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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:12 pm 
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A client brought me a new Martin he recently purchased in Nashville, and the action on it is a little stiff. He asked me to lower the action about 1/32". The truss rod is almost perfectly straight, but the action at the 12th fret is a quarter inch. I wanted to remove the saddle, but it appears to be glued in.... Is it? If it is, what is the safest method of removal? Heat, moisture, easy pressure? I don't get a chance to work on many Martins, and this guy has been with me for 40 years. Any advice before I butch it up?

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:28 pm 
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No one?

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:25 pm 
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Had a Martin like that on the bench a few years back. It was a through saddle and was glued in with who knows what. I tried all of the above plus acetone. Saddle wouldn't budge so I worked it in place.

Steve



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:23 pm 
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It shouldn't be glued in especially if it's a very recent model.

It's pretty common in our neck of the woods to see Martin's that have dried out from our forced air winter heating and this can at times cause the saddle to be very tight in the bridge slot because the bridge shrinks.

I just use my nippers to work one end of the saddle up a bit and once it starts to move it will come out. Once out I sand the saddle sides on my leveling beam, 220 until it's a good fit that can move up and down when we want to lift it out with the nippers but has no slop in the slot.

Older Martins with thru saddles can be glued in but the more recent ones have a faux thru saddle that is not glued. The conventional saddle ones are never glued in by Martin in recent years.

I had one like your's two weeks ago and I had to pull so hard on the nippers to get one end to start to lift that I hurt my hernia and was in pain for two days.... And it wasn't even a g*bson. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:46 pm 
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This one is brand spanking new. It's a custom shop Martin, looks like a 000, Adirondack spruce top with Madagascar rosewood sides. The Martin service rep I emailed said the saddle is glued in, but he was very standoffish about telling me how Martin gets them out. Told me to speak to a repair person! Boy, did I read him the riot act. Anyway - I dare not pull on it or put water on it. I would hate to break anything when it's under warranty, and I'd hate to disappoint my client.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:34 am 
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I have seen this as well. It is not glued but rather as Hesh stated just inconceivably tight! I find it to be from the bridge swelling from maybe being too dry when installed. Sometimes they come out with the fret pullers and some judicious work. Though usually messed up to the point where they can't be reused. I have had them snap off when trying to pull them and have to plow the pieces out with my bridge slotting rig. I use a .060" spiral bit and mill the center out of the broken part still stuck in the slot much like removing a fender nut. It falls right out once relieved.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:51 am 
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B. Howard wrote:
I have seen this as well. It is not glued but rather as Hesh stated just inconceivably tight! I find it to be from the bridge swelling from maybe being too dry when installed. Sometimes they come out with the fret pullers and some judicious work. Though usually messed up to the point where they can't be reused. I have had them snap off when trying to pull them and have to plow the pieces out with my bridge slotting rig. I use a .060" spiral bit and mill the center out of the broken part still stuck in the slot much like removing a fender nut. It falls right out once relieved.

+1 not glued. I expect it’s an ebony bridge and they can change a lot with changes in humidity. Come back in a few months, you’ll likely wonder what happened to the “glue”.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 2:59 pm 
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You know since it's a custom shop model does it have a thru saddle and is it a vintage recreation?

Back in the day thru saddles were glued in so it's a possibility. What model is it?

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:20 pm 
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Literally from the neck block - CUSTOM SHOP, and the serial number. I'd post a pic but my stupid camera croaked last week. NO - I don't have a smartphone.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:50 pm 
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The issue of a through saddle has been raised no less than 3 times to this point, with yet no clarification from the OP. If it is not a through saddle, then it is most definitely NOT glued, but could very well be incredibly tight due to humidity change since the saddle was fitted.

(Sorry for the crabby tone. I’ve had to close the shop and now in isolation, as my wife just returned from overseas — and sleeping in separate rooms! It sucks, OK??)


