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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / High E String Comes out of the Saddle When Finger Picking

5Strats
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Edmond/OKC

GospelBilly!
Jun 15th, 2018 06:33 AM   Edit   Profile  

The high E string often comes out of the saddle when I finger pick while playing my Epiphone Swingster. (You know the Scotty Moore - Travis picking thing finger picking thing.)

Any idea how to fix this (other than not finger picking on this guitar)?

Is a deeper groove for this one saddle needed? If so, what tool is needed?

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Jun 15th, 2018 08:22 AM   Edit   Profile  

A file or saw blade about the same thickness as the string. How is the break angle over the nut towards the tuners? If you can get more windings of the string on the post it may help lock it down or a little angle work may help, It shouldn’t take much. Just nicking the nut with the corner of a thin metal fingernail file may do it.

If I wasn’t sure I would find a piece of bone, corian, plastic or other similar material to make sure the cutting tool is not very aggressive and can be controlled.

Or just wait for Peegoo to answer, he probably has the correct genious way of dealing with it “o) Using a piece of dental floss and a used matchbook cover.

Peegoo
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Ooo that sandwich

is gonna get et
Jun 15th, 2018 08:43 AM   Edit   Profile  

LOL! Right!

I think 5Strats means the bridge. The usual fix is what you mentioned though: increase the string's break angle over the bridge saddle.

The Swingster uses a Tune-o-matic bridge on a moveable wooden foot and a short tailpiece Bigsby. That means the break angle is fixed on this model, and cannot be easily changed. So the fix (you also hit on that) is to deepen the string groove in the saddle.

Doing so will drop the string a bit, so you may also need to drop the other plain strings a little (deepen their slots, but not so much). Then use the bridge thumb wheel on the treble side to jack up the bridge to restore proper string action over the frets.



5Strats
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Edmond/OKC

GospelBilly!
Jun 15th, 2018 09:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yes, take it to the BRIDGE! (:oE

"The Swingster uses a Tune-o-matic bridge on a moveable wooden foot and a short tailpiece Bigsby. That means the break angle is fixed on this model, and cannot be easily changed. So the fix (you also hit on that) is to deepen the string groove in the saddle."

Peegoo - What if I install a FLOYD ROSE? (;oD

QUESTION - This guitar has an 11 high E currently. Would switching to a 10 help?

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Jun 15th, 2018 09:27 AM   Edit   Profile  

Off the saddle, oh, how did I miss that?!?

I think I’ll fire up the tractor and cut some grass.

Achase4u

U.S. - Virginia

Jun 15th, 2018 09:36 AM   Edit   Profile  

Put some 13's on there and I bet they won't jump around no 'mo :-)

Hushnel and the G-man have good advice!

5Strats
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Edmond/OKC

GospelBilly!
Jun 15th, 2018 03:33 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks gang. I really like this guitar, other than this one issue.

I'd like to use 10-46 Ernie Ball strings on this guitar.

wrnchbndr
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New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Jun 15th, 2018 06:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

Yup. Just a couple of passes with a nut file

Peegoo
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Ooo that sandwich

is gonna get et
Jun 15th, 2018 08:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

If you don't have a nut file you can buy a set of "needle files" or "jeweler's files" at just about any hardware store (see pic at link).

Use the small triangle file, lightly, to deepen the string slot. It takes only two or three light passes with the file to get great results. Don't press hard; let the file do the work.

Make sure to hold the file at a slight angle, with the point of the file aimed at the string bar on the Bigsby.

Needle files...each is about 6" long.

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 10:41 PM, Jun 15th, 2018)

5Strats
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Edmond/OKC

GospelBilly!
Jun 16th, 2018 05:41 AM   Edit   Profile  

"If you don't have a nut file . . ."

I don't own one and will let my favorite guitar tech do the work. I don't want to screw it up. (:oD

I do my own set ups, can install pickups and other things, but I'm reluctant to work on nuts, frets and bridges.

vomer
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Slow horses,

fast women
Jun 16th, 2018 07:38 AM   Edit   Profile  

^It's the next step, from which there is no return. All your free time will disappear in a haze of bone dust and metal filings, and you will develop supernatural powers of perception dealing in thousands of an inch, and being able to survive on tea and cookies. With occasional cake.

Leftee
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VA

Jun 16th, 2018 07:40 AM   Edit   Profile  

I don’t blame you. I remember the first time I took a file to something on a guitar. It was not a pleasant feeling. And I measured 50 times and filed once. (-:

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Jun 16th, 2018 07:59 AM   Edit   Profile  

Chrome or other shinny platings can be tough, hard and slippery. See my second paragraph, at least that parts valid “o)

I’d use a 70+ tooth per inch blade in a jewelers saw, at least in the initial cutting through the plating. This is where broken blades and adjustable saws are usefull.

Taking it to a trusted tech is also a good idea. For me that option would be 2 or more hours vs 5 minutes, but then I have a kitchen step stool/ ironing board deployed in the kitchen, just for stuff like that. Saves me the 10 minutes it takes to walk down to the workshop.

Leftee
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VA

Jun 16th, 2018 09:14 AM   Edit   Profile  

... and, after I got done filing, the slot was *STILL* to low!

Just like it was.

(This message was last edited by Leftee at 11:22 AM, Jun 16th, 2018)

Achase4u

U.S. - Virginia

Jun 16th, 2018 04:22 PM   Edit   Profile  

Does plating need to be replaced when you do this?

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Jun 17th, 2018 09:07 AM   Edit   Profile  

Naw, it's the first step to becoming relic'ed.

Achase4u

U.S. - Virginia

Jun 17th, 2018 09:22 AM   Edit   Profile  

Only curious as to any interaction between the bare metal on a string accelerating oxidation and making a break point. But it sounds like it won't?

rockstar_not

USA

Thank God for guitars!
Jun 28th, 2018 12:02 PM   Edit   Profile  

"I do my own set ups, can install pickups and other things, but I'm reluctant to work on nuts, frets and bridges."

I have a Taylor 414CE that I won in a drawing - yes, I paid exactly 0$ for this guitar with a retail price of $2600 - which had a high e string which would slip off the south side of the fretboard regularly. Inspection of all of the components revealed a poorly cut nut where the high e string slot was quite close to the south end of the fretboard. In fact the whole set of slots were too far south. I ended up buying a pre-cut nut for a Gibson J-45 which had similar thickness - only had to sand down for height, and did my first ever nut replacement, on a $2600 guitar! Dang I was nervous, but it took a frustrating guitar and turned it into my favorite acoustic guitar. My other nice acoustic is a Larrivee L-03, which until I fixed the Taylor, was my favorite.

If you have a standard nut width and thickness, there are so many options for pre-cut nuts, you can do this work without having to know how to use or acquire a set of nut saws. I used a punch to tap the old nut out from north to south. Only had to sand just a little off each end of the nut and sand for height, and just a few passes for thickness.

You can do it.


FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / High E String Comes out of the Saddle When Finger Picking




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