Clear all

Setting String Spacing at the bridge and saddles


Topic starter

Building a 17" scale length electric 5-string guitar (it's a tenor ukelele,.)

I intend to start by scaling down a 1958 Gibson Explorer drawing so that the scale length is 17", and making adjustments from there to get it to work properly. But, the Gibson is a 6-string instrument, and the design final will be narrowed to a 5-string instrument with a doubled G. (Maybe 5 evenly spaced strings, because I really like the sound of a 5-string and it works with an unequal length Futura/early explorer V-style headstock)

On a tenor uke, the nut is usually 1.5"/38mm wide, and at the bridge end, the strings are usually around 1.6" wide. I have no idea if this is a "standard" or just what someone on the internet said sometime back.

On the doubled string, the spacing is halved, I think-is this correct?

Where can I find a bridge/saddle for a 5 string uke, and do I need a 5-pole pickup or a 4-pole pickup-and are these "cigar box" 4-pole pickups worth the 20$ or do I need to hunt down a custom 4-pole somewhere? If I have to make one, it is not a problem-I wind my own transformers for tube amplifiers so I have the material on hand to do it.

Where can I find a bridge and saddle, or do I need to make one? (making one is not a problem.)

How do I handle the doubled string pair, at the bridge end?


1 Answer

Hi, I’ve seen blank saddle & bridge kits for ukes, you would literally need to just drill the holes through the bridge yourself. No idea if there is a need for a compensated saddle on a ukulele or not but you could easily file a blank if needed. I’d think the nut would be harder to source though but if you have small enough files making your own from a blank is perfectly plausible.

I’m pretty sure Mark made a “bridge making” course if you have a premium membership which I’d expect you could just scale down.

No idea about string spacing but I can’t imagine that’s too hard to find out what’s “normal” from any ukulele parts place.

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.