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:56 pm 
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Chris Pile wrote:
A client brought me a new Martin he recently purchased in Nashville, and the action on it is a little stiff. He asked me to lower the action about 1/32". The truss rod is almost perfectly straight, but the action at the 12th fret is a quarter inch. I wanted to remove the saddle, but it appears to be glued in.... Is it? If it is, what is the safest method of removal? Heat, moisture, easy pressure? I don't get a chance to work on many Martins, and this guy has been with me for 40 years. Any advice before I butch it up?

12th fret action is 1/4”??? Really? If so, that guitar needs an authorized warranty repair person for a neck reset (or more).


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 11:47 pm 
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OKAY, I'll bite. WTH is a through saddle?

Also, it doesn't need a fricking neck set. It needs the saddle lowered, and then it will play fine.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:08 am 
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Chris Pile wrote:
OKAY, I'll bite. WTH is a through saddle?.


On Martin’s of a certain vintage (and reproductions of the same), the slot for the saddle cuts through the “shoulders” of the bridge. The saddle then isn’t stopped by the end of the slot. It could theoretically move side to side.

Do a quick Google for some images.



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:32 am 
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From our good friend Frank Ford
http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Luthier ... addle.html

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:02 am 
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Good call, Brian. Why didn't I think of Frank Ford? Tells me all I need to know.
So I'll leave it alone, and let the warranty thing move forward.

Have never heard the term about the saddle, but it seems appropriate.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:09 am 
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Interesting, Classical guitars have had through slots for a long time without the need to glue them in.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:15 am 
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johnparchem wrote:
Interesting, Classical guitars have had through slots for a long time without the need to glue them in.


I typically do not glue the ones in question here when I do make a new one. Rather instruct the client to make sure the edges are flush when re-stringing. It should not move under normal play at pitch unless there are serious break angle issues.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:21 am 
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Classical guitars don't have as much string tension either. I do have a Contreras classical guitar from the 50's that has a glued in saddle though. Of course you never know who actually glues in a saddle. I've had people come into my shop having done it them selves - duh!

I never did try removing one but I thought maybe holding a solder iron tip to the bone saddle might work?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:00 pm 
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Tim Mullin wrote:
The issue of a through saddle has been raised no less than 3 times to this point, with yet no clarification from the OP. If it is not a through saddle, then it is most definitely NOT glued, but could very well be incredibly tight due to humidity change since the saddle was fitted.

(Sorry for the crabby tone. I’ve had to close the shop and now in isolation, as my wife just returned from overseas — and sleeping in separate rooms! It sucks, OK??)


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Hang in my friend we will be OK. The trick and now the goal is to get from here to there. You're doing the right things, it does suck, I'm in the same boat, day ten of being isolated here. We will be OK.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:02 pm 
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Skarsaune wrote:
Chris Pile wrote:
OKAY, I'll bite. WTH is a through saddle?.


On Martin’s of a certain vintage (and reproductions of the same), the slot for the saddle cuts through the “shoulders” of the bridge. The saddle then isn’t stopped by the end of the slot. It could theoretically move side to side.

Do a quick Google for some images.


Exactly and thanks for this too. thru saddles used to be glued in back in the day and it's possible that a vintage recreation does this too that's why I brought it up.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:04 pm 
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johnparchem wrote:
Interesting, Classical guitars have had through slots for a long time without the need to glue them in.


That's because classical guitar players and builders are wussies.... :D beehive beehive beehive

Just kidding, hope you and your family are doing good John.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:05 pm 
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B. Howard wrote:
johnparchem wrote:
Interesting, Classical guitars have had through slots for a long time without the need to glue them in.


I typically do not glue the ones in question here when I do make a new one. Rather instruct the client to make sure the edges are flush when re-stringing. It should not move under normal play at pitch unless there are serious break angle issues.


Yup that's what we do, or... did too when we were still able to operate and not under orders from the governor of Michigan to shut down and go home and stay there.

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