#1
So I've always been told that you adjust the action by messing with the truss rod. Recently I've seen Captivate say some things about not using the truss rod, but instead sanding down the saddle. Now, I have two questions.

1) What does the truss rod do if its not used to adjust action?
2) If my saddle was glued in, I'd have to sand from the top, right? But what if the saddle (This will be hard to explain), has a shape that looks like it shouldn't be sanded?
Here, lets see if I can Ascii art it:

Normal saddle:

___________________ (Top would be more rounded, but you get the point. I hope)
|_________________|


My saddle:

__---___--________---____ It looks like its got some raised sections for specific strings.
|_____________________|


How would i sand mine?
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#2
Get a professional to do it.
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#3
The saddles should match the radius of the fretboard.

The truss rod should be adjusted until the neck has just a slight dip in the center.

What the truss rod actually does is creates bow or back bow in the neck, back bow is bad. The wood itself wouldn't hold very well with all the tension that the strings create it would eventually just bow and you'd be shooting arrows at people with your guitar because it would eventually become unplayable.

A quick way of testing for the correct "bow" of the neck.

If you hold down the low "E" at the 3rd fret and with your other hand hold down the low "E" at the 15th fret if you tap the string in between those there should be just a bit of space between the strings and the frets. If you have a good eye you should also notice a bit of a bow in the neck around the 7th to 10th frets.

Now this is all assuming that all other things are correct.

1. the nut is slotted correctly

2. the frets are level and seated correctly

3. The saddles are notched correctly and there are no problems with the bridge itself.
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#4
The truss rod is meant to change the bow of the neck. Well, what is bow? Bowing is the angle of the neck in reference to body. A properly set up guitar will have a little bit of a bow forward. That is... the action will be higher at the 12th fret than the 1st fret. If the neck were straight, there would be dead frets and buzzing all over the place because each fret is at different levels(due to humidity, temperature, wear, etc.). The action can be change EVER so slightly by the truss rod, but it's not the right way to going about it since you can mess up a lot of things by changing the angle.

Most saddles will not be glued in except for the ones that are the slide in type of saddle, like so.

This type NEEDS to be glued in(or else it will fall out) and is a pain in the ass to replace because of it.


I think this is the type of saddle you're trying to describe. It's called a compensated saddle and the different peaks are meant to help with intonation. Each string requires a slightly different length to have correct intonation and compensated saddles try to adjust for this.

You cannot just sand down the top of it because you'll mess up the intonation. If you were a trained professional then you might be able to do it, but the proper way is to take it out and sand the bottom. It's a pain in the ass to rework the whole top of the saddle for correct intonation. You might think that your saddle is glued in, but a proper saddle is fit tightly into the bridge because it creates better contact between the saddle and guitar


I believe this was the saddle you called "normal". It's rounded and doesn't have as good intonation. This one should also be adjusted by sanding the bottom, even though it's round on top. It is fitted into the guitar the same way as the normal compensated saddle.

Hopefully, I answered your questions. I'm writing this up in a hurry because I'm in Microeconomics class.

Enjoy the read.
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#6
Quote by Baby Joel
So I've always been told that you adjust the action by messing with the truss rod. Recently I've seen Captivate say some things about not using the truss rod, but instead sanding down the saddle. Now, I have two questions.

1) What does the truss rod do if its not used to adjust action?
2) If my saddle was glued in, I'd have to sand from the top, right? But what if the saddle (This will be hard to explain), has a shape that looks like it shouldn't be sanded?
Here, lets see if I can Ascii art it:

Normal saddle:

___________________ (Top would be more rounded, but you get the point. I hope)
|_________________|
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Sand along this edge, never the top.
My saddle:

__---___--________---____ It looks like its got some raised sections for specific strings.
|_____________________|
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Or along this one if possibe to remove this type of saddle. This type is called a "compensated" saddle. Certain strings contact points have been fine tuned to provide proper intonation.

How would i sand mine?


Simple really. Can it be removed from the guitar? If yes, then sand the BOTTOM(see my addition to your drawing) of the saddle by placing a full sheet of 250 grit sandpaper on a flat surface and tape it in place. Slide the saddle along the face of the sandpaper, making sure you keep the over all angles the same. You only want to be removing about 1/32nds of an inch at a time from the bottom of the saddle. It might be helpful to scribe a mark all the way around on the saddle so you can monitor your progress. The most critical part of all this is that the bottom remain absolutely flat. This is where your strings vibrating energy is transferred to the soundboard of the guitar. So, if you remove 1/32nds on the high E end, the same amount needs to be removed from the low E end as well. This will have the net effect of lowering all of the strings simultaneously. Slip the newly sanded saddle back in and retune and test it out. If you feel you need to remove more material, repeat this procedure. Remember, only a little at a time. If you over do it, you'll surely wind up with fret buzz. Then it's time for a new saddle. What I did was buy a bone saddle blank and I fashioned it to the same dimensions as my original. THEN I altered my action little by little until it was right where I wanted it.
If the saddle can't be removed, such as the example captivate provided, then you'll need to bring the guitar in for adjustments.
#7
Wow, thanks for all the help! You guys really helped me out.
it's all just coming back
it's all coming back

it's all coming back to me
#8
Ok, I fixed the pictures for now, but I'm not sure if they'll stay there.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.