Shave bridge on inexpensive acoustic?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by DrPepper, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. DrPepper

    DrPepper Tele-Afflicted

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    The action on my beater is getting a tad too high, 10/64". The neck is a rad underset by about a 1/16 of an inch. Not enough saddle to take it all off at the saddle. Shave the bridge?
    The guitar is a Martin D Jr that has had some damage. It sounds good, but, is not fun to play... What would you do?
     
  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You want to maintain a minimum of 1/4} in the middle of the radius on that bridge. You’ll have to make the call since you can see the amoun pt of undersea. Fwiwand I am hoping this is the bass side.... to lower that 10/64” toa 7/64” action, that witness po8nt on the saddle has to be lowered by 6/64”.
    It is a bolt on neck guitar, correct? Have you made sure that the neck is pulled securely to the body...that the bolt is not loose.
     
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  3. Buzzgrowl

    Buzzgrowl Tele-Meister

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    If its bolt-on maybe you can shim it?
     
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  4. ale.istotle

    ale.istotle Tele-Meister

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    I shimmed a taylor big-baby to correct for similar issues. You can probably do the same here. First make sure relief is reasonable via truss rod then straight-edge your fretboard to see where it hits the saddle or bridge. You don't need much shim to fit it - I used aluminum foil because it's cheap, available and easy to add layers for thickness. Once you get it comfortable to play you can decide if you want to replace the foil with hard wood. I didn't change it out. I guess it's tone-foil now.
     
  5. DrPepper

    DrPepper Tele-Afflicted

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    It is a Martin D Jr, yes, it is a bolt on neck... I have shimmed Taylor Big Baby's with excellent results, but the intonation is real close on this guitar, so I will shave (I watched caveman do it on yt)..

    @Wally, thanks, I will be mindful of the measurements... The neck is not loose and could not be pulled any closer, it is under set a tad...

    I saw the other bridge shaving thread after I started this one, doh...
     
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  6. stanger

    stanger Tele-Meister

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    I would buy a new saddle and shave it to proper height before I would touch the bridge. It's easy to find a new saddle with the correct arch on the top with enough extra height to sand it down.

    Working a flat bottom down to size is a lot easier and more accurate than trying to work the arch of the bridge.
    Once the bridge is screwed up, there's gonna be nothing but problems afterward.

    The saddles are only a few bucks, and it's a good idea to buy 2, just in case the guitar's action changes over time. I carried a spare in my case for about 15 years before it replaced the original saddle.

    Shims will work, but there's always some sacrifice in volume or tone when they are used.
    regards,
    stanger
     
  7. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Acoustic manufacturers are negligent when it comes to this. Guitars that are incapable of having a lower action should not pass quality control. It makes buying an acoustic online a real pita. I only buy acoustics I can play and check myself first due to so many having bad neck angles.
    The last acoustic I bought only one out of the 6 identical models I played was capable of lowering the action enough on without bottoming out the saddle and screwing up the volume and tone.

    I would sell that guitar to someone who likes a higher action and replace it with one suitable for you. I'd also write Martin a email telling them to get their chit together with quality control.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
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