Hey folks! The other day I had to install and slot a new Tune-o-Matic on one of our builds. It's a really easy job so I figured I'd post some info to help out others that may have to do the same thing.

Tools required: ruler/spacer tool, deadblow/lightweight hammer, a pack of strings that you don't mind destroying

Before doing anything, you need to know your string spacing - that is, the distance from E to E. You can use this dimension to determine the amount of space the belongs between each string. Since we have a standardized width for our ToM builds, we've made a little wood tool that is just a squared rectangular block cut to the proper width to just fit between correctly-spaced strings.

When determining the spacing, there are a few key considerations: where the strings align over the pickup poles (important for volume/output consistency), where the strings align along the fretboard (probably most important as it can really affect playability), and where the strings line up in regard to any fretboard inlays (important more for aesthetics).

First off, string your guitar up. To get started, you can line up one of the E's where you think it belongs in regard to the edge of the fretboard/pole pieces and then layout the remaining 5 strings from there, using a ruler or spacing tool.

Once you think you have the six strings properly spaced across the blank, unslotted saddles, it's time to check your work. First we check around the 12th fret, looking at the distance from the outside strings to the edge of the fretboard as well as how centered the inlays look between D and G.

Now look over the pole pieces of your pickups and see how well-centered the strings are there.

An important note is that depending on what guitar you have, there is a good chance that your pickups/neck/inlays might not all be totally aligned with one-another. In a case like this, it is most important that the spacing across the fretboard is proper. Remember, the magnets of the pickups are strong enough to correct slight inconsistencies in string orientation and the alignment of your fret markers is only a visual factor, but poor string spacing along the fretboard can make guitars unplayable (unless you like pulling runs and bends right off the board).

Once you've got things well-spaced and looking nice, its time to groove those saddles so the strings will stay put. Using the hammer, tap each string down into the saddle until it forms a nice little groove.

That's all there is to it! The strings will get totally flattened, so take them off once your done and do a proper setup with new strings.

I know this is somewhat of an elementary guide, but hopefully it will help someone out there. More to come, I'm going to try to get back into the swing of documenting some of the jobs I do and posting guides for y'all.

On an unrelated note, some pickguard porn for you GB&Cers to enjoy:

Happy Halloween!
Quote by Wisthekiller
Good advice. I looked around and was curious, do you have any guitars that aren't completely rounded (any that have any straight/flat edge or something of the sort)?

Nope We really like the comfort/feel of a well-rounded and contoured body. We'd definitely be open to it someone wanted it, but we haven't come across that yet.