Workshop: Drop-In Lefty-Fication Bridge for '60s Gibson Flattop

In my last post, I showed off this Gibson-made Epiphone Frontier complete with its original adjustable saddle.

Here I'm showing how I solved the problem of retaining originality while also converting it into a lefty for its owner. In the first photo, you can see I've more-or-less filled the original adjustable saddle rout with a block of rosewood.

The next step was to make a block of rosewood that would sit on top of the deck and become our new saddle, fulfilling a similar "wood-on-wood" contact and look that the original adjustable saddle made.

Above I've figured-out where it needs to sit and how I need to compensate its top for good intonation.

Here I've compensated the top of it and fit it to the base that sits in the bridge slot.

I've used a couple of screws to keep it mounted securely in place. The string tension does the rest of the job -- keeping it pressed firmly into the top deck of the bridge.

Tone has actually improved yet remained very similar to the original spec with this setup. It's a little fuller and warmer than stock with this installed but it still keeps that sort of airy, woody, '60s Gibson thing. Sometimes when one converts to a bone saddle the tone gets a little more '50s-crisp or snappy in nature and it detracts from the guitar being a "perfect folk strummer."

Here's how it looks all done-up. I carefully reslotted the original nut so this can be converted back to "normal" in about 10 minutes without needing to swap anything other than the saddle (back to original) and strings.