop lathe? I almost ordered one of theirs, they were top of the list for new production. I suspect its motor will still be a bit undersized for the harder metals, but it will be good enough to test the waters and if all goes well, fund a better lathe, it may just be plain ol good enough as well. You may find out there is little demand for stainless compared to brass and the extra time spent working that small percentage of orders in stainless can considered a wash.

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Re: We need a new Bridge Champion

Post by nateispro » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:45 pm

Im loving the ideas flowing here!! Ill be quick to jump on whoever comes up with an actual production/prototype piece. Maybe we can get a running list of people who'd actually put money towards purchasing?

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Re: We need a new Bridge Champion

Post by Unicorn Warrior » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:26 pm

It's definitely time. Mastery has been running the show on us for too long with the elevated price. I think any product at least as good as staytrem quality for around the same price point that staytrem goes for would do just that. As mentioned before, the key difference between the staytrem and mastery war was that staytrem had 0 marketing.

After developing a loyal following, marketing will be the key to open up the business. In today's age and in this market this has to be done correctly

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Re: We need a new Bridge Champion

Post by mackerelmint » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:00 pm

oid wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:01 pm
Are you looking at the Little Machine Shop lathe? I almost ordered one of theirs, they were top of the list for new production. I suspect its motor will still be a bit undersized for the harder metals, but it will be good enough to test the waters and if all goes well, fund a better lathe, it may just be plain ol good enough as well. You may find out there is little demand for stainless compared to brass and the extra time spent working that small percentage of orders in stainless can considered a wash.
No, I'm looking at one a little bit bigger, that's 750w compared to the 500 on the LMS lathe and even less in the Harbor Freight and Grizzly lathes. It's got a spindle tach and comes with a fair number of accessories that the others don't. That's reflected in the cost, but it's easier to get things like a steadyrest and quick change post along with it, I figure. We'll see how much runout there is with the steadyrest, I guess, but I'd ideally like to turn down stock to a few standard diameters I'd be using, and part off saddles from that rather than doing them one by one all choked up on the chuck to keep runout down.

Thanks for the suggestion on the tapping thingy. That thing looks clutch, honestly, and I didn't realize they existed.

And for you guys thinking about the multi radius saddles, that's a great design and something that would probably be doable for a big production house doing large runs on automated, 4 or 5 axis equipment or printing in metal, but a DIYer wouldn't touch 'em with a ten foot pole because they'd have to charge mastery money to make it worth their while to deal with such a time sucking PITA operation. If they can be printed out reliably in a suitable material via shapeways or someone similar for a reasonable price, that would be the way to get those done.
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Re: We need a new Bridge Champion

Post by mackerelmint » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:03 pm

Unicorn Warrior wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:26 pm
It's definitely time. Mastery has been running the show on us for too long with the elevated price.
I don't think the price is elevated for what it is, which is an overcomplicated piece of design. I've thought through what it would take in terms of work to make one, and it's just way more labor intensive than it really has any right to be. And, of course, demand seems to be outstripping supply, so the price could reasonably be set higher than it is.

It's just time for a more graceful and economical solution to win out.
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Re: We need a new Bridge Champion

Post by timtam » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:33 pm

mackerelmint wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:00 pm
And for you guys thinking about the multi radius saddles, that's a great design and something that would probably be doable for a big production house doing large runs on automated, 4 or 5 axis equipment or printing in metal, but a DIYer wouldn't touch 'em with a ten foot pole because they'd have to charge mastery money to make it worth their while to deal with such a time sucking PITA operation. If they can be printed out reliably in a suitable material via shapeways or someone similar for a reasonable price, that would be the way to get those done.
Maybe I'm missing something, but a dual-radius Mustang stye saddle set should just require slight filing to a caliper-measured string height on 4 of the 6 saddles. Either flatten the saddles on one underside or file the string grooves a little deeper on one side. A little fiddly, but easy to do (although 3D printing in metal would be easiest, albeit expensive). In fact in some ways it might be easier than having to make 6 saddles with 3 different diameters for a single radius as on the standard Mustang bridge. Just make all saddles the same diameter to being with, and then file a little off 4 of the 6 in each set - on one side for 7.25 and the other side for 9.5.

Otherwise you need to be tooled up to build two different sets of bridge saddles, each with 3 different machined diameters.

Anyway maybe a six-of-one ... half a dozen of the other thing.

In terms of making production quicker, you probably want to look at minimizing final assembly time. ie reduce the need for screw-together parts. eg make the intonation screw mounts to the bridge plate snap-in rather than screw-in ? replace nylon washers with a single nylon piece across the back wall of the bridge ?

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Re: We need a new Bridge Champion

Post by loveinathens » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:38 pm

Tbh I just want saddle options that let me choose whether I want to play on 7.25", 9.5", or 12". Like, literally just the outer saddles or something. I don't think the Mustang bridge needs to be fucked with as much, and just made better in general with better metal. I have guitars in those radii, and I'd like to be able to use the same kind of bridge, which I can't with the Staytrem (for the 12") and I can't really justify using a Mastery if there's no guarantee I could get my wound G to intonate the way I want.

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Re: We need a new Bridge Champion

Post by mackerelmint » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:00 pm

timtam wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:33 pm

Maybe I'm missing something, but a dual-radius Mustang stye saddle set should just require slight filing to a caliper-measured string height on 4 of the 6 saddles. Either flatten the saddles on one underside or file the string grooves a little deeper on one side. A little fiddly, but easy to do (although 3D printing in metal would be easiest, albeit expensive). In fact in some ways it might be easier than having to make 6 saddles with 3 different diameters for a single radius as on the standard Mustang bridge. Just make all saddles the same diameter to being with, and then file a little off 4 of the 6 in each set - on one side for 7.25 and the other side for 9.5.

Otherwise you need to be tooled up to build two different sets of bridge saddles, each with 3 different machined diameters.

Anyway maybe a six-of-one ... half a dozen of the other thing.

In terms of making production quicker, you probably want to look at minimizing final assembly time. ie reduce the need for screw-together parts. eg make the intonation screw mounts to the bridge plate snap-in rather than screw-in ? replace nylon washers with a single nylon piece across the back wall of the bridge ?
Well, I'd thought of the filing solution, but really it's something anyone with a file can do, so I don't think a filed finish is marketable. I could also get in there with emery paper and make it look pretty (which would probably be needed anyway for trem function), but then it gets back to paying for my time, and it's not something I could automate. I can think of a jig for using a dremel, I guess, but really it seems niche enough to me that I'm not that interested in figuring it out.

Making two different sets of saddles would be easy enough. Same tools, different depth of cut is all. And I'm not worrying about making an entire bridge for now, either, but if I do, making custom snap in parts is gonna take longer than the couple of seconds extra that it'd save populating the bridge.
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Re: We need a new Bridge Champion

Post by timtam » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:06 pm

loveinathens wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:38 pm
just made better in general with better metal.
I see metal-type as almost a total intangible when it comes to offset bridges. Yes there are cheap metals and there are expensive ones. But as long as the parts fit together, they don't wear out quickly or come apart, and they don't have rough edges, I am not sure that I need to be worried about whether a given functional bridge design is made from cheaper or more expensive metal (BTW that's different from the ease of manufacture). Aesthetics do matter to some, eg some love the Mastery 'brushed' look (and some hate it), some love brass, etc. But many don't want to pay for that (Mastery).

But what does the market really want from an offset bridge metal-wise ?

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