Recommended action height at 12th fret survey

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
Scott Phillips
Posts: 2731
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:16 pm

Re: Recommended action height at 12th fret survey

Post by Scott Phillips » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:10 am

SteveL123 wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:51 pm
lapaget wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:52 pm
At the age of 77, I have problems with the steel strings, as they go deep into the fingers skin, making hard to play after 5 minutes.

I thought was a problem of action for my 60 years old acoustic guitar, but I measured and found 3 and 4 mm, which matches the average indicated in this post.

I will need to use a file lo lower the action, as at that time there was no bar, and the bridge was fixed. The neck is straight. Not easy.

Any suggestion for hardening the fingers instead? As I am no more playing long enough to allow the build up of callous. Any cream?

Thanks







Having used both a file and sandpaper on bone nuts and saddle, I will never use a file again. Bone will glide on a file and require a lot of pressure to cut. Sandpaper requires much less effort and give you better control. Get a quality 320 grit paper, lay it on a flat surface or use a small sanding block. 320 is fine enough for the finish on bone while coarse enough for material removal.
Thanks for the tip. I have a new bone blank for saddle and I was wanting to do it with sandpaper and was wondering what the optimal grit should be.

SteveL123
Posts: 1051
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:05 pm

Re: Recommended action height at 12th fret survey

Post by SteveL123 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:29 am

Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:10 am
SteveL123 wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:51 pm
lapaget wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:52 pm
At the age of 77, I have problems with the steel strings, as they go deep into the fingers skin, making hard to play after 5 minutes.

I thought was a problem of action for my 60 years old acoustic guitar, but I measured and found 3 and 4 mm, which matches the average indicated in this post.

I will need to use a file lo lower the action, as at that time there was no bar, and the bridge was fixed. The neck is straight. Not easy.

Any suggestion for hardening the fingers instead? As I am no more playing long enough to allow the build up of callous. Any cream?

Thanks







Having used both a file and sandpaper on bone nuts and saddle, I will never use a file again. Bone will glide on a file and require a lot of pressure to cut. Sandpaper requires much less effort and give you better control. Get a quality 320 grit paper, lay it on a flat surface or use a small sanding block. 320 is fine enough for the finish on bone while coarse enough for material removal.
Thanks for the tip. I have a new bone blank for saddle and I was wanting to do it with sandpaper and was wondering what the optimal grit should be.
Not sure if 320 is the optimal grit. My experience of 320 is that it is coarse enough to remove bone at a fast enough rate and fine enough for an unpolished finish. If I need to make a saddle again I will make a wooden clamp so I don't sand skin away from the tips (hurts when you pluck strings... not fun). 2 pieces of wood and a screw does it and you can use it as a jig so you know when to stop sanding.

simonm
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Re: Recommended action height at 12th fret survey

Post by simonm » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:57 am

SteveL123 wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:29 am
.. My experience of 320 is that it is coarse enough to remove bone at a fast enough rate and fine enough for an unpolished finish. If I need to make a saddle again I will make a wooden clamp so I don't sand skin away from the tips (hurts when you pluck strings... not fun). 2 pieces of wood and a screw does it and you can use it as a jig so you know when to stop sanding.
A wood jig of some kind is a good idea. I would die of impatience if I used only 320 but it depends on how much you need to take away. I have a sanding board with a a few different grits on it. I would start on the coarsest if I was only using sandpaper. I believe it is 120 but I am not certain. However what I currently do with bone is use a block plane first to remove larger amounts of material quickly and then switch to the sandpaper in which case I can use the finer grades too.

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Michael.N.
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Location: UK

Re: Recommended action height at 12th fret survey

Post by Michael.N. » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:26 am

SteveL123 wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:51 pm
lapaget wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:52 pm
At the age of 77, I have problems with the steel strings, as they go deep into the fingers skin, making hard to play after 5 minutes.

I thought was a problem of action for my 60 years old acoustic guitar, but I measured and found 3 and 4 mm, which matches the average indicated in this post.

I will need to use a file lo lower the action, as at that time there was no bar, and the bridge was fixed. The neck is straight. Not easy.

Any suggestion for hardening the fingers instead? As I am no more playing long enough to allow the build up of callous. Any cream?

Thanks
Having used both a file and sandpaper on bone nuts and saddle, I will never use a file again. Bone will glide on a file and require a lot of pressure to cut. Sandpaper requires much less effort and give you better control. Get a quality 320 grit paper, lay it on a flat surface or use a small sanding block. 320 is fine enough for the finish on bone while coarse enough for material removal.
You were using a blunt or a cheap file. Files work extremely well on bone. If they can work mild steel they certainly can work bone. They clog when working bone but it's extremely easy and quick to clean them. They give as much control as sandpaper, maybe more. If it's a one off then it's not worth going to the trouble of buying files.
Historicalguitars.

SteveL123
Posts: 1051
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:05 pm

Re: Recommended action height at 12th fret survey

Post by SteveL123 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:11 am

Michael.N. wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:26 am
SteveL123 wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:51 pm
lapaget wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:52 pm
At the age of 77, I have problems with the steel strings, as they go deep into the fingers skin, making hard to play after 5 minutes.

I thought was a problem of action for my 60 years old acoustic guitar, but I measured and found 3 and 4 mm, which matches the average indicated in this post.

I will need to use a file lo lower the action, as at that time there was no bar, and the bridge was fixed. The neck is straight. Not easy.

Any suggestion for hardening the fingers instead? As I am no more playing long enough to allow the build up of callous. Any cream?

Thanks
Having used both a file and sandpaper on bone nuts and saddle, I will never use a file again. Bone will glide on a file and require a lot of pressure to cut. Sandpaper requires much less effort and give you better control. Get a quality 320 grit paper, lay it on a flat surface or use a small sanding block. 320 is fine enough for the finish on bone while coarse enough for material removal.
You were using a blunt or a cheap file. Files work extremely well on bone. If they can work mild steel they certainly can work bone. They clog when working bone but it's extremely easy and quick to clean them. They give as much control as sandpaper, maybe more. If it's a one off then it's not worth going to the trouble of buying files.
You may be right, the file is not new and not at its sharpest. It's a Johnson, made in USA 1-7/8" wide x 14" long, second cut. Looked up second cut: a file having teeth of a grade next finer than bastard.

What type of file is best for sanding down the bottoms of bone nuts and saddles.

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