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I am now working on my 4th and 5th builds (3-string).  I have a recurring problem in that when I try using a traditional material like bone for my nut and bridge, the build lacks tone.  On my first build, I switched both to stainless nut s and bolts, keeping the saddle (a strip of cedar from the inside of the box (la Flor Dominica) and the tone improved tremendously.  It sounded good enough that I had someone begging me to sell it to them in the first week.  

I finished my second build, with bone nut and bridge with a cocobolo saddle, and the tone just isn't right.  
I'm abouot readyto change over to stainless again, but I really like the looks of the bone in contrast to the dark wood of the cocobolo. Does the thickness of the saddle affect the tone to a noticable degree.  

I really want to start acheiving more consistancy in my finished builds and this problem really bothers me.  Any suggestions?

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Hi, I use Antler for the nut and She oak for the bridge, very hard.

We call that stuff Bodark over here, and since the drought there's plenty of squaw wood  around.  I never realized the character it had.  Just yesterday, I was thinking of trying some mesquite heartwood for a fretboard or even cedar heartwood.  But this stuff is really neat, and it's native to Texas and the US in general.  Boy, this could be a whole new topic...Harvest Your Own Native Hardwoods...  Wow, Hickory, Mulberry, Sycamore, China Berry, Cypress, Gum, Texas Ebony; I wonder how many builders out there have done this?

Thanx Randy for an interesting return comment.  

Randy, one last question so I can put this puppy to rest in my mind.  Your saddles look really big in the photos, and I was wundering how high above the box top the stood?  Let me say again, they are B-U-T-full.  I think I likes them!

With making the saddles i usually try and keep the height of the whole bridge at around 3/8" but some customers like them higher. With using a removable saddle it`s just so easy to make a few different ones at different heights to dail in the correct action on the strings- fretboard.

Low profile rod bridge - 3/8" total height

She oak I've not heard of.  What is it?

Julian Fitton said:

Hi, I use Antler for the nut and She oak for the bridge, very hard.

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