Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Teach me how to file a guitar nut.

  1. #1
    Mojo's Minions TimmyPage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Canadian in the UK, like Maple Syrup in Tea.
    Age
    24
    Posts
    5,104
    Likes (Given)
    16
    Likes (Received)
    77

    Default Teach me how to file a guitar nut.

    As some of you know, I got a telecaster of my own a little while back. I've been playing it with the stock 9's for a little while now, but I'm accidentally bending all over the place while playing chords and lines so I feel its time to throw some 11's with a wound G on it.

    Now the issue is, looking at the nut, the strings are really snugly fit in there so for the first time in my life I'm going to have to file it down slightly.. I just don't have a clue where to start. I don't own a file in any capacity.. so are there any other household tools I can do it with, or any suggested tools I can use for it? Where do I start with this? Any good resources or videos, or just long winded posts on the subject would help me greatly.
    Quote Originally Posted by BigAlTheBird View Post
    I just got oiixed in the mung by a Canadian.

    Timmy - 1
    Andrew - None

  2. #2
    Ultimate Tone Slacker John_L's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    1,821
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    10

    Default Re: Teach me how to file a guitar nut.

    Use some sand paper folded over which can do the job on most nuts. You can get sand paper very cheaply from your local hardware store.
    http://www.fretnotguitarrepair.com/r...guitar/nut.php
    "If anyone at my funeral has a long face, I'll never speak to him again." ~ Stan Laurel

  3. #3
    Mojo's Minions TimmyPage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Canadian in the UK, like Maple Syrup in Tea.
    Age
    24
    Posts
    5,104
    Likes (Given)
    16
    Likes (Received)
    77

    Default Re: Teach me how to file a guitar nut.

    Quote Originally Posted by John_L View Post
    Use some sand paper folded over which can do the job on most nuts. You can get sand paper very cheaply from your local hardware store.
    http://www.fretnotguitarrepair.com/r...guitar/nut.php
    That's an advantage of having a dad who does carpentry, I actually have a fair bit of sandpaper here already.
    Quote Originally Posted by BigAlTheBird View Post
    I just got oiixed in the mung by a Canadian.

    Timmy - 1
    Andrew - None

  4. #4
    Mojo's Minions LtKojak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Milano, Italy
    Age
    55
    Posts
    4,703
    Likes (Given)
    1
    Likes (Received)
    182

    Default Re: Teach me how to file a guitar nut.

    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyPage View Post
    As some of you know, I got a telecaster of my own a little while back. I've been playing it with the stock 9's for a little while now, but I'm accidentally bending all over the place while playing chords and lines so I feel its time to throw some 11's with a wound G on it.

    Now the issue is, looking at the nut, the strings are really snugly fit in there so for the first time in my life I'm going to have to file it down slightly.. I just don't have a clue where to start. I don't own a file in any capacity.. so are there any other household tools I can do it with, or any suggested tools I can use for it? Where do I start with this? Any good resources or videos, or just long winded posts on the subject would help me greatly.
    Take the guitar to an experienced luthier. The final outcome will be a lot more worth than the 20-30 bucks he'll ask for, specially if he offers a full setup with it.

    FWIW, a set of files cost from $ 60.00 to $ 150.00.

    HTH,
    Last edited by LtKojak; 01-09-2011 at 06:45 AM.
    Pepe aka Lt. Kojak
    Milano, Italy

  5. #5
    Jessie's ghost
    Guest

    Default Re: Teach me how to file a guitar nut.

    Quote Originally Posted by LtKojak View Post
    Take the guitar to an experienced luthier. The final outcome will be a lot more worth than the 20-30 bucks he'll ask for, specially if he offers a full setup with it.

    FWIW, a set of files cost from $ 60.00 to $ 150.00.

    HTH,
    Yeah. My local tech charges about $90, but that includes a new bone nut blank, fitted to the guitar and strings, a full setup, and a set of strings. If you really need this for just one guitar, best to take it to someone.

    On the other hand, if you want to learn how to do it, it's one of the most exacting disciplines of luthiery, and it requires the right tools and plenty of practice to get it right. Once you get the tools and learn how to do it, you can feast for a lifetime.

  6. #6
    Digitally Challenged Mr 9finger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Indiana
    Age
    35
    Posts
    6,405
    Likes (Given)
    12
    Likes (Received)
    222

    Default Re: Teach me how to file a guitar nut.

    If you're just wanting to move up a couple string gauges, then I wouldn't bother with a luthier. Here's how I would do it in steps.

    1. Fit your new strings on the guitar. Do not tune to pitch and leave enough stretch room to work with.

    2. Take some fine grit sand paper and slip it under the string.

    3. Work the sand paper back and forth slowly at an angle to maintain the proper break angle. Remember go slowly.

    4. Check your work often. It won't take much time to fit the new string gauge. Tune to pitch and look for binding and listen for a plinking noise that a string will make when its binding. Also keep real close attention to the nut slot depth. Go too deep and you'll need a new nut.


    That's it, just work slow and check often and you should have your new strings setup in no time. That's only part of it though. You may have to reset your intonation with the heavier strings.
    Gear: More junk than I know what to do with

  7. #7
    Ultimate Tone Slacker eschoendorff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    1,637
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    2

    Default Re: Teach me how to file a guitar nut.

    This is a subject that really interests me, mostly because the nut leaves a LOT to be desired on cheap guitars. Crappy nut jobs have been the source of many intonation problems in my life.

    I finally broke down and bought Dan Erlewine's books, but I really need to order a set of nut files to complete the deal. While I'm at it, I should probably just do this:

    http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Sp..._Tool_Kit.html

    It's a bit expensive, at just under $200. But then I am free to make nuts the way I want on my own terms...

  8. #8
    Something Cool uOpt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA, USA
    Posts
    14,485
    Likes (Given)
    5
    Likes (Received)
    559

    Default Re: Teach me how to file a guitar nut.

    I have not seen a guitar that had nut slots that would actually have a problem with a 011 set. I used a 010-052 set on most guitars for a long time, that's the bass strings from 011.

    Just make sure there's graphite in the slots.

  9. #9
    Mojo's Minions GuitarStv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    9,955

    Default Re: Teach me how to file a guitar nut.

    First you have to lure one somewhere**, then hold him down* in order to file them.

    *Most guitar nuts are not too physically tough, but you have to be careful about the ones who carry the very heavy Les Pauls . . . they might be able to put up more of a struggle due to all the muscle developed from lugging those things around night after night.

    **You will be able to lure the guitar nut virtually anywhere by guaranteeing him some piece of gear that is:
    - old (therefore toneful)
    - unusual (therefore toneful)

  10. #10
    Junior Member theHAZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default Re: Teach me how to file a guitar nut.

    Dude - super simple. Check out this page on replacing a guitar nut and you'll be all set.

  11. #11
    SmoothCriminalologist JOLLY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Age
    47
    Posts
    42,344
    Likes (Given)
    4
    Likes (Received)
    1387

    Default Re: Teach me how to file a guitar nut.

    Welcome to the forum. Thanks for the link to that video. That seemed simple enough.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •