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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Tricone bridge insert question.

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tony boadle - Posted - 11/06/2022:  16:55:29

The continuing saga of the tricone overhaul has raised another question. Shouldn't the bridge saddle insert be parallel along the slot?

The attached pic shows that the maple/ebony insert slopes down from the sixth string to the first string spacings, meaning the action gradually lowers across the fretboard.

I just wanted to check that this isn't some tricone rule, rather than some previous owner messing where he/ she shouldn't.

PS: The action is a little high by the it ok to trim the insert down to lower it? (The neck is straight and true)

Edited by - tony boadle on 11/06/2022 16:59:03

docslyd - Posted - 11/06/2022:  17:11:47

square neck or round neck makes a difference on what you do....

If a round neck, set it to the action you want on the fretboard, whether it's arched or flat.  If a squareneck set it so strings are equal-distant and level above the fretboard.  Your sample is looking a little severe because the insert is not set level to the slot.  See the lighter color wood, "rising" to one side.  That means the ebony cap has to be trimmed more on the high side.  I doesn't matter if you've got more or less ebony cap, as long as the action is what you need relative to the fretboard.


Edited by - docslyd on 11/06/2022 17:15:54

tony boadle - Posted - 11/07/2022:  01:49:27

Thanks Eric, it's a round neck by the way. I'll level up and trim today.
PS: Regarding our recent correspondence, I agree with your cone preferences 100%

OVG - Posted - 12/11/2022:  14:34:09

For a Hawaiian neck guitar with very high action, parallel is the way to go, because you probably want your bar to be flat across the strings all the way up the neck. But on a Spanish neck tricone most people will build a slight radius into the saddle with higher action on the bass side, just like on a Martin type acoustic guitar. Most vintage National guitars (including 99% of Tricones, whether Hawaiian or Spanish) will have a flat fingerboard so your saddle preference will depend on what blend of fingerstyle you play with slide. The radius fingerboard on the round neck single cone guitars didn't start until well into production in the mid-1930's.

Here is an original, untouched National Tricone saddle from a Style 3 Hawaiian. How do we know it's original? The serial number is written in pencil on the saddle, in the same hand as on some other parts of the guitar. You can see that it's flat across the strings and parallel to the fretboard and T-bridge itself. If you want an authentic look, this is what to shoot for.

tony boadle - Posted - 12/12/2022:  01:07:57

Fascinating information, thanks.

Edited by - tony boadle on 12/12/2022 01:08:18

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