Saddle screws on the high E string of my American Standard Telecaster keeps dropping?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by mikebjammin, Aug 2, 2021.

  1. mikebjammin

    mikebjammin TDPRI Member

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    Title.

    Over the last week, I have noticed that the saddle screws keep "dropping" after about an hour of playing. It gets low enough to the point that notes start to "choke out" when I bend my high E.

    I talked with a buddy of mine and he told me that I should experiment with replacing the screws, so I bought a set of genuine Fender ones for $9. After some research, I also saw that using Loctite Blue is a possible solution for this problem as well.

    Would replacing the screws or using Loctite be a better solution?

    I appreciate any replies!
     
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  2. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    a dab of clear nail polish on the threads under the saddle will stop the screw winding out... and a dab on top for good measure will get you there....;)
     
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  3. Alamo

    Alamo Doctor of Teleocity

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    Both are good solutions to have in your drawer.
    You never know if or when you'll lose a screw or if the thread is widened that a new screw will also sag.
     
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  4. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    Light Loctite. Blue is OK but maybe use a knife edge to only draw a very small line. It won’t weld so it doesn’t ruin anything. But the screw heads are small and pretty easy to stress. Good luck.
     
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  5. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I remember a rash of these threads a few years ago. Locktite and the like only help if the screws are rotating and allowing the saddle to lower itself. This is highly unlikely. I'd bet you need a new saddle.
     
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  6. TwangToInfinity

    TwangToInfinity Tele-Afflicted

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    i know it isnt right but if i get that issue i smoosh/damage the threads with a plier

    it makes it frictionie'er , not cross threaded, just tighter

    keep in mind i use those 10$ bridges on my partcasters i actually like them a lot.

    so in summery dont do what i do but heres how i solve that problem
     
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  7. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    As mentioned many things will work. I find they will loosen more often if the two screws on each insert are not evenly loaded. You can tell this by trying to "rock" the insert, if it rocks one direction easily, load that screw up a bit more. The reality (with 6 insert bridges) is that the saddles should be more or less level with the guitar top. The string height forms the appropriate arc, not angling the bridge inserts tops.
     
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  8. Boreas

    Boreas Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Do you have a whammy bar on that instrument? All the saddles, or just one? I would avoid Loctite in favor of clear nail polish. New screws could make it better or worse, but worth a try - especially if the Allen heads have any damage. They are so fragile, the Loctite may grip enough that you may strip the head out. These screws are as cheaply made as possible. If nail polish doesn't work, consider new saddles or bridge.
     
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  9. TwoBear

    TwoBear Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm sure someone will say clear nail polish, and there's definitely nothing wrong with that. I'm just going to add that with loctites you have to be careful because they make a couple different brands and some will require heating the parts to get them undone especially if you use a lot.
     
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  10. TwoBear

    TwoBear Tele-Afflicted

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    I replied up top, but I also just thought of this. I just tried hot glue on a stripped out whammy bar and it seems to be working good. It took up the space sort of like a nylon bushing, so if I wanted to flick it and make it warble I could again. That's not really my thing but I do appreciate it staying in place. It's another one of those things where you have to pay attention to what type you're using as they have industrial types and homemaker craft types and the first time I filled the cavity with glue I had to drill it out again! Haha! It's only been a couple weeks but it's working fine. I don't know about screw saddles, but I imagine if you were careful and either remove the saddle to do the work or cover the instrument, as sometimes that stuff has a hot tail on it.....
     
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  11. jaxjaxon

    jaxjaxon Tele-Meister

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    Teflon tape wrapped around the threads once around should do it. It is also known as plumbers tape or thread tape.
     
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  12. Wallaby

    Wallaby Friend of Leo's

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    Clear nail polish as mentioned. It also does its thing on Tune-O-Matic bridge saddles screws. A nice, reversible solution.
     
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  13. mikebjammin

    mikebjammin TDPRI Member

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    Thank you all for your replies! I think I'll give these new screws a shot as I already ordered them. If that doesn't help, I'll use some nail polish.
     
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  14. rstaaf

    rstaaf Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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  15. mikebjammin

    mikebjammin TDPRI Member

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    Thank you all for your help. I just wanted to give an update: the new saddle screws seemed to fix it right up!
     
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  16. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    Are you using very light strings (like 9s), and is the saddle set quite low?

    A little neck angle can help, in either case.
     
  17. colnago

    colnago Tele-Meister

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    With anything you apply to the threads it is important to clean the threads first. Get rid of oils, dirt and stuff so that the product you are using gets a chance to actually work. I suggest naphtha on a cotton swab or small brush.
     
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  18. Canadian_Fender

    Canadian_Fender TDPRI Member

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    agreed. If this is a guitar you plan on keeping a long time and really like it, I’d invest in new saddles (if you can).
     
  19. TwoBear

    TwoBear Tele-Afflicted

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    I’d say I’m past middle-age and I know this but-on any of the solvents, always replace the cap Tightly. If you’re like me it doesn’t hurt to do it in between applications. I’ve been experimenting with different saddles on my Affinity, because they’ve been dropping while I play. While auditioning saddles, the strong smell Of the polish hit me in the nose, and you guessed it pretty much the whole bottle dumped out and soaked the underneath of my crappy android that I just use to load the weeks backing tracks. It fully went up in the speakers and I had to soak them in acetone before you could hear anything again. Haha! It didn’t harm anything real important-besides my ego which learned to take those hits a long time ago. So to complete the “Thread” ha! The nail polish works great and acetone didn’t ruin the phone speakers even in a heavy dose.
     
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