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ghnmjkey pianostrider kikiswing jmacaluso711

Bridge Shims

Hi Friends --

I have a vintage guitar that needs higher action. Original bridge is on there, so figure adding a shim is the best course.

Three main questions:
- What form of rosewood should I use? (e.g. specific veneer, or cut of wood I should search for online)
- With a blank, how do I cut a good shim?
- How difficult is this, and should I just save myself headache and go visit a luthier?

Humbly yours,
- Spencer


  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira MF01, Godefroy Maruejouls
    Posts: 742
    I wouldn't worry about using rosewood for the shim, any bit of veneer should do. I've shimmed loads of bridges using veneers of ash, mahogany and whatever is lying around. The thickness varies between .6 mm and .8mm. Normally I cut two pieces just a bit wider than the bridge feet, adding shims until I get the right height. Once I've got that I normally glue the shims and, once dried, trim off any excess and then file the edges smooth. Finally I'd stain the edge of the shims if needed.
    jonpowlBill Da Costa Williams
    always learning
  • Posts: 2,801
    There's a lot of stuff about shims here:
    But yeah, boiles down to what's said above except some said gluing isn't that important and in case the action moves between seasons you can shim as needed. You can look for and buy shims from a local woodworking shop, all major metropolitan areas usually have them. They'll either give you scraps or buy a lifetime supply for $20 or so.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • t-birdt-bird Portland, Oregon Castelluccia Nuages, Dupont Nomade
    Posts: 117
    I use maple shims that came to me from the workshop of Bob Holo. Knowing this, I was super excited to have what must be some of the premier shims available to a Gypsy Jazz player! Turns out I don't notice a difference between maple, rosewood, or shims from credit cards.
    BucocrescendoBill Da Costa Williams
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