Axe The Builder


So I’m sitting here in my shop trying to come up with something witty to call my new series of monthly articles in Loudguitars. Something that would grab the reader’s attention, get him to spend more than a couple of minutes looking at the DIY page.   If you’re reading this month’s article right now, I guess what I came up with worked!

Over the next few months I will present for “your reading pleasure” a series of do-it-yourself fixes that will make your guitar play, and sound the best it can be. I will cover things from how to set up an axe correctly, to basic repair and modifications.

We’ll go over the proper steps on how to: adjust a tremolo properly, file and polish a nut, adjust a truss rod to give you just the right amount of relief, intonate your guitar so it’s in tune all the way up the neck, and lots more.

I will also do my best to explain things in simple, easy terms with photos and short clips so everyone out there can figure things out.

Since the majority of you out there probably play either a Fender or Gibson style guitar, we will try and stick with those two types, although the things we’ll be discussing here can apply to any make of guitar or bass.

Here’s what we will be looking at over the next few months:


•        Basic tools (Crack open those wallets). Going over the basic tools required to do the work as laid out in the following articles.

•        The steps to setting up your axe. We’ll briefly go over the steps to setting up a guitar. The following articles will go into each step in detail.

•        Checking the Rad. How to check your guitar neck radius. Why you need to know this and how to make a neck radius gauge for future use.

•        In-tuna-ate your guitar. How to correctly intonate a guitar, and how to adjust bridge saddles.

•        Are your strings too high? How to measure and set your strings to the factory setting. Checking the string height at the nut, and examples of Fender and    Gibson factory settings.

•        Massaging your neck relief. How to correctly adjust a truss rod for string relief. What relief is needed for and the differences between the different types of truss rods.

•        Polishing your nut. How to make sure a nut has been set up correctly including depth, relief, how it affects string angle over the headstock and how to polish and lubricate it.

•        Checking your pick up lines. How to properly set the height of your pickups along with some Fender and Gibson factory settings.

•        Make that Tremolo right. Tricks on how to improve the performance of stock tremolos.

•        Dude, What’s the Buzz?  Final adjustments and checking out your work to make sure all is done.

Cheers and remember

“Rock and roll ain’t nothing but jazz with a hard backbeat.”  Keith Richards



To read more about Mark click HERE


Mark's Column

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