Friday, June 18, 2010


Here continues the ongoing saga of how I built my electric guitar. One of the more important features on a guitar is the action, or how close the strings are to the frets. Ideally they should be close enough it is effortless for the player to push them down, but not too close of they will buzz on all the frets in front of your finger.

I laid a straight edge across the frets and measured how close the tops of the frets are to the face of the body. It's 5/16" away.

Then I measured the height of my bridge. It is adjustable in height, and the lowest position is 5/8" which is double the "fret-to-body" distance. That means my strings would be 5/16" too high above the frets.

To remedy this I made a wedge to lay under the neck which will cause it to sit at an angle in relation to the body. The wedge starts out at 3/8"(the size of the difference plus some wiggle room for thumb wheel adjustment on the bridge) and then tapers to nothing. Now when I sight down the length of the fretboard it should point at the top of the bridge after it is seated.

I will glue it in the neck slot, thick end toward the butt of the guitar body, or toward the head end of the wiener dog. It's a tad longer than the notch so I can trim it to fit the body after the glue dries.


  1. KW: Yes! The Weiner Dog for perspective! That really does make all the difference. I love how in that second shot he is clearly accommodating - but not 100% enthused - with the project. I love that dog!

    Oh, nice looking work on the guitar, too.

  2. i tried putting those huge frets on my Astrojet but i just couldn't get used to the feel of them. anyway, you've got more on the ball than i, building a guitar. it took me forever to get up the courage to even work on mine, but building one? sheesh!...

  3. Mykal,
    Maybe Lucy knows when it's all done there will be some guitar screeching going on which is very unpleasant to hear, especially for dog ears.

    I learned my lesson with these thick frets, and probably won't use them again. They were nearly impossible to drive in and they were so tight in their grooves they actually worked like wedges, and over the span of 22 frets they warped the fretboard. Gluing it down to the neck straightened it out but it was not as fun as having a nice flat fretboard to glue down.


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