Kenneth Michael Guitars est.1978
SELF-CENTERING --- NO MEASURING!
The KMG “Bridge Setter”© tool is a break through for guitar builders. It has been made
possible using CNC technology. Like many others over the years we have struggled with
accurate bridge placement . String, rulers, straight edges, tape, triangles and a bit of luck
just does not get it done in an accurate or efficient manner. We recognized the need for
improvement and that led to the development of this tool. Each scale length requires a
proprietary “Bridge Setter” however; the process that follows is the same for all. The
“Bridge Setter” coordinates the critical locations and dimensions that need to be
considered for accurate bridge placement. The “Bridge Setter” automatically positions the
saddle string break point with the correct compensation. Note that after installation the
bridge saddle will need the normal customization to achieve optimum intonation based on
strings, action etc. .
Mark centerline position of the bridge
Loosen the cross slide on the “Bridge setter”. Position the bridge to the tool
locating the saddle on the pin and the bridge centerline to the “V” notch. Hold the
bridge in position, move the cross slide up against the bridge – this will square the
bridge. Tighten the wing nuts. Make sure the retaining straps are not pinched
between the cross slide and the bridge. We have used a clamp to keep the bridge
in position while adjusting the cross slide -- it is a matter of preference
Wrap the retaining straps over the
bridge and secure the Velcro
fasteners. Make sure not to disturb the
bridge centerline “V” notch relationship.
Each “Bridge Setter” has a unique fret
reference pattern based on scale length.
Instead of trying to establish location by
manipulating various pieces of tape, etc.
the “Bridge Setter” locks onto the fret
board using multiple locations as check
Position the “Bridge Setter using the
diamond hole at the 12th fret as a
guide, then secure the “Bridge Setter”
using the two retaining straps with Velcro
fasteners. Due to slight elevation change
the tool may not engage every fret up the
board. Also, the bridge will be slightly
raised off the top by the retaining straps.
Neither of these conditions are a matter of
The “Bridge Setter” is based off the most
common Martin fingerboard width and in
most cases will line up perfectly along the
edges. If your FB is a different width,
equalize the tool between the edges and
also match the center-line of the bridge
with the centerline of the top, the points
on the diamond shaped holes also serve
as a center-line guide.
We have found that locating the bridge
with pilot holes in the saddle area as well
as the two outside bridge pin holes result
in very precise positioning when gluing
the bridge in place after finishing. We use
a #54 drill in the saddle slot and a 3/16”
drill through the outside pin holes. #18
brads work well as locating pins in the
saddle area holes. The #54 drill and #18
brads are included with the package.
It is not absolutely necessary, but the “Bridge Setter” can be stabilized even more
by wrapping a couple of loops of masking tape around the neck and “Bridge
Setter”. The next step will be less nerve racking now than in the past since you
know the bridge is in the right place --- go ahead and drill the four pilot holes.
That’s it --- the bridge can be positioned with the two #18 brads to locate the
paint mask marks. When its time to glue the bridge to the top take a look at our
“Super Simple KMG bridge clamp”
The KMG Bridge Setter Eliminates this nightmare!