Dan Erlewines Mod Squad(7)

Guitars aren’t the only things the Mod Squad likes to modify. We like to mod our tools, too. In fact, we’ll modify anything we can get our mitts on if it will help us make guitars play better. Here’s how to make and use a lightweight ruler for setting intonation.
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Please note that, in the photo, the saddles are adjusted to the rear, because I set them that way before setting the intonation—using a new set of strings—so that the saddles will need to come forward to play in tune. That way, any kink in the string from contact with the saddle will happen behind—not in front of—the saddle. This is the best way to keep the “speaking length” of the string free of kinks that can throw the intonation off. Also notice that I installed the saddles facing forward (toward the neck, not toward the string). I prefer this method, because, with their peaks facing forward, the strings have a gradual “ramp” to the saddle’s peak.