Aging of the bridge saddle

Area for Tokai's older than 1985

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lukemosse
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Aging of the bridge saddle

Post by lukemosse » Mon Dec 27, 2004 3:08 pm

Hi

I just bought a slightly controversial tokai off eBay that was being sold by a guy who has done a big cosmetic fix on it. It's controversial because the guy selling it didn't tell anybody in this forum that he was going to, and I gather they helped him a lot with the fix up.

Anyway I am a player and have bought this guitar because I need something to gig with that I'm not going to need to replace, and that doesn't cost the earth. And I must say it does sound absolutely beautiful. No complaints whatsoever there.

One slight problem, however, is that the action is slightly high. Before I make any adjustments to the intonation, I have noticed that the bridge is slightly too far raised. My question is - it is likely that the bridge has bent over the 20 odd years that the guitar has been strung? In short, does this sort of thing happen, and does anybody have some advice about what to do about it?

Also - is it okay to use teak oil on the body of the guitar?
And - what's the best thing for a rosewood neck to get it as resistance free as possible?

I would really appreciate all advice!

ned
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Post by ned » Mon Dec 27, 2004 3:22 pm

Can't help with the last 2 questions but the bridge will definately bent. If the angle from the stop tail to the bridge is steep then you can almost guarente the bridge has warped.

Ned

lukemosse
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Post by lukemosse » Mon Dec 27, 2004 3:45 pm

what's the stop tail exactly?

Novosel
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Post by Novosel » Mon Dec 27, 2004 6:44 pm

Is this a Strat-style or Les Paul-style guitar you've got there?

lukemosse
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PROBLEM SOLVED

Post by lukemosse » Mon Dec 27, 2004 7:13 pm

Sorry !!!

The problem is now solved- I discovered the problem is not that the saddle is bent, but that the previous owner had screwed down the bridge too tight into the wood. I loosened it up and the problem was fixed instantly. Now it plays perfectly.

Sorry for being a bit dense.

The guitar is a strat copy (1964 model) apparently.

I just ordered some micromesh for polishing the fretboard. Anybody heard of this stuff?

Novosel
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Post by Novosel » Mon Dec 27, 2004 11:58 pm

All is forgiven.

The strat-style doesn't have the stoptail that I believe Ned was referring to.

I have used Micro-mesh and it is excellent stuff. Incredibly fine grits. Some people talk about using 400 or 600-grit sandpaper to polish up their guitars, but Micromesh is 6000 and 8000 grit!. The aircraft industry uses 12000 grit to re-polish scratched plexiglas windows. I've used 6000 to remove fine stratches and 8000 to achieve an aged patina on my Love Rock and Gibson.

beatriz joya
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Post by beatriz joya » Wed Dec 29, 2004 7:22 am

we have the same problem, i did the same, loosen the screws, thighten the springs it will pull back & lower the strings, but i'm not that satisfied. i wonder if i can tighten the trust rod a little bit so that the neck's angle will decrease slightly, cuz its bowed a little which is perfect for me.
i'm not sure, do i have to adjust the neck to lower the action of the strings? or is there something, like a procedure to lock the tremolo system at the back, i don't use it anyway.
any suggestion? thanx

lukemosse
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Post by lukemosse » Wed Dec 29, 2004 7:47 am

What exactly is the problem?

Is the bridge still too far forward even after you've adjusted the springs? In that case you may need to put an extra spring in the back.

Be careful if you need to adjust the truss rod - if it's like mine you'll need to take the neck off first. Make sure you don't screw it further than it wants to go or you could damage it. If you encounter more than medium resistance, then stop right away because damaging the truss rod is extremely expensive to repair.

One thing I do know is that you shouldn't adjust the truss rod just to change the action - adjust the action at the bridge to do that. Adjusting the truss rod is about the curvature of the fretboard, which is different. Consider how the top notes will keep their sustain etc.

There are a few sites you can look at if you do a simple google search. you can see how you're changing the curvature by holding the bottom E string down at the top fret and then looking halfway down the fretboard and measuring the gap between the E string and the board. There should be a slight gap at least - if it is flush with the board then the string will not vibrate properly and you'll have buzz.

beatriz joya
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Post by beatriz joya » Wed Dec 29, 2004 10:53 am

i havent adjusted the thrust rod.
the problem is, i have lowered the saddles to the max, thighten the springs at the back, loosen the screws of the bridge, so that the bridge's base will touch the surface, yet the base reamains lifted. my goal is to get the maximum capability of lowering the strings so that i can raise the saddles a little bit.

lukemosse
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Post by lukemosse » Wed Dec 29, 2004 1:10 pm

It sounds to me like you need to put an extra spring in the back. They should be easy to get hold of. I don't think anything else would work apart from changing down to lighter strings.

beatriz joya
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Post by beatriz joya » Thu Dec 30, 2004 4:59 am

i got it, the bridge is now fully flat on the surface, yet it seems the action is still a little bit high. i can't think of anything but the neck. i mean its perfectly bowed a little bit to give room for the strings to vibrate. we all know that when a string vibrates it creates an arch. thats why in my opinion, (correct me if i'm wrong), necks should be a little bit bowed, to minimize buzz sounds from the fret wires.

if i'm wrong, maybe i should adjust the neck, perhaps make it straight.

lukemosse
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Post by lukemosse » Sun Jan 02, 2005 8:15 am

yeah it should be bowed - slightly.

basically when you set the neck and then lower the strings (so they are lower than usual), you should get buzz both above the 12th fret and below the 5th fret. If you get buzz only above the 12th fret, then the neck is too bowed. If you get buzz only below the 5th fret, then this means the neck is too straight.

Good luck - do searches on google for advice on adjusting the truss rod.

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