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Thread: Canít get a low action on my 335. Options?

  1. #1
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    Canít get a low action on my 335. Options?

    Hi all. Iíve recently finished a 335 style kit and am setting it up. I havenít been able to get the action as low as Iíd like - itís measuring about 5/64ths under the low E at the 12th fret.

    Iíve set the neck relief to give me a small gap at the 9th fret with the string fretted at the 1st and 17th. Iíve sanded down the bottom of the nut to give me about 1/32nd under the low E at the 1st fret. My bridge is screwed all the way down.

    Do I have any other options? Iím thinking I could file down the bridge under the post to lower it a bit

    Cheers, Jon

  2. #2
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    You could try just flattening the neck a very small amount, as that will pull the action down a bit more. How little relief you can get without problems depends on how level the frets are.

    If you had nut files, you could cut the nut slots slightly lower. Not a lot, but it all helps. Maybe just run some folded fine grit sandpaper along the bottom of the lots a few times.

    You could file the underside of the bridge down a bit, but I'd be more tempted to use a triangular or V-shaped needle file to deepen the notches in the bridge saddles. Give each notch the same number of strokes to try and keep the bottom of the notches all the same depth.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Barden View Post
    You could try just flattening the neck a very small amount, as that will pull the action down a bit more. How little relief you can get without problems depends on how level the frets are.

    If you had nut files, you could cut the nut slots slightly lower. Not a lot, but it all helps. Maybe just run some folded fine grit sandpaper along the bottom of the lots a few times.

    You could file the underside of the bridge down a bit, but I'd be more tempted to use a triangular or V-shaped needle file to deepen the notches in the bridge saddles. Give each notch the same number of strokes to try and keep the bottom of the notches all the same depth.
    Thanks Simon, I'll give those a go. I haven't glued the nut in yet, so I might take a little more off the bottom of that as well.

  4. #4
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    It's always tricky doing the nut. I often over cut and end up putting a new nut on. But I do (eventually) end up with nice low string height over the 1st fret which pays dividends all the way up the nut, and also helps those low fret positions play in tune.

    One other option would be to pull out the bridge stud inserts, and countersink the very edge of the insert holes slightly, so the lip of the insert can sit flush with the top of the body, rather than proud on top. But you do risk damaging the finish doing this at this stage. Definitely score round the inserts first to cut through the finish to minimise any risk.

  5. #5
    Member ThatCluelessGerman's Avatar
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    You know the trick with the flat pencil?

    Sand a pencil flat on one side until the lead is flat with the bottom. Lay the pencil on the fretboard and draw a line on the nut. Add a little for the height of the strings itself and a tiny bit to compensate for wear and you know how deep you can cut your slots. I found this method helpful with my telecaster build. Have seen this on youtube and found it actually pretty smart.
    I don't know what I'm doing but I hope I will end up with a guitar

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