After many of threads of "how do I lower my action" or "I have fret buzz" or "how do I set my intonation". Please note, NOTHING IN THIS THREAD IS SET IN STONE! I will not address repairs or advanced tuning like nut filing or pickup adjustment of any kind. If the guitar needs repair see JJ's stick post and ask there.

I took my Epi LP and did a string Gauge change just for this thread and for the specific purpose of showing how to make the adjustments. This guitar played perfect.

Skip what you don't need.

The tools

Note the large ruler cut in two. It was cut at 18" for a reason. You can get one at Sears for about $10.00. Very handy, or not depending on how you set it all up. Myself, I like to have it, great for finding defects fast. Yup, I'm blind, two different strength reading glasses for that real close look and a flashlight(not shown).

Here is the victim. Yup, a Epi LP, less then 3 months old. plays perfect. I believe it had 10's, I'm going to string it with 9's.

So here is the victim with the strings off it. Notice I removed the truss rod cover. Just easier when unstrung. Go ahead and clean it up now. I use lighter fluid or mineral spirits to loose the crap on the fingerboard and an old bodyshop bondo filler plastic squeegee to scrape the crap off.

I use "boiled lin seed oil" to condition the fingerboard. I do not have any experience with maple fretboards and only recommend this for rosewood and ebony. This stuff conditions and seals the wood. Once dry, go ahead and restring. Notice that the low E string is "about" 1 1/2 long. I find this to be a good starting point. Notice the string sitting on the rolled up towel!

Pinch and slide forward, then wind that baby up. that should give you close to what you need.

This is my technique.

I alway's put a little pencil in the slots, keeps the strings from binding in the nut.

Notice that the last string is longer then the first by about 1/2 inch

Afer the restring, give them a bit of a stretch.

Grab the guitar and in playing position place a capo on the first fret( in this photo) and depress the last fret. Take the old string that was on the rolled towel(10) and see if you can stick it under the 7th fret. This is a good indication of relief or how flat the fret board is. 10 thousands is pretty good, not great but about average.

I sometimes use a straight edge. This one was from Sears and cut at 18". I use automotive feeler gauges at the 7th fret to gauge how straight the neck is and set the neck up. I like my neck freakin straight, about .002 - .005, guys, that's flat. Some want it as much at 25 thousands!!!! This is a personal preferance.
Last edited by Sin City Sid at Nov 15, 2008,