Yes that's a good way to get the string height over the frets, but the bridge could still be too low even with the action at the 12 th fret at a playable height if the fitting of the neck is not ideal. If that makes sense.
Added spacer and now down to hitting last 1-2 frets, now I question if frets are too high? Optimum height?
Hi Brent, well really frets come in a variety widths and crown heights, the size you pick is your optimum I'd suggest. These of course range from narrow to jumbo.
Whatever size you select you will invariably have to level them all, or at least spot level a few.
Your frets may not be level for a number of reasons - neck not flat, fingerboard uneven, not all frets seated properly, or not levelled and recrowned suitably.
if it's the last two frets, easy peavy, just file those two down level.
Send me your email and I'll send pics so we can brainstorm
Hi Brent, I don't know what else I can help you with, if you have considered the guidelines already offered I would have thought that the problem would become evident and the solution easily applied.
if you have 2 - 3mm clearance over the 12th fret and a decent bridge height (1/2" or so) I would have thought that the string would rise, due to the height of the bridge,when fingered on the 12th + frets and easily clear the end of the fingerboard.
if it's hitting the end frets with strings open, then maybe suspect a bowed neck.
Ok after comments and logical thinking I discovered the problem of me not making neck/fretboard high enough to clear micro pup pickup.
Made these four the same as previous piezo/floating bridge without consideration of pickup thickness so these need to be taken apart and adjustable pickups installed.
If you want the no science way, make the bridge after the neck is mounted. Put a shim at the first and twelth fret at your desired string height, set a straight edge on top and measure the height needed for the bridge. And remember it is easier to sand than shim!
That's one way of doing it, but I think that it is not the way to get a bridge to be at the best height.
If the lay of the neck/string is to be relied on for bridge height, at the end of the build, one would have to ensure the neck is positioned correctly from the start of the build. I find taking a pot luck approach will end up with bridges too low.
An easy way to explain it maybe.
on a sheet of paper draw a line with a ruler .........that's the box top.
a 1/4" above that another line.........that's the fingerboard height above the top.
1/16th above that another line ............that's the fret height
1/8" above that another line ..............that represents the string
Now this is the rocket science part ha ha...........
measure between the bottom line and the top line .........ball park bridge height, will need tweaking.
If the bridge is too low or high, look at the fingerboard line and change it's position.
Far easier and quicker to do than explain.
Not sure how it is pot luck? The suggestion was to make the bridge last, after determining the exact height needed.
Hi, I said it was hard to explain, in few words anyway.
I understood that the original question was that the bridge was too low. So my solution to the problem not happening again was to pre plan the build.
There are a number of ways a neck can be fitted, and builders use them all to good effect. But which one of these, I suggest there are three, methods is used will have a bearing on bridge height.
So if one neck fitting method is selected against the other, without any consideration to the finished job, you may be taking a "chance" the bridge will be at the desired height.
You hit the nail right on the head when you said it’s far easier to do than explain, Taffy? But the straight edge down the neck technique is really easy, I know plenty of bonified luthiers & guitar techs that use it. Hope you fix it Brent!
Hi, I agree, I use the straight edge method too, as well as the ones posted here and a couple not posted.
The bonified luthiers you mention, I think, would have set the neck out of the body at the required angle [neck set or neck rake] first, then the straight edge method is then more reliable in determining ideal bridge/saddle height.
Gee I wish I knew plenty of luthier and techs. Ha ha.