Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Gibson ES-225T Completed - Pt. 9 of a series

The ES-225T is done.  I didn't get a lot of photos of the final steps, which were: putting the tailpiece on, putting the bridge on, doing the final fitting of the nut, adjusting the truss rod, and doing some fine tuning on the bridge.  Most of that stuff I've documented elsewhere, and it's kind of repetitive to show it again.

Here are a few things I did at the end that are notable.

Here's a look at the nut before I put it on and cut it to final width.  See how the bottoms of the slots have a curve to them.  I also ran through the slots with sandpaper up to 1000 grit to make them smooth.

A lot of times you'll see nut slots cut too deep.  About half of the string height should be in the slot only.  I know I've not always followed this guideline, but I was determined to get this one absolutely right.  It's easy to cut the slots too deep - especially on the high strings.  See that the high E string slot is really shallow - but the high E string is only eleven hundredths of an inch (on an .011 set) wide!

Jason Lollar sells a set of P-90 shims that is worth having.  Unlike Fender pickups (especially Stratocasters), you generally want Gibson pickups to be as close to the strings as possible.  And since P-90s don't have a conventional height adjustment mechanism, they have to be shimmed.

The Lollar set comes with enough various shims that you can get an exact adjustment.

Here's the final height with the strings depressed at the highest fret.  It's maybe a millimeter or so.  It just clears the pickup cover.

You'll notice the pickup doesn't follow the slant of the strings.  This is probably not critical, but I may cut a slanted shim in the future to make the pickup parallel to the strings.

On the bridge:  I used a conventional ebony archtop bridge.  I actually couldn't get it low enough, so I sanded and filed some height off the bottom of the saddle piece.  The action is now between 4 and 5/64ths (sorry I have to speak 64ths for string height) on the bass side and a touch under 4/64 on the treble.  I could have gone a 64th or more lower on either side, but I can't play it that low - I need a little height to get my finger 'under' the string for bends.

The entire ES-225T project:
1. Starting - making a custom moulded caul for headstock break
2. Headstock break repair using hide glue
3. Filling headstock crack pt 1
4. Filling headstock crack pt 2
5. Repairing divots in top
6. Installing the tailpiece, bridge, enlarging tuner holes
7. Making a bone nut
8. Installing tuners, and wiring
9. Installing nut and pickup  (This page)
10. Completed - photos of completed ES-225T

Updates March 2015:

11. Bigsby B11 Installation, Pt. 1
12. Bigsby B11 Installation, Pt. 2


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