How to identify bone vs plastic saddle? - Telecaster Guitar Forum
The Number 1 Fender Telecaster Guitar authority in the world.
   

Go Back   Telecaster Guitar Forum > Other Discussion Forums > Acoustic Heaven
Forgot Username/Password? Join Us!
Notices

Acoustic Heaven Unplugged forum for acoustic players.


Wilde Pickups by Bill & Becky Lawrence WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Amps, Mods, Pedals dallenpickups.com Warmoth.com seymourduncan.com


Forum Jump


Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old February 14th, 2013, 10:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
TDPRI Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: pennsylvania
Posts: 6
How to identify bone vs plastic saddle?

Maybe a silly question, but is there an easy way to tell whether my saddle (or nut, for that matter) is bone or plastic? Ideally without pulling them out of the guitar.

fngrpepr is offline   Reply With Quote

Old February 14th, 2013, 10:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
Tele-Afflicted
 
voodoostation's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Midlothian, Va
Age: 40
Posts: 1,903
Gently tap it with something hard or metallic. You'll tell the difference.
__________________
"The old worn down veterans still gather at the Hall,sitting around a table with the ghosts who gave all"

http://www.ourstage.com/profile/nekkidcountry
voodoostation is offline   Reply With Quote

Old February 14th, 2013, 11:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
Friend of Leo's
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Upper Holland, PA
Age: 57
Posts: 3,965
In addition to tapping it, look at the saddle with a magnifying glass. Bone is a natural material and will have some variation. Most plastic saddles -- but not all -- will have a uniform color.

Jim
jwsamuel is offline   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links   #
Sponsored posting
 

Old February 15th, 2013, 12:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
Tele-Meister
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: NJ
Age: 61
Posts: 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwsamuel View Post
In addition to tapping it, look at the saddle with a magnifying glass. Bone is a natural material and will have some variation. Most plastic saddles -- but not all -- will have a uniform color.

Jim
What Jim said, but plastic doesn't necessarily mean bad. If it's cheap plastic we call it plastic, if its expensive plastic we we call it something like micarta, or corian, or graphtech.
Codger is offline   Reply With Quote

Old February 15th, 2013, 12:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
TDPRI Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 52
The test I see from the guys on the Washburn forum is to heat up a needle and place it on a non-critical area of the saddle. If you get a nasty burning smell, its bone. If it melts, its plastic.
philpm is offline   Reply With Quote

Old February 15th, 2013, 08:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
Friend of Leo's
 
P Thought's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Age: 60
Posts: 3,773
Take it out of the guitar and snap it in two. Plastic will break off cleanly, and bone will splinter.
__________________
Lefty loosey, righty tighty

Ol' Simple, where you at?
P Thought is offline   Reply With Quote

Old February 15th, 2013, 12:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
Doctor of Teleocity
 
telex76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Fort Worth,Tx.
Age: 63
Posts: 11,437
I can tell by scratching it with a fingernail, feels different.
telex76 is offline   Reply With Quote

Old February 15th, 2013, 02:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
Tele-Afflicted
 
el cheapo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Southcentral Pa
Posts: 1,287
You could take a piece of sandpaper and sand it a little. Bone will smell like... well... bone. Plastic won't have much of an odor.
el cheapo is offline   Reply With Quote

Old February 15th, 2013, 09:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
TDPRI Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: pennsylvania
Posts: 6
Thanks for the tips guys. It's a guitar from '58-'60, so I'm guessing it's bone, but was wondering how to tell for sure.
fngrpepr is offline   Reply With Quote

Old February 15th, 2013, 10:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
Tele-Holic
 
Brandon mac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: north alabama
Age: 36
Posts: 887
Quote:
Originally Posted by fngrpepr View Post
Maybe a silly question, but is there an easy way to tell whether my saddle (or nut, for that matter) is bone or plastic? Ideally without pulling them out of the guitar.
yes....
make a youtube video of you playing the guitar,upload it on here and let one of the cork sniffers tell you if it is bone or plastic.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by therhodeo
Too bad. Most country guitarists are way more accomplished on the instrument than alot of the hacks out there playing the blooze.
Brandon mac is offline   Reply With Quote

Old February 15th, 2013, 10:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
Friend of Leo's
 
sax4blues's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: San Jose, CA
Age: 57
Posts: 3,797
If you have great tone, it's bone.
If your tone sucks, it's plastic.

Where I got thrown off is when I asked my guitar tech to replace the plastic nut with bone, he told me; "don't bother".
sax4blues is offline   Reply With Quote

Old February 16th, 2013, 05:00 AM   #12 (permalink)
Tele-Meister
 
NewPort's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Nye Beach, Oregon
Age: 65
Posts: 145
Not sure if it's the material or a proper setup, but in my experience plastic seems to ring out louder when the high strings are played open compared to fretted notes. I just replaced a Tusq nut ( which was an improvement over cheap plastic) with a bone nut, now the open notes sound close to fretted notes in volume, also the g-string sounds much better. I used some precut nuts from Hong Kong and just tuned up the slots with a welding tip cleaner.
NewPort is offline   Reply With Quote

Old February 16th, 2013, 08:52 AM   #13 (permalink)
Friend of Leo's
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Upper Holland, PA
Age: 57
Posts: 3,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by sax4blues View Post

Where I got thrown off is when I asked my guitar tech to replace the plastic nut with bone, he told me; "don't bother".
His reasoning may have been that the nut only affects tone when you play an open string, so it is not worth the expense to change it. When you fret a string, the nut is out of the picture.

Jim
jwsamuel is offline   Reply With Quote

Old February 16th, 2013, 04:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
Friend of Leo's
 
dog fart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: North Carolina
Age: 50
Posts: 3,670
Quote:
Originally Posted by sax4blues View Post

Where I got thrown off is when I asked my guitar tech to replace the plastic nut with bone, he told me; "don't bother".
I hope he wasn't taking a shot at your playing.

I have some experience in this matter
__________________
If you're too busy to play guitar you're just too busy
dog fart is offline   Reply With Quote

Old February 16th, 2013, 09:45 PM   #15 (permalink)
Friend of Leo's
 
sax4blues's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: San Jose, CA
Age: 57
Posts: 3,797
Quote:
Originally Posted by dog fart View Post
I hope he wasn't taking a shot at your playing.

I have some experience in this matter
This is what I was thinking. But I do appreciate good advice, even when it's not what I want to hear.
sax4blues is offline   Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump


» Random Photo for Guests
Natural Ash MIM Telecaster
Untitled Document



 


Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.2



IMPORTANT:Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult! No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 RC 2
© TDPRI.COM 1999 - 2014 All rights reserved.