Neck vs Bridge radius

LtDave32

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Exactly... But StewMac sells tons of "radius gauges" and you'll get people ready to fight to the death that a 9.5" radius means the strings that sit 1/8" above the wood are also 9.5" radius.

Don't even get them started that it matters whether you are putting the radius gauge above or below the strings... their heads explode :rofl:

That's the funniest thing ever to me.

Stoo-mak is willing, ready and able to sell you any and all gizmos, jim-cracks-whizz-bangs and Xmas lights you can afford.

-And never get anywhere with them once you have them in your grubby, tool-coveting little paws.

So you've spent $____.95 on some radius gauges you could have made with a string, a ruler and a pencil. -And a piece of heavy paper.

Now that one has that contraption, what are they going to ***DO** with that contraption? Gonna change the radius of the fret board on your guitar, are ye?

<spit>

.Uh-huh.

Congrats, Mergatroid, you just found out that your guitar which you thought had a 9.5 radius actually has a 10.0 radius.

..or a 9.1. ..Bitchin'.

Oh, wait.. You wanted to use it to set your bridge radius to the perfect exact match of your fret board radius.

Set your bridge radius to where you like it.

Period.

If you cannot eyeball a fret board radius looking down from the butt of the guitar and up towards the nut, and set your bridge to near the same curve, put the guitar down, go to the Special Ed center and start putting those wooden plugs shaped like stars and triangles and such into their respective holes, because you need the practice.
 

CB91710

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Yep.. The Fender dudes would go apeshit over not having an adjustable bridge on a Gibson :D

And even on Fender... Drop it until it buzzes or frets out on bends, then back it off a notch. Now eyeball the radius off of the highest string, angle it toward the lowest.... but make sure the saddles are perpendicular to the bridge plate!

Oh, you INSIST on using a tool?

OK... do the above, and measure the string height of the tallest one.
Use your tool to set them all there.

Yep yep... you now have a pre-sizion set up guitar.... and you still didn't touch any tools you didn't have 20 years ago in the junk drawer ;)

I LOVE the Joe Walsh Gibson setup video.
No fancy tools, no strobe tuners... just eyeballs, fingers, ears, and brains.
 

ARandall

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I think most people starting off liking all sorts of measurements and doohickeys to test they've got it right.......like a checklist they can tick off so that every task has been done the way the textbook says.
After a few dozen setups though so many of the steps are so much second nature you do them by eye....or even by feel. Especially if its your guitar where you know the smallest detail of what you want.
 

jeff.longino

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Some of the bridges I see say the saddle is "Zamac", is that hard enough for a bender or do I need to make sure it is steel?
 

cmjohnson

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Zamac is a Zinc, Aluminum, Magnesium alloy. (There are several types.) It's about as hard as brass.


Stew-Mac sells a gadget for every possible thing you can do in the process of repairing or setting up a guitar. But I only coinsider about five or six of their products to be REALLY useful to the point that I'd buy them again. I recommend their pre-ground flush cutting fret puller pliers/fret nippers, their fretwire bender, the diamond crowning files, some good nut files, the fret tang nippers, and the nut slot ruler. Also the radiused sanding blocks. The rest I can do without.
 

jeff.longino

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Thanks, I sort of figured.
So it looks like I can find a steel bridge or a roller bridge for a reasonable $$ but to get a combo steel-roller bridge the price really jumps.
 

LtDave32

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Jeff, if you can make the roller bridge work, that would be the ultimate good thing.

My only concern is about the height of the B string and the angle of it as it wraps around the pull mechanism, if you follow me.
 

LtDave32

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Zamac is a Zinc, Aluminum, Magnesium alloy. (There are several types.) It's about as hard as brass.


Stew-Mac sells a gadget for every possible thing you can do in the process of repairing or setting up a guitar. But I only coinsider about five or six of their products to be REALLY useful to the point that I'd buy them again. I recommend their pre-ground flush cutting fret puller pliers/fret nippers, their fretwire bender, the diamond crowning files, some good nut files, the fret tang nippers, and the nut slot ruler. Also the radiused sanding blocks. The rest I can do without.
I use a lot of SM products. Some of them are just what the Doctor ordered.

But here are so many "nifty gadgets", It's easy for a novice to get confused, especially when you've got Dan Earliwine pimping products as something no shop can do without.

Right alongside the gadgetry, they sell good, useful gear that any shop would do well to have. It's a damn jungle.
 

jeff.longino

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@LtDave32 I have not given you the fully story.....it is a little mad scientist but here it is and the roller push will make more sense. I'm trying a b-bender and a bigsby. Yes the roller is a little high for the b-bender wheel but I will have run the string under the front of the B5 bigbsy first to get it into the right plane.

I'm still staring at it all trying to decide if I can make all the mechanics fit into the space....it is a trick....but I also see one crazy guy on youtube that has already done this so I can tell it is not 100% unchartered territory.
 

