Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Routing the Saddle Slot

None of my jigs are particularly attractive, polished or professional, but they're certainly functional and take the guesswork and inconsistency out of many tasks.

Routing a slot in the bridge blank into which the bone saddle will be fitted is one job I've given over to the ugly but effective jig pictured below.

The Macassar ebony bridge blank is affixed to the base of the jig using double-sided tape (what would I do without it?); the blank's positioning isn't really critical. The blank is bedded down with a few taps from a soft-faced hammer which more than adequately secures it for the duration of the process - the tape is tenacious stuff!

As you can see, two adjustable guides sit atop the jig and, with the plunge router riding snugly between them and the router bit sitting just proud of the wood surface, are adjusted so that the bit will accurately track the line of the saddle marked on the bridge blank.

I rout the slot in several passes, each one a little deeper than the last, until I hit the depth stop set on the router body.

I'm tempted to add sliding stops to either end of the jig to limit the router's travel, but for now, a couple of strategically positioned panel pins serve this purpose well enough, which perhaps explains why I haven't been in any great hurry to make that modification - I'd rather be building guitars than building jigs.

I'll show the next stage of the process in a future post.