help with nut

r750mrk

Active member
Messages
29
I have noticed that the nut is too high in my guitar. I orderd a neck with the nut slotted and installed by warmoth
IS it possible?
I  know they use computers for cutting the nut...
and if so what should I do ?
 

GoDrex

Senior member
Messages
3,619
W does their nut slots a little high (from what I've heard) - - better too high than too low.  I don't think they intend to do a perfect setup on the slots. You'd need to adjust it yourself or take it to a tech/luthier and have them do it. It might need a fret job too.
 

stubhead

Senior member
Messages
4,669
"A fret job" is replacing the frets, in my lexicon - panic! :eek: Leveling & crowning the frets is something else entirely, about $150 cheaper for one thing....

Hold each string down between the 2nd & 3rd fret, and look at the space between the string and the 1st fret. Different people like different things, but a "standard" height there for the high "E" string is roughly .010" - the diameter of your high "E" string. Every guitarist and their dog needs to buy Dan Erlewine's book, "Guitar Player Repair Guide", so they can learn this stuff and (eventually) save themselves thousands of dollars doing their own work. He lists some standard heights - for a Gibson straight out of the factory the heights were .030" to .015" from the bass strings to treble, his own guitars are adjusted .015" to .009" bass to treble.

You certainly don't need a full set of files, as any file can be widened with sandpaper - it depends on how often you do this stuff. Erlewine explains all this and how to do it. Most of my favorite files aren't "guitar" tools, especially a little flat triangular guy that'll widen slots without deepening them.I tend to go as low as possible, but with the knowledge that I'll have to either raise the nut and recut it, or make a new one, every few years - stuff wears. It's no big deal to me but it takes a few hours and you need tools, in my case a magnifier is the most important tool of all! (Hint: don't get old....) People who bash a lot of cowboy chords while they're singing will tend towards the high side, if you're strictly a slippery lead guy not so much height is needed (Cowboy Jerry Garcia - .030" across the board! Slippery, too :icon_scratch:)
 

GoDrex

Senior member
Messages
3,619
sorry - poor choice of words. I wasn't thinking a re-fret. Cause when I'm thinking re-fret I say re-fret. But yeah...
 

r750mrk

Active member
Messages
29
well I know that the nut is a bit high for my taste
what about removing the nut, sant it a litle on the back side and putting it back ??
 

GoDrex

Senior member
Messages
3,619
r750mrk said:
well I know that the nut is a bit high for my taste
what about removing the nut, sant it a litle on the back side and putting it back ??

That's what I'd do if the slots seemed good to me otherwise.
 

riverbluff

Senior member
Messages
733
Best thing is to either get a set of nut files and deepen the slots or take it to a good tech and have them do it.  There are several good books out there that cover doing this.

V/R
Bill
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
Simplest thing is to file down the slots yourself, as the last guy said. If you remove it and file down the bottom, you could end up sanding one side down more than the other and when you sit it back it'll be uneven.

Warmoth's nut files are a great deal, you can buy the full set and the Erlewine book for less than a lot of places charge for a full setup, add in a regular home depot file or two and some sandpaper and you can shape your own bone nuts, make a 'slide nut' , or whatever you want for the cost of a $5 blank.
The warmoth nuts can be pulled out pretty easily, first just take a pair of pliers and pull it out from the center, if that doesn't work stick an exacto knife down in the slot and work it around a little, then try again. They just have a drop of superglue holding them in, which is all you need.

Plus, once you really learn how to do it and get one nut dialed in just right, you'll want to go fine tune all your other guitars. Makes a huge difference in playability to get the nut just to your tastes.
 

stubhead

Senior member
Messages
4,669
what about removing the nut, sant it a litle on the back side and putting it back ??
The issues are: #1 - are all the strings high by the same amount?; #2 - Nut work isn't like many things - it won't go backwards.... it's possible to file it too low and shim it back up, and you can fix individually-screwed slots by superguing paper in there and refiling, but how comfortable are you in thinking, measuring and working in increments of a few hundredths of an inch? If you're not, you can work around it with some feeler gauges:
http://www.mytoolstore.com/kd/kdfeel01.html
http://www.stewmac.com/shopby/product/1811

There's little difference between the Stew-Mac "guitar" ones and Hardware "car" ones except $20 or so, but you still need to know what they're FOR.... buy Erlewine's book...
 
Top