Received this old guitar last week. Besides being totally neglected, this old dreadnought has a plastic saddle that is bent and cut very badly.
Here you can see the string tension has bent the saddle towards the headstock.
Upon removal and inspection, the saddle has warped and was cut by the steel strings over time. You can see the grooves clearly. This is very common with plastic saddles.
The plan is to swap out the plastic saddle and put in a compensated bone saddle.
This is a drop-in saddle that is compensated to help intonation. While it fits most acoustic guitars, some filing and sanding is required to ensure a proper fit.
This guitar has a fretboard radius of 12 inches. So I needed to file the crown a little from the more common 16 inch radius down closer to 12. It is also a tad too thick to fit into the slot so I had to thin it a bit.
I simply hate this step. The sanding isn’t fun at all. Fingers get uncomfy from gripping a small item so tightly. A tip here, try not to overuse the sandpaper. Sandpaper is cheap so it is always better to save time instead of sanding all day long. No point using “smoothed out” sandpaper just to save 40 cents.
I got the saddle to fit into the slot snugly. It should not be so tight that you need to use force to knock it in. But it should not be so loose that it drops out without any effort.
Went on to check neck relief and got a 0.3mm reading at 8th fret (capo on 1st, hold down 14th). Good to go.
Next step was to file down saddle height at bridge. I usually try to hit 7/64 inch because I tend to pluck or strum quite hard. 🙂
Got a set of spare plastic pins for this beater guitar too. Always prefer dark pins. 🙂
And we’re all set after some tuning.