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  #16  
Old 03-08-2018, 01:47 PM
Realbluesman Realbluesman is offline
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I think it might be better to learn setup skills on something other than a new D-18. If you add up the cost of tools (files, measuring instruments, etc) you will need...it might be cheaper to hire somebody with experience to do the job right the first time.

Everybody needs a proper truss rod wrench and to be able to measure/adjust relief due to seasonal/string gauge changes, but I suggest you keep it there for now.
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  #17  
Old 03-08-2018, 01:55 PM
mpaul73 mpaul73 is offline
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i just ordered a truss rod, I'll tread carefully to begin. Thanks for the advice.
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  #18  
Old 03-08-2018, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChalkLitIScream View Post
Sandpaper is needed at the very least, which can also be used to lower the nut action by sanding the bottom of the nut
Are you really suggesting to the OP that he should remove the nut and sand the bottom of the nut to lower the action?

Much better to sand the nut slots using the appropriate nut files.
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  #19  
Old 03-08-2018, 02:28 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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I agree that the place to learn guitar setup is not on a new D18.

That said, if you are going to try it, go about it methodically. There are a variety of reasons that a guitar can buzz. It isn't automatically the solution to adjust the truss rod.

Here is one approach, Basic Guitar Setup 101:

http://charlestauber.com/luthier/Res...May%202015.pdf
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  #20  
Old 03-08-2018, 02:30 PM
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murrmac123 murrmac123 is offline
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Originally Posted by tippy5 View Post
The low E (And A) string is higher off the fretboard.
Why would they be higher off the fretboard?
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  #21  
Old 03-09-2018, 09:10 AM
51 Relic 51 Relic is offline
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Default D18 SETUP. Doing my own?

As you have a ( I assume) new Martin D18 with respect this is not the first class instrument to learn how to set up a guitar . Your new Martin should have been set up including the nut slot height with a Pleck Machine , this should give by design the first class set up , it did with mine . It has set the guitar up with the tension and gauge of string fitted in the factory ( normally Lifespan SP ) I would without hesitation take it with your receipt to an approved Martin dealer for evaluation and advise ( if you have changed the strings ) to a higher or lower gauge this will affect the set up and playability of the guitar Good Luck
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  #22  
Old 03-09-2018, 09:22 AM
Big Band Guitar Big Band Guitar is offline
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I have been doing my own setups for years.

The only tool I had to buy ( that I didn't already have) is a fret file.

I had a machinist friend grind a straight edge out of cold rolled steel 1.5 x 1/4 x 18 inches. He also made a special gauge to set the string depth on a new nut using a piece of hacksaw blade ground to a sharp point. The saw blade is held in a aluminum block that rides on the newly dressed frets and is set to cut 0.050 in above the fret line. A little pencil graphite marks the final depth. I finish the slots with broaches originally designed for gas orifices.
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  #23  
Old 03-09-2018, 12:47 PM
mpaul73 mpaul73 is offline
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Truss rod tool arrived. I guess there is no risk of screwing something up if I make a quarter turn to the LEFT and see if the buzz goes away?
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  #24  
Old 03-09-2018, 01:04 PM
ChalkLitIScream ChalkLitIScream is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murrmac123 View Post
Are you really suggesting to the OP that he should remove the nut and sand the bottom of the nut to lower the action?

Much better to sand the nut slots using the appropriate nut files.
That's correct. That way, you don't mess with the nut slots. No newbie is going to file their nut slots properly, so its saving them trouble but allowing them to still solve their issue
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  #25  
Old 03-09-2018, 10:24 PM
Todd Yates Todd Yates is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChalkLitIScream View Post
That's correct. That way, you don't mess with the nut slots. No newbie is going to file their nut slots properly, so its saving them trouble but allowing them to still solve their issue
A Martin nut, especially the older style on certain models, locks between the end of the fretboard and the edge of the face plate. Sanding from the bottom will ruin the fit of the nut. Plus, Martins are finished with the nut in place, so you risk finish damage taking it out. For that and other reasons, on a Martin you should either lower the slots individually or leave it to a pro.

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  #26  
Old 03-12-2018, 01:45 PM
mpaul73 mpaul73 is offline
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Well, it took 2 truss rod adjustments over 2 days, quarter turns (to the left) each day to get rid of the fret buzz.

Next is to lower the action a little by sanding a replacement saddle. I will keep the original one just in case. Wish me luck!
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  #27  
Old 03-12-2018, 01:56 PM
Todd Yates Todd Yates is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpaul73 View Post
Well, it took 2 truss rod adjustments over 2 days, quarter turns (to the left) each day to get rid of the fret buzz.

Next is to lower the action a little by sanding a replacement saddle. I will keep the original one just in case. Wish me luck!
Based on that information you're off to a bad start. You've added relief without knowing the actual relief. That of course raised the action, so now you're going to lower it by sanding the saddle. You should be...

1. Adjusting the relief to about 0.005"-0.007" or thereabouts.
2. Checking the nut slots as shown on frets.com.
3. The lowering the saddle if the action is higher than necessary for your style, or raising the saddle if the action is too low.

Check out frets.com, bryankimsey.com, and Charles Tauber's link in post #19. That will help you.
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  #28  
Old 03-12-2018, 02:57 PM
mpaul73 mpaul73 is offline
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well that wasn't what I was hoping to hear, but always better to hear the truth. I might just not mess with the action right now then. i don't notice a whole lot of difference since the adjustment and honestly the action height is manageable for me. by the sounds of it i would be better not messing around with it anymore, at least based or your response. Anyone think any different?
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  #29  
Old 03-13-2018, 09:04 AM
AcousticWoody AcousticWoody is offline
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I use this kit to do my setups. I have a few small files to use on the nut and sandpaper for the saddle, but have been completely happy just doing saddle and truss rod adjustments. The kit makes string changes easier too, and has a place for extra strings to take along with you.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Your mileage my vary.
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