Strat Parts, Gilmour Black Strat, Loaded Strat Pickguard

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Intonating Your Stratocaster® Safely

This article is was created to assist you in understanding how to "safely" intonate your Strat to reduce the possibility of damage to your vintage style bent steel saddles and your intonation screws.

An issue we hear that can occur during intonation of Strat's with vintage style bent steel saddles is that the intonation screw threads in the saddles are stripped or the intonation screw threads are stripped.

This problem is created by attempting to move the saddle further back (away) from the neck without slacking or loosening the string tension that is holding the saddle firmly in place. With vintage style bent steel saddles there are very few threads in the thin material of the saddle that the intonation screw "screws" into and when excess force is applied to these threads when tightening the intonation screws to move the saddle back the threads give way and strip out and you ruin the saddle, the intonation screw or both.  If you do not loosen the string tension prior to attempting to tighten an intonation screw to move the saddle you will strip the threads in the saddle, the intonation screw or both.  So NEVER attempt to increase a string length by moving a saddle by tightening the intonation screw without first slacking the tension of the string you are intonating.  The saddle should be loose under the tension (or lack of) of the string before attempting to adjust the saddle with the intonation screw.

If you are working with a set of any vintage style bent steel saddles and find yourself saying the threads in the saddle for the intonation screw are stripped or the intonation screws are stripped....  Well, now you know what you did wrong to damage your saddle(s).

 

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