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Saddle raise ideas

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by uriah1, Feb 3, 2020.

  1. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Ok.
    I had a little oopsie when sanding my saddle. I went a tad to far on
    the high E. Its a gibson cutway 45, so it has that contoured type.

    In the past I remember triming a credit card...but, I only need to go up a hair
    or so, and mostly on that high e.

    Any ideas..?

    tks

    Love the rest of height..would like to keep..now lowered. It is workable, just
    I cant play real high >18 fret on the E...maybe I shouldnt worry about
    since I don't play free bird on acoustic anyway.. Enjoy the comfort..and skip
    acoustic lead action. Step it down to a b string ..lol
     
  2. Wallaby

    Wallaby Friend of Leo's

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    Could you glue a small strip of bone to the bottom of the saddle and basically start over?

    Or maybe just start over with a new blank?
     
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  3. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    Shimming a nut works if you don't want to make another. I'd use something hard that you can sand though - wood or bone. But making a new one is pretty easy and cheap IMO.
     
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  4. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Tiny folded piece of aluminum foil...
     
  5. esseff

    esseff Tele-Afflicted

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    +1 for gluing a bit on.
    I went too far when sanding down an expensive tusq bridge saddle for my resonator so I just super-glued a piece of Tufnol to it and started again. Sounds just fine.
     
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  6. Jonzilla

    Jonzilla Tele-Meister

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    I've used a sliver of a business card as a saddle shim with no noticeable tone difference and the height is very small.
     
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  7. W.L.Weller

    W.L.Weller Tele-Holic

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    Baking soda and super glue?

    I'd make a small pile of baking soda on a piece of dark paper (so I could see what I was doing) flatten it out with a card, place the bottom of the treble side of the saddle in the baking soda, and apply the cyanoacrylate to the bottom of the saddle. As if you were trying to glue the saddle to the baking soda (because that is what you are looking to do).

    My hesitation would be getting a good transition, such that the bottom of the saddle winds up flat.
     
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  8. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    For a temporary fix I will shim a saddle - find something in the shop that will raise it the correct amount. However there is only one time I will leave a shim in place (thats when the guitar is dehydrated and we are going thru the rehydration process and I expect to take it back out in a month or so).

    If the saddle is too low I make a new one. I keep a stash of bone blanks in both bleached and unbleached - it take me about a half hour to make t new one. Its a good time to correct intonation issues if you have them.

    A couple of things to remember - once you have the relief and first fret action set don't touch them. Measure the 12th fret action and compare to your target. To make a change of X at the 12th fret you need to change 2X at the saddle, So if I want to lower the action by 10 thousands I put a 20 thousands feeler gauge on my work bench and draw a line on the bottom of the saddle (both sides). Take it to the belt sander and buzz off to the line. I'll do it in a couple of steps, as you have discovered it is easier to take a little more off than to put it back on.

    Basically I don't like shims - I think they weaken the bridge slot and I think they compromise the transfer of energy from strings to bridge. I really don't like them with a UST. Take the time to do it right.

    I just linked this for another thread - it might be helpful for you too

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/basic-setup.952636/
     
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  9. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Acoustic saddle? I use a thin brass shim. You can get it at a good auto parts store down to as thin as .001" It cuts with scissors. Also, that hard plastic used on "window packages" isn't bad. Comes in .005 or .010" usually. You know, those packages at the store that allow you to see the item inside.
    If you have a piezo pickup though, a shim may inhibit the pickup a bit unless you use it full length.
     
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  10. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Let me put this in perspective. A friend just acquired a 1957 (I think) Gibson L5 - yes the holey grail. He was complaining of a very slight buzz on the first fret of one string - the nut action was incredibly low. It might have been the original nut, I made a replacement out of unbleached bone - matched the old one perfectly. Got the action almost as low as the original one, polished the nut, then decided to lightly run a chisel thru the slot and clean it up. Should have done that first, now the B string buzzed on the first fret.

    Said a few magic words and started work on a new one.... Action is now perfect, no buzzes and my friend is happy. I could have shimmed or super glued or done a bunch of other mickey mouse fixes but I didn't
     
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  11. Dukex

    Dukex Tele-Afflicted

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  12. Dreadnut

    Dreadnut Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, new saddle time.
     
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  13. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Ya, ..
    Guess I also need better method for sanding.
    Rubbing it against that sand paper takes awhile
    and cramps me up
     
  14. Wallaby

    Wallaby Friend of Leo's

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    Just thinking out loud -

    If you have a vise you could use a coarse bastard file.

    You could also use a hand saw to cut close to the line and then sand or file it the rest of the way.

    I'm guessing that people who do this for a living use a disc sander with a stop.
     
  15. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    Funny how you can always find someone else on the forum who has made the same mistake. Get a single edge razor blade and shave strips of a few different thicknesses from a bamboo chop stick. Cut them down so they match the width of your saddle. Cut the thicker end of one of them at the point where it makes up the height difference you need. Try to have the length match the length of your saddle where it tapers to zero thickness. Insert the shim beneath the saddle. Check for buzz. Check your action. Cut another shim if you need to. Stop worrying. You did no irreversible harm. Enjoy the low buzz free action on your 45. :cool:
     
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  16. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I make lots and lots of saddles and nuts. I start with very slightly thick blanks (I keep a stock of different thickness in both bleached and unbleached bone). I measure the slot or the old saddle/nut, bring the blank down to thickness with a belt sander and 120 grit belt. Saw the blank to roughly the correct size (band saw or razor saw), then I go back to shaping on the belt sander. I'll put a piece of 150 or 180 grit sand paper on the radius block for the radius of the fretboard (16, 20 whatever it is) and sand the top radius of the saddle. Do the intonation and shape the top with a little 6 inch mill bastard file. Then I just start working my way down by sanding the bottom on the belt sander until I'm close, finish it with 150/180 sandpaper on a flat piece of wood. As I said before if you measure the action and its X too high you need to lower the saddle by 2X. Clean up all the sanding marks with 400, 600 and 800, then polish with some compound.

    It takes me about one half hour to make a new saddle from scratch, about an hour or a little more fore a nut. There are pictures in that thread I linked for you.
     
  17. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Nice!!..........
    ..I should get a machine..I think I should get the heavier duty sandpaper..to start...now I just tape it down on the work bench and hold the little bity saddle
    and go back and forth and back and forth and back and forth and back and forth.
     
  18. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Here is rough shaping a nut on my little bench top sander

    IMG_2953.JPG


    Bone absolutely stinks when you sand it. Here it is shaped and finished

    IMG_2962.JPG

    and the saddle for that little guitar (sorry, no pictures making it)

    IMG_2964.JPG
     
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  19. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

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    Put a pickup under it.
     
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