Strings Sticking On Pre-Cut Nut


Junior Member
My new Warmoth build is having trouble staying in tune and I suspect it's the nut.  I'm probably using heavier strings than the nut was cut for.  (.010 - .052)

I think it's the nut because I can turn the peg and instead of getting a gradual increase in pitch, I get nothing and then -ping- my string suddenly pops too tight and the pitch is sharp.  As I play, the pitch tends to slid out of tune and I'm guessing that's the strings slowly becoming unstuck to the nut.

Does it sound like my diagnosis is correct?  I have good locking Grover tuners on there so I really don't think the tuners are at fault.

Is it difficult for a novice like me to widen the nut slots (if that's even what is required) or should I have a pro look at it?  I hate to send it to a pro and wait 2 weeks.  But I don't want to do some irreversible damage doing it myself.
It's definitely the nut.  My understanding is that Warmoth precut nuts always need the slots enlarged a bit, though maybe not if you used 8s or something.  I wouldn't attempt it myself, I just take my guitar to a shop in town if I need work done on the nut or frets.  If it's a big pain for you to have a pro do it you could try it.... the worst that could happen is you need a new nut.
I definitely agree.  It sounds like binding in the nut.  Nuts aren't brain surgery nor hard to make, but it does take a little practice (and you may want to experiment on another guitar first).

Here's some info on nuts from a great reference site.
It's the white corian nut.

I browsed around the internet to find more information on the problem.  I even googled "guitar nut lubricant" to see if any such product existed to fix the stick.

Turns out there is such a product.  Better yet, I read that pencil graphite applied to the inside of the slots works as a lubricant.  Seems I'm the only guitarist that didn't know that.  But my previous guitar (Carvin) never ever had a tuning problem so I never needed to learn that trick.

Anyway, I tried the pencil trick just now.  Seems to work really well but I only just tried it so I've yet to see how well the tuning holds over the course of a 3 hour show.  But as of now, the string slides over the nut smoothly as I turn the peg.  And tugging the string over the fretboard doesn't leave the pitch flat.  And pushing the string down behind the nut doesn't leave the pitch sharp.  So it seems to be working. :hello2:

I'm psyched because I think my new build is ready for the stage this Saturday.   :cool01: