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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5419
Location: Hegins, Pa
I use pin gauges but in all honesty , learn by train your eyes, you will be amazed at how good they get , even at our age.
so here is my advice
if you think you need the gauges use them but again train the eyes . this is a guitar and no one died playing one , maybe while playing one but not because of it LOL
I do think you are getting learning overload so for now . just follow what I am telling you , once you do that then look at what others are doing , while the end result should be the same sometime differing techniques don't mix well.
ok so this what I think you have
1 screwed up relief and thusly a low saddle

#1 adjust the neck as flat as you can using the frets as the gauge . Mark all the tops of the frets with a magic marker. Check all frets to see if you can spot the high ones.I use a new grinding stone but anything that is flat and you can use sand paper on a flat board even and lightly sand until the top of the frets are clean , then remark and recrown the frets.
#2 At this point make the rough saddle I would just shim up the saddle you have by 1 1/2 32ns. Use a piece of ebony if you have some or even an old credit card. The top of the saddle should have a matching radius of the fretboard. Take your straight edge and place it on the 1st fret and to the point on the saddle and measure the height at the 12 fret. and adjust the saddle to 2 1/2 32nds
#3 to the same thing on the bass E and shoot for 3 1/2 32nds
#4 restring the guitar and adjust the neck relief from fretted 1 to 13 and measure at the 6th to 7th fret. you can do a "TANK" test. Just tap the string and you want to heat a "TANK" that will tell you that the string is off the frets. Visually look and see that you can see the string is clear. Don't worry so much about the .004 to .010 , for now we are just making the initial adjustments.
#5 You should be tuned to pitch and now and adjust the saddle to a 2 - 3 action then play each string and each fret single so you can see if the strings are not buzzing.
#6 your intonation should be within a few cents of the main open note.

I like to take my 1st string and save the cut end I loop that and I want to be able to slip that under the string as it is played and just hear it buzz.

Don't worry about where the strings are in relation to the other frets so much as, the neck angle and action lines are the critical points. I have to tell you that there are many "experts" out there and some actually know what they are doing. You can't learn it all at once so start on the basics and expand on that.

Try this and see what the end results are.

NOTE:
The nut and saddle can also cause buzzing and some funny noises. If the nut slots are too wide or angled you can have a dead string , think of this , The string can't bend at one point, it will arc so plan on that for the nut slot. The same thing on the saddle you need a nice radius on the saddle , too flat and the string arc is not supported causing tuning issues until it can settle in , to much radius you may can a sympathy buzz.
----- Original Message -----

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John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
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http://www.bluescreekguitars.com


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 12:35 pm
Posts: 301
Location: Ireland
Just wondering what your thoughts are on this initial set up John.
Its a 14 fret dreadnought kit and the bridge is already glued on. Basically the guitar is in a finished state -apart from the set up. I now have the following measurements.
Saddle height in the centre= 5/32
Bridge height = 10/32
At the 12th fret from top of fret to string= 0.090 on the stew mac string gauge

I had the strings on and it plays fine apart from the fact that I have not glued down the tongue/fingerboard extension to the body yet, and theres a slight buzz when I play above the 9th fret , but I know that gluing down the tongue will get rid of that as its slightly raised but will be fine when clamped and glued down .

One the one hand it all appears that I'm in the ball park but what bothers me is that when it all settles down there will be very little room for making changes to the action if it were ever needed ?
Second question : Is the saddle too high and if I lower it would I then have to look at re setting the neck?
Many Thanks
Rusty

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5419
Location: Hegins, Pa
actually this is prime you are good. As you do more you will start to anticipate the variables.
This is not a bad set of numbers for a initial setup

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John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
Board of Directors of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
http://www.bluescreekguitars.com


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 12:35 pm
Posts: 301
Location: Ireland
Thanks John,
You're a Star !!
Rusty

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