Help! Stripped Saddle intonation screw! NEW axe unplayable!

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
Okay, first off happy new years everybody. I finished my lovely, lovely new guitar last night and everything was great. THEN, when setting up the intonation, the G string saddle intonation screw came out - the graphtech piezo saddle somehow got stripped. (Gotoh Tele bridge with graphite saddles). So now, the whole thing is unplayable. I think it's because I had to get new screws (originals weren't long enough for a tele application, designed for strat bridges), then cut them off, and the sharp edge must have stripped out the soft graphite saddle.
ANYHOW, it's either (1) buy a whole new set of ghost saddles for $100, (2) give up for now and reinstall the original saddles, or (3) somehow re-thread that one saddle, saving me $ and hours. Any suggestions from machinist types here?
:guitarplayer2: :guitarplayer2:
Also: I think the Rio Grande Jazzbar neck P90 is too hot for this application (9.9k). I only played it for half an hour and it wasn't setup properly, but it just sounded indistinct and muddy, insufficient treble. Just like CB posted in that recent P90/thinline thread. I'm gonna give it a fair shake after I fix this saddle issue, but anyone tried the Kent Armstrong vintage P90 (7.8k)?
Or, anyone interested in a P90 swap - my jazzbar for your 8kish P90?
 

Octavian B

Active member
Messages
37
Ugh, that can't be any fun. have you tried calling graph-tech? They are quite helpful on the phone and they may be able to send  you a single saddle (you may have to resplice it into the electronics, I'm not quite sure how difficult that will be I've seen ghost saddles in person). Otherwise maybe refilling the hole with something that is somewhat soft and re-drilling it?
 

stubhead

Senior member
Messages
4,669
You know, this isn't something I'd do to "fix" anyone else's guitar but - I had a cheap guitar with a saddle that grooved too deep after a few years. Rather than spend untoward hours & moola trying to find an exact replacement saddle for an odd-brand, funkmo metric bridge, I just made sure I knew where the saddle had to be for the right height and intonation, then I "blocked" it into place with some sanded-down bits of wood. It looked sort of bad, but it worked perfectly - obviously I could have dyed or painted the wood black to make it "disappear." The saddle doesn't actually have to be adjustable at a moment's notice unless you change string gauges every day; it's probably more likely to want to move forward, so  - for a temporary, working fix if you can just find a way to jam it in place, at least you can play the damn thing whilst you contemplate the Universe's cruelty... :sad1:

I'll bet GraphTech sells singles too (not on New Year's Day tho), those things break all the time anyway. :blob7:
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
Maybe I should superglue it in place, then? That is, superglue the screws into the saddles at the correct intonation point? Or do you recommend a different glue?
I played with it some more and the low E is stripped out too, but the others are okay. Thanks for the advice, it would let me play it at least for a while and put my tools away, and I wouldn't have to open up the bridge and revisit threading all those little wires into my hack-job rout.
 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
How about just going to a larger size screw?

or

How about taking off the saddle, coating the inside of the screwhole with super glue - on a toothpick.  Do that coat after coat to build up more material.  Fix the screw ya got so its not sharp and be more careful. 

btw

Its always best to relieve string tension when changing intonation.  You got from 15-25lbs pressure on that saddle and it just dont wanna budge - its easy to strip even cheaper made metal ones.
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
Well, going with the KISS principle, I just followed CB's first advice and shoved the original Gotoh screws in there. Totally stripped out the G string and lost some skin on the other hand holding the saddle down, but got it close enough that a little piece of solder used as a washer was enough to make it right. Low E is just fine. It's at least as good as a 50's LP Jr. or Melody Maker.  I guess I won't be changing string gauges from now on.
Guitar rips, and the piezo in the thinline sounds a lot better than it did in a strat. Will post a full photo odyssey tomorrow if I can stop playing long enough.
Thanks again CB! Also thanks for the advice on putting the LP switch in the LP spot, you're right it wasn't that hard.
 

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