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Ive made a 3 string, its all good to go, but I'm stuck at the bridge and nut part ... are there set measurments to make each or is it a case or trial and error, It will be used more for picking rather than slide so I figure the action needs to be slightly lower..?
Go to C.B. Getty he has the information you need: https://www.cbgitty.com/cubecart/fretting-supplies/fretting-guides....
For a good, low action at the nut, press each string down at the third fret. There should be a very thin (and I mean very thin) gap between the string and the first fret. I think if you do a google search for string height at the twelfth fret you will find that around 2.5 to 3 mm is generally pretty good. I keep several different thicknesses of wood so I can try different heights for the bridge. When I get one that just starts to buzz, I raise it up slightly until the buzz goes away. I then make my bridge to match. Hope this helps.
Note: When you lower the action it will change the intonation. The actual distance between the nut and bridge will need to be adjusted. If you plan on having a fixed bridge, make sure you set the action first. This is one of the reasons my bridges are always free floating.
Many thanks for the help fellas. The build came out ok, and it sounds awsome.
What height did you use for your bridge and nut? The action is too high to fret on my CBGs (sliding is great) and I'm hoping you've found the measurements that work best. I'm working on a new build and any help would be appreciated.
the height of the strings at the nut should be about equal to the height of your fretwire.
One of the things I do initially when slotting the nut is I take a sharpened pencil and lay it flat on a belt sander and sand it to the halfway point where the tip or point of the pencil is still valid. I can lay the flat sanded portion of the pencil on top of the frets with the lead touching the face of the nut. I can slide the pencil across the frets and leave a pencil line on the nut the height of the fret wire. With that visible line I can rough in the string slots without worry. For final slotting I lay a feeler guage on the fretboard in front of the nut that equals the height of the fretwire with a minor allowance for error and file the slot down until my nut file hits metal. If you find that you have a slot that is too low and you buzz on the 1st fret you can put a drop of super glue in the slot and let it set up and re cut it.
I level and recrown and polish my frets before I do anything to my bridge/saddle.
What does a zero fret do?
A zero fret establishes string height without having to be so meticulous about cutting the string slots in the nut
Thx Ms. Charlotte.... So is zero the same height as the other frets or higher?
It should be slightly higher. Was thinking about a zero fret for my current build but it fell out of my head for a minute and I cut the fretboard already, too short of course.....next time then...
Thx... now I wonder if I could put one on a fretless..well except for the zero one