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Half saddle


Brumcello
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Tried the search function but got limited information on this. While casually chatting with friends and comparing instruments we noticed this half height saddle. Quite different from any of the other instruments. Any significance?

 

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2 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

There are all sorts of saddle, so you didn’t try very hard with the search function. The most innovative one was invented by the famous Mr. Burgess, so you should be able to find that one there too

Maybe I didn't make myself clear, maybe I'm not good at using the search function but putting in half height AND saddle I only found one discussion which was rather inconclusive. 

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5 minutes ago, martin swan said:

It crops up in a lot of different traditions, mainly early to mid 20th century - some French makers, Prague makers too, as well as some German makers. 

So I wouldn't be inclined to read much into it.

Thanks Martin. Just a style thing then? It did occur to me that fitting a saddle this way is a bit more work than cutting through the full thickness of the table as is done on the other instruments we looked at. But as I'm not a luthier I probably have misunderstood how big a deal (or not) that is.

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13 hours ago, Brumcello said:

It did occur to me that fitting a saddle this way is a bit more work than cutting through the full thickness of the table as is done on the other instruments we looked at. But as I'm not a luthier I probably have misunderstood how big a deal (or not) that is.

You have it the wrong way around, it’s not easier to cut out more.

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7 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

You have it the wrong way around, it’s not easier to cut out more.

Could you explain more please. My uneducated feeling was that cutting through the full thickness of the table was technically simpler than cutting 2-3mm down (exactly the same depth on each side) then cutting a perfectly horizontal cut so that the saddle sits on the newly cut surface.

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3 hours ago, Brumcello said:

Could you explain more please. My uneducated feeling was that cutting through the full thickness of the table was technically simpler than cutting 2-3mm down (exactly the same depth on each side) then cutting a perfectly horizontal cut so that the saddle sits on the newly cut surface.

I make the saddle halfway and I am of the same opinion, it takes more work to do it halfway than to cut all the way to the block, the surface to fit is greater and more complex to do.

Also in my opinion the halfway saddle prevents the formation of the typical saddle cracks, but I don't think it can be taken as an identifying element of any particular school.

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36 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

I make the saddle halfway and I am of the same opinion, it takes more work to do it halfway than to cut all the way to the block, the surface to fit is greater and more complex to do.

Also in my opinion the halfway saddle prevents the formation of the typical saddle cracks, but I don't think it can be taken as an identifying element of any particular school.

Thank you so much. That is very helpful. I guess if Davide Sora does it this way it can't be too bad :)

 

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9 hours ago, Brumcello said:

Could you explain more please. My uneducated feeling was that cutting through the full thickness of the table was technically simpler than cutting 2-3mm down (exactly the same depth on each side) then cutting a perfectly horizontal cut so that the saddle sits on the newly cut surface.

Score the lines with a sharp knife, then cut out the waste with a chisel. Use a wide chisel for the finishing cut.

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2 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

Score the lines with a sharp knife, then cut out the waste with a chisel. Use a wide chisel for the finishing cut.

That much I had worked out. The question is, in order to ensure that the horizontal cut is exactly parallel to the top of the ribs and that the depth is uniform across its width, I would have thought that requires more precision than just cutting through the full depth of the table and relying on the top of the ribs to provide a datum thus avoiding a sloping look

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On 5/10/2021 at 6:45 PM, Wood Butcher said:

I guess it just comes with skill and practice. An experienced woodworker should be able to cut any shape required.

Sure, but some practices require even the most skilled luthier more time, others less:)

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10 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

Sure, but some practices require even the most skilled luthier more time, others less:)

So am I safe to assume that, rather like a beautifully carved scroll or meticulous purfling, a half saddle is an indication that the maker was a somewhat skilled craftsman?

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2 hours ago, Brumcello said:

So am I safe to assume that, rather like a beautifully carved scroll or meticulous purfling, a half saddle is an indication that the maker was a somewhat skilled craftsman?

It would be a bit risky to rely only on this detail to establish the skill of a luthier, even if the attention to detail is undoubtedly an indication. Then apart from the choices on the type of saddle, I believe that the accuracy of the work is certainly a more decisive aspect.

It also makes a difference whether the luthier has arrived at one type rather than another through reasoned reasoning, or simply because someone has told him that it is better to do so. Replicating without understanding the reasons that led to that choice is not a great indication of specific abilities, nor of particular specific intelligence.:)

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2 hours ago, Brumcello said:

So am I safe to assume that, rather like a beautifully carved scroll or meticulous purfling, a half saddle is an indication that the maker was a somewhat skilled craftsman?

That can be as well result of well set CNC. Some skilled craftsmen are capable of meticulous work just don't do that because it's not their choice.

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"CNC" stands for "computer numerical control."  In this case, it refers to an automated machine set up with a rotating wood-cutting tool (router bit) and controlled by a computer program.  Extremely precise work is possible.

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3 minutes ago, Brad Dorsey said:

"CNC" stands for "computer numerical control."  In this case, it refers to an automated machine set up with a rotating wood-cutting tool (router bit) and controlled by a computer program.  Extremely precise work is possible.

Thanks 

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