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Apr 29, 2022 - 8:33:03 AM



8 posts since 5/30/2021

Hi. I was bequeathed a 1990s National Tricone. Yes, I know.
My buddy left it set up as at factory, but I fret as much as I play slide.

I bought a set of files: Grizzly T25458 Nut Files, Set of 8

Now, I've dicked around with many guitars and I've screwed some bridges and nuts up. Let's not do that here!

Do you know of any video or how-to explanation as to the right way to lower action on such a guitar... bone nut and I assume bone bridge. The National website does not state bridge material...I wrote to them.


Apr 29, 2022 - 9:47:57 AM
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391 posts since 1/31/2015

Not a DIY fan on expensive guitars.

You have to coordinate the heights of the nut and saddle plus adjusting the truss rod i assume. I would think there is a sweet spot a professional Luthier might find that i would not.

Currently there is often a saddle of one color or two. Maple and some black wood glued together. With a flashlight you should be able to see it. One color is likely maple. Mine was the two tone kind in my Recording King.

When I had Frank Harlow hot rod my Recording king Tricone he used a maple saddle. When i picked it up I had two physics teachers with me. They discussed the wisdom of the all maple saddle for a half hour with Frank. Sound transmission.

Having a real Luthier work on a guitar should make a difference. $100

Apr 29, 2022 - 10:03:29 AM



277 posts since 4/27/2015

Here's a detailed explanation of making a new nut form Frank Ford at frets.com. Parts of it will guide you through making the adjustments you might need to make on the nut. As far as the bridge insert goes you might just need to take off  a little (0.01") at a time from the bottom of the insert until you get to where you want to be. Patients.


Apr 30, 2022 - 2:28:59 PM

39 posts since 1/18/2018

Most full time repairmen prefer to lower bridge saddles by taking material off the top rather than the bottom.

Adjusting a nut is tricky if you don't know what you're doing. Most beginners file the slots too low, or don't get the angle right. When in doubt, err on the high side, or you will have to shim or replace the nut or fill and re-cut the slot.

For the record, I check the height by fretting the instrument between the 2nd and 3rd fret. The string should clear the 1st fret by a few thousandths of an inch. Generally speaking, it is better to leave slightly more clearance on the 6th string. The slots must be angled back towards the end of the peghead to avoid a "sitar" like effect on the open strings. I generally try to make the slot angle approximately half that of the angle between the fingerboard and the peghead face.  I also make a short stroke of two to knock of any rough edge at the back of the slot [an old violin-maker's trick].

Edited by - rcc56 on 04/30/2022 14:32:33

May 6, 2022 - 12:37:40 PM

14 posts since 10/21/2020

I find that taking the saddle out of your tricone Bridge and sanding down to the area you want works best. You can lower the nut height a little bit but I would go for lowering the bridge you just got to make sure you do it exactly flat. I usually start with taking about 3/16 maybe less off, stretch the string back across and see if you need clean pulled tight enough to tell if you dropped it enough.. you can always buy an extra saddle if you've gone too far such is the way with working on your own guitar other than that take it to somebody that knows what they're doing with resonators there's a lot of guitar people out there that don't know what they're doing with the resonator

May 15, 2022 - 4:06:58 AM



8 posts since 5/30/2021

Thanks, sorry for the delay. I'm about to start with this action adjustment. I'll keep in mind your words.
I did buy good files for the bridge slots... I'll start with sanding the bottom of the bridge as you suggest
Thanks again

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