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Tips & Tricks Newsletter Archive
©2004 - 2009 - Stay Tooned, Inc. All rights reserved.

IN THIS ISSUE:
1. Shim The Neck, Lower The Action!
2. Two AWESOME TIGERS By Graham Todd
3. Become A PYOG Affiliate
4. SPECIAL OFFERS FROM PYOG

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1. SHIM THE NECK - LOWER THE ACTION!

Anytime you assemble a guitar from parts (neck, body, and parts all bought separately), or even buy a "ready-to-paint" guitar, there's a good chance that you'll need to do a decent set up on it before it plays really well.

One of the first things that's necessary when assembling a guitar with a Floyd Rose style bridge that isn't countersunk into the body is to shim the neck. Shimming the neck is just a matter of placing something in the neck cavity so that it changes the angle of the neck.

Typically, when you assemble your guitar without a shim in the neck, it may look something like FIG 1. The bridge will be leaning forward and your action will be high.

However, this is NOT what you want. Your bridge will not perform properly. In fact, you'll most likely dent the wood directly underneath where your studs are sitting.

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You'll find that tightening the springs does nothing for altering the way the bridge is resting. That's due to the studs simply being in too far.

Ideally, you want your bridge to look something like FIG 2. The bridge is sitting perfectly horizontal.

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So, to get to this point, you want to place a shim in the neck cavity so it sits in the very front of the cavity (See FIG 3). What the shim will do is change the angle of your neck. Changing the angle of the neck will definitely lower your action - and this will allow you to probably raise up your bridge studs a little.

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If, after making this adjustment, your bridge is floating a little (meaning, you can pull up on it, but not a whole step - just enough that'll affect your tuning as you play), you can try tightening your spring claw so that it creates more spring tension. What this will do is change the angle of your bridge so it sits slightly angled back like it is in FIG 4. This is actually fine, though - and it won't affect your string action at all.

If you have a tendency of resting your palm on the bridge as you play, this is the ideal way to set up your bridge so as your hand rests on it, it doesn't affect your tuning.

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As for what to use for a shim, the obvious choices are: wood, stiff cardboard, or hard plastic.

Personally, I've always used stiff cardboard like the kind seen in FIG 5. I cut a piece so that it stretches across the width of the cavity - somewhere in the vicinity of 1/2" by 3". As for thickness, typically, I use pieces that are 1/16" thick... sometimes more, sometimes less. For you, this will require trying several different thicknesses before finding what works best for the guitar you're working on.

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Of course, this will also mean that you'll be unbolting your neck and loosening strings in order to find the right action for you. Rather than unscrewing all four neck screws, I normally just use two screws when figuring out shim height.

Hopefully, this "shim" trick helps you get a great action for your guitar and sets up your Floyd Rose for maximum dive bombs!

 

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2. Two AWESOME TIGERS By Graham Todd

Paint Your Own GuitarWhen PYOG customer, Grahman Todd sent me these pix of his two TIGERS, I knew I wanted to share it with ya'll.

What I thought was really cool is that he swayed from the original just enough to create two equally impressive axes.

Below is the email that Graham sent to me along with photos. I hope it inspires you to realize that you don't always have to create exact replicas in order to create impressive guitars.

 

Dear John,

Some time ago, a friend gave me a box of guitar bits, and i wanted to make something special out of it. After seeing your book on the internet, i thought i'd give it a go.

When I decided on a "Tiger," I couldn't choose between black or gold hardware so I got myself another wreck from Ebay and decided to do both!

Now, I defy anyone to tell me these axes ain't beauties. I even made my own decals on a standard printer to give them a Pro finish.

Since then, I've sold the black one and that alone covered the cost of both guitars.

Thanks a million for a great book that truly is worth every penny, and suffice to say, I could not have done it without you!!

--Graham Todd.( A Brit living in Germany)

 

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3. Become A PYOG Affiliate

If you have a guitar-related website, I'd like you to partner with me to help promote my PYOG books through my affiliate program. I pay 35% on every sale and some of my affiliates are doing VERY well. If you're interested, please sign up here.

 

 

 

See you soon...

John Gleneicki
Author - The PaintYourOwnGuitar.com Book Series
Email: questions@paintyourownguitar.com
AOL IM: paintyourownaxe

John Gleneicki has been painting guitars professionally for over 25 years.
He's a former Guitar WORLD Columnist and has also done
custom airbrush work for such companies as ESP Guitars.

 

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