LtDave32

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I will say this, perhaps it will influence you.

I have a guy whom I built a B-bender Telecaster for. He's the lead guitarist for the Hollywood Hillbillies, a band that specializes in "outlaw" and classic country. He uses that B bender exclusively, every set, every song. He's developed a technique where he uses the B bender for not only pedal steel effects, but every bent note done on the B string.

He uses it every solo, constantly.

The idea behind the B bender is to bend the B string up a whole step. That is what one adjusts it to do. It will accomplish whole -step bends which sound good. It also allows you do bend the B string a whole step while playing a chord or triad, which mimics (along with other bends of other strings) a pedal steel effect of a sustained bend on multiple strings.

With a bigsby, the B bender is entirely do-able, but I don't know why one would want to do that. The bigsby would have zero effect on the string angles of the B, because the B string is not hooked to the Bigsby. It is hooked to the "wheel", then through the bridge.
 

jeff.longino

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It is a little nutty for sure.....i found this guy by accident after I starting digging for bender ideas. It looks pretty much like what I'm thinking.

If yo see how the bender wheel is under the B5 that bring the string under the first bigsby bar which put it inline for the wheel.

 

CB91710

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Zamac is a Zinc, Aluminum, Magnesium alloy. (There are several types.) It's about as hard as brass.


Stew-Mac sells a gadget for every possible thing you can do in the process of repairing or setting up a guitar. But I only coinsider about five or six of their products to be REALLY useful to the point that I'd buy them again. I recommend their pre-ground flush cutting fret puller pliers/fret nippers, their fretwire bender, the diamond crowning files, some good nut files, the fret tang nippers, and the nut slot ruler. Also the radiused sanding blocks. The rest I can do without.
Their soft-jaw pliers are pretty nice too.
I also like their tool for working with knurled switch nuts, but it's not a necessity of course.
 

cmjohnson

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The knurled nut tools are marked up and are made by GC Electronics. Part number 9358 for the 1/2" driver and 9359 for the 5/8" size.
 

CB91710

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The knurled nut tools are marked up and are made by GC Electronics. Part number 9358 for the 1/2" driver and 9359 for the 5/8" size.
9358 is $5 more from Newark (and ya, Newark is high), 9359 is no longer available. DigiKey doesn't list either one.
Spot checked a couple of other sites and the 9359 is NLA or backordered.
Only place I could find the 9358 was a pair of them on Amazon for $82

Seriously... I would love it if we had a cross-reference of decent ScrewMac tools from more competitive sources.
 

Kennoyce

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9358 is $5 more from Newark (and ya, Newark is high), 9359 is no longer available. DigiKey doesn't list either one.
Spot checked a couple of other sites and the 9359 is NLA or backordered.
Only place I could find the 9358 was a pair of them on Amazon for $82

Seriously... I would love it if we had a cross-reference of decent ScrewMac tools from more competitive sources.
I get lots of stew-mac tool clones on reverb, typically for around half the price that stew-mac charges.
 

jeff.longino

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For those playing along at home I decided on a simple 1/2 ashtray tele bridge with steel saddles.
Guitar people are weird when it comes to opinions so you never know from what you read but I found a number of folks saying that the roller saddles often deaden the tone and I was not having luck finding steel rollers anyway....so a simple tele bridge it is.

Many thanks for the pointers and suggestions. I'll be waiting on parts for a few days and this will not be a fast build but I'll post a few pics as things get moving.
 
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LtDave32

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For those playing along at home I decided on a simply 1/2 ashtray tele bridge with steel saddles.
Guitar people are weird when it comes to opinions so you never know from what you read but I found a number of folks saying that the roller saddles often deaden the tone and I was not having luck finding steel rollers anyway....so a simply tele bridge it is.

Many thanks for the pointers and suggestions. I'll be waiting on parts for a few days and this will not be a fast build but I'll post a few pics as things get moving.
Tell you what.. I like that bender unit. Quality hardware. I'm going to use it on my Bender builds.
 

jeff.longino

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@LtDave32 I'll let you know what I think once I have my hands on it. It does look quality. The only part I question is how the spring is attaching....but that seems an easy mod if it is dodgy. All in all it looks solid. And my conversations with Chase via email have been very good, responsive.
 

LtDave32

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Thing is, it's almost an exact copy of the Gene Parsons bender, what he wants a bundle of money for.

over $600.

Yeah.. And considering the Hipshot / Parsons-Green plate-mounted version is not as well made and hard to find, I'll think I'll be going with your guy Chase.

Much higher quality unit, for a fair price. Very fair price.


And unlike the plate-mounted Parsons-Green, you can mount it in several styles of guitars.

With the Parsons-Green, it's only for a Tele.
 

jeff.longino

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Yeah part of what I'm betting on is that this style of bender has some degree of flexibility in how/where you mount the top/bottom arms and then some flexibility in the length and angle of the connecting arm.....i need that to finesse it into the LP junior body.
 


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