Whats the easiest way to lower action? I'm gonna change some strings soon and I was gonna sand the bridge down. I dont want it to be uneven or anything, so what should i use?
Good care, mainly.
Apart from that not very much is needed, just a sliding measure, a lined vice grip, masking tape, a block of wood an a sheet of course- and a sheet of fine sanding paper.
If I go about a job like this, I first determine how much lower I want the strings to be. Suppose I want one millimeter less heigth above the 12th fret, I'll have to shave two millimeters off the bridge piece. I mark a line parrallel to the bottom edge of the bridgepiece, exactly two millimeters from the edge. Some recommend using a pencil, but non of the pensils or ballpoints I have in my workshop leave any visible line on nylon, so I use masking tape instead. Then I clamp the bridge piece in a vice grip lined with pieces of alumium angular profile. This is the crucial stage in which I make sure that the part of the bridge protruding above the vice grip is exactly the two millimeter wide strip left out by the masking tape. If I'm sure about this (and I have the sliding measure confirming my earlyer measurements), I take a block of wood with some course sandpaper wrapped around it and be destructive for a few minutes till all the nylon down to the vice grip has turned into powder.
Finally I take the piece out of the grip, remove the masking tape and sand off the rough edges with the fine sanding paper.
I refit the piece and see If it worked out. That's all, basically.
Last edited by Marcel Veltman at Aug 23, 2006,
And. oh yes; before you start, measure the intonation. If you find all notes going flat higher up the neck, you'd better leave the action as it is and train your finger muscles instead.
Mine are like .3mm on the 3rd fret and .4 on the 12th. measuring from the top of the actualy fret. Is that ok?
Assuming you mean three millimeters and not point three millimeters, I'd say the top nut is way too high in the first place. Four millimeters on the 12th fret is only a bit on the high side, so I'd turn my attention to the top nut. How is the intonation low down on the fretboard? With strings running near parallel to the fretboard like you discribe it, I'd expect the fretted notes low down (the first few frets from the top nut) to be far too much on sharp side. Normally the strings are supposed to hover just a few tenth of a millimeter above the first fret, rising gradually higher on the way up the neck, reaching somewhat less then three millimeter above the top of the 12th fret, which is a nice 'one size fits all' value.
3rd fret is 4mm from the fretboard and 2mm from the top of the fret. 12th fret is like 5mm and 3.5 from the fret.
Are your measurements including the width of the fat E string?
If yes, it is on the mark on the 3rd- and a bit high on the 12th fret, but not that much that I should bother about it. You can lower it though, if that is your preferance and if intonation allows it.
If you measured only the space underneath the string, you definetely have to attack the top nut (but now that I've slept over it, I think thats unlikely).

And not unimportant; measurements should be taken with the neck curvature properly dialed in. If this has to be done do it first, for doing it afterwards will mess up the action again.
Last edited by Marcel Veltman at Aug 24, 2006,