First picture: The Bridge Setter straps to your fretboard with nylon straps and Velcro™.


Each Bridge Setter is set up for a specific scale length. In my case, I was doing two guitars with the same nominal scale length (25.4”), so it was fine.


The setup is linked to the unique indexing system, and is as simple as it is effective. On the under- side of the device are slots for the frets. When you strap it to the fretboard, these slots fit the frets perfectly, and it is locked in place. There is some side-to-side movement, but this is easily solved with a couple of clamps applied once you’ve centered the Bridge Setter on your fretboard.


Next, you put your bridge into the device. Again, nylon and Velcro™ do the job. The two straps hold your bridge snug against the sliding bridge positioning bar. From that point, it’s simply a matter of measuring from the nut to the 12th fret, and then from the 12th fret to the saddle position, with appropriate compensation added. (I won’t go into detail on measurements; manuals differ, opinions differ on where to measure on the saddle, etc.)


As shown in the photo at right, it is all held in place easily and

... “LOOK MA, NO HANDS!”


After your bridge is in position, you drill four holes through the bridge. Two of them are tiny and are drilled through the saddle slot; supplied brads fit into them perfectly. The other two holes are drilled through the outermost bridge pin holes, where you need holes later anyway.


Attach the bridge temporarily, mark around it, and apply masking tape for finishing. Could not be simpler.


The other device that I recommend you get with this is the “SS (Super Simple) Bridge Clamp ©” also from KMG. The SS Bridge Clamp uses two wing bolts and two wing nuts to clamp your bridge to the top of your guitar for gluing when you reach that point. It’s pictured at right. Notice that it is clear all the way around, doesn’t require clamps, and puts the bridge right where you measured it with the Bridge Setter! After you glue it, you can clean squeeze out all around it without worry or clamps getting in your way. It doesn’t slide around on the wet glue.


Ahh, life can be good sometimes!


Not only is all this easy; it is accurate, too. After placement, it measured to within less than 1/128” on every point I checked. That’s accurate enough for me.


Problem solved. Thanks, Ken.


Next: Pore Filling & Finishing!

The Martin Jumbo is shown in the photos below, but exactly the same procedure was used on the Stewmac Dread.