Nut Files and Stuff


Senior member
After reading many times over the last few years on here, that most guitar builders and neck makers, including Warmoth, sets their nut slots a bit high, as insurance against buzzing

I decided to buy some tools from stewmac and try my hand at cutting down the nut slots, and then setting up the neck and action, intonation , etc..

I gotta tell ya, I am blown away with how low you can get your action, by just following common setup guidelines.

1)  Set the nut string height action, I used the 3rd fret rule

2)  adjust neck for a near straight reliefe

3)  adjust saddle height

4)  set intonation

My advice to all on here is buy the full set of nut files, and the dial indicator from stewmac for setting up the nut

Even if I raise my action a bit, it will still be lower than most off the shelf stuff,


Unwound G

Senior member
I put feeler gauges against the body side of the nut before deepening the slots.  This will prevent the slots being accidentally cut too deep.  Depending on the nut material, these nut files really take off a lot of mass with just one forward and backward stoke.


Following one of Dan Erlewine's books, I have made several nuts. On an Epiphone SG I replaced the crappy plastic nut that my friend actually broke with a graphite one. I used the feeler gauges to stop the file, but actually ended up going further somehow. After measuring, I was way below the nut height recommended by Dan. I was sure it was going to buzz, but it doesn't. It is now the best intonated guitar I have heard (other than ones with Feiten's system). Particularly in the low register, the notes are true. It's the only guitar I'll play an open E chord on without muting the G# on the G string.

On the sad side of things, this SG has way too low nut height for using a slide now. I used to play it with a slide quite frequently and now it's impossible.