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Newbie bridge placement question

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I'm looking at building my first guitar from scratch and I've found this site to be extremely helpful. Thanks everyone!

My question is where to place the bridge.

From a physics standpoint, it makes sense that the distance from the bridge to the 12th fret should be the same as the distance from the nut to the 12th fret (to create an octave at the 12th fret).

However, I noticed that the bridge on my Les Paul Studio is mounted at a slight angle, producing a distance difference of around 1/8th of an inch between the high E and low E strings. I know that the intonation can be adjusted, but how much "slop" is "normal" ?

Is the bridge angled on my Les Paul just for looks?

I guess that's more than one question.

FYI, I'm looking at making something like a PRS Santana II or III, except with a hardtail.


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The Les Paul uses a Tun-o-matic bridge. This kind of bridge does not give you a lot of space to get your intonation wright.

By angling the bridge you kinda solve this problem.

Look at the pinned items.

At the high-E string, leave the bridge on your bridge line. From that point anlge the bridge like 2° backwards. That should do the job. :D

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