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  #31  
Old 11-03-2014, 09:12 AM
BothHands BothHands is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redir View Post
I have rolls of various wood vaneers sold as edge band or edge tapes like this: http://www.wisewoodveneer.com/store/...gebanding.html

I use mahogany on mahogany neck guitars and it helps to hide it better. It's real easy to just glue to the nut with CA, trim and then sand it to the desired height. I'm not sure why you would want to use steel because imho it would look funny and be much more difficult to work with.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with shimming a nut. In fact it's wasteful to buy a new one when you simply have one string out that needs a boost. It won't affect the tone at all unless perhaps like mentioned you stack it up to some ridiculous height.
Excellent idea! I have lots of woodworking experience, but never thought of using veneer stock. Duh.

I don't do any marquetry or inlay, and typically use solid wood strip for edge banding of plywood - so I don't keep any veneer material.
Gonna have to see if I can round up a few scraps.

Thanks a LOT, redir.
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  #32  
Old 11-03-2014, 09:20 AM
arie arie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BothHands View Post
accurately transfer the "mystery radius"
try a contour gage or trace out a template. easy work.

Last edited by arie; 11-03-2014 at 09:28 AM.
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  #33  
Old 11-03-2014, 09:34 AM
BothHands BothHands is offline
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NO GOTS.

Made my own 'radius gauge' by drawing 14" 15" and 16" circles in a vector drawing software application.
I printed them and cut them out, each as a 3" segment. Then I held each against the fretboard, sans strings.

None of them seemed to match

~ AND ~

All of them seemed to match


I R SO DUH
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  #34  
Old 11-03-2014, 10:43 AM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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lmi sells bone shims you ca glue to the bpttom then aand to height.. just another option.
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  #35  
Old 11-03-2014, 10:54 AM
Ned Milburn Ned Milburn is offline
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Originally Posted by BothHands View Post
I have reservations about having to buy another $9 blank, accurately transfer the "mystery radius" onto two saddle blanks (yeah, it's a split saddle and I can't seem to accurately determine the fretboard radius...)
I usually just put the blank against the end of the fingerboard and trace the radius of the last few frets. This way, it doesn't matter what the radius is. Rather, you simply and easily match the radius of the saddle top to the fretboard.
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  #36  
Old 11-03-2014, 10:58 AM
Ned Milburn Ned Milburn is offline
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Originally Posted by Frank Ford View Post
I cut through the face veneer all the way to the bottom of the nut, using a .010" kerf X-Acto saw:

Then the conventional whack with a hardwood block against the front edge of the nut pops it out safely.

Do the cut neatly and nobody will notice the kerf when the nut is put back in place.
Do that twice and you've widened the nut slot 1/2 a mm.

When necessary, I scribe a small exacto blade cut when the finish is sealed to the nut-edge before giving a quick whack of a hammer with a wood block to easily loosen the saddle. Quite often, however, the exacto knife isn't necessary. Call me up-tight, but I prefer to avoid destructive operations unless absolutely necessary.
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  #37  
Old 11-03-2014, 03:46 PM
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Frank Ford Frank Ford is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned Milburn View Post
Do that twice and you've widened the nut slot 1/2 a mm.

When necessary, I scribe a small exacto blade cut when the finish is sealed to the nut-edge before giving a quick whack of a hammer with a wood block to easily loosen the saddle. Quite often, however, the exacto knife isn't necessary. Call me up-tight, but I prefer to avoid destructive operations unless absolutely necessary.
Do it twice? Why twice?

Try scoring a bound Martin peghead behind the nut on and whacking out the nut without a relief cut behind it. Chances are close to 100% you'll chip the back corner of the nut rather badly.
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  #38  
Old 11-04-2014, 08:56 AM
arie arie is offline
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i can understand both arguments but i don't repair guitars for a living. i only build them, and do small fixes and restos for friends and family. imo, repairing and building are two different fields entirely.

for nut material that can take heat (not molded plastic obviously) have you guys ever tried using a hot iron (or other) to loosen up the nut and give it a pull?
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  #39  
Old 11-04-2014, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arie View Post
for nut material that can take heat (not molded plastic obviously) have you guys ever tried using a hot iron (or other) to loosen up the nut and give it a pull?
Working with that amount of heat right next to the finish would be close enough to suicide for me that I wouldn't ever try it. My .010" cut behind the nut works first time, every time, without fail. And, iIf I'm making a new nut, of course the kerf simply goes away.
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  #40  
Old 11-04-2014, 09:53 AM
Ned Milburn Ned Milburn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Ford View Post
Do it twice? Why twice?

Try scoring a bound Martin peghead behind the nut on and whacking out the nut without a relief cut behind it. Chances are close to 100% you'll chip the back corner of the nut rather badly.
My point is simply that a nut on a guitar is sometimes removed twice, 3 times, or even more over the life of a guitar. Reasons for removing the nut as you know include different string spacings for new owners, lowering nut slots as frets are dressed, chipped nuts (okay, no jokes here ;-) ).

In the case of a stubborn nut, certainly a thin-kerf blade can be a godsend, and making a new nut and only tack-gluing it in is likely one of the best, if not the best option. However, it seems a bit excessive to me if the nut were to be cut out losing a quarter mm each time it required removal. That is all.
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  #41  
Old 11-04-2014, 10:09 AM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
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However, it seems a bit excessive to me if the nut were to be cut out losing a quarter mm each time it required removal. That is all.
I agree.
I equate this practice with installing oversize bridges.
If I have a stubborn nut, I try heating it a bit with a heatlamp. If that doesn't work, I just saw through the middle of the nut.
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  #42  
Old 11-04-2014, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
. . .
I equate this practice with installing oversize bridges. If I have a stubborn nut, I try heating it a bit with a heatlamp. If that doesn't work, I just saw through the middle of the nut.
WHAT on Earth are you talking about? Oversize bridges? Gimme a break!

That little .010 cut is basically invisible to most folks even if left open. It avoids chipping the back corners off the nut when removing it, a real benefit when working with vintage Martins and ivory nuts as well as many others. OBVIOUSLY, such a cut is only necessary with a nut backed by a thick peg head overlay similar to what Martin uses. And, I hope, equally obviously that .010" kerf can be filled with a dab of paste pore filler. Would you REALLY cut an original ivory Martin nut in half rather than relieve the tiny amount behind it necessary to tap it out without damage?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned Milburn View Post
However, it seems a bit excessive to me if the nut were to be cut out losing a quarter mm each time it required removal. That is all.
I thought it would be equally obvious that there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON EVER to repeat the cut. Once the cut is made, the nut pops out easily without damage. Without the cut, the back corner of the nut is liable to crack off when an original nut is tapped out. Lots of Martin nuts are ivory, and there's no reason to damage them.

Once the cut is made, there's never a problem taking the nut out, because there's that little space (even if filled with a bit of paste pore filler or whatever) that allows the nut to rock backward when tapped so it doesn't chip or cause the finish on the nut to blister. And again, NO REASON EVER to repeat the cut.

Just to repeat: When I make the little .010" kerf behind the nut. It doesn't grow and become obtrusive, I don't need to repeat the cut, it's a final deal, and the nut goes in and out easily as if it was meant to.

Now, there are lots of instruments where that cut isn't appropriate. Those with thin peg head veneers, nuts on top of the overlay, etc. Then, scoring the finish is all that's necessary. A relatively large percentage of my work is on Martin guitars, so I tend to focus on them and their issues, so please forgive that bias in my description of technique.

Colings, Santa Cruz, and others use a similarly imbedded nut, but they don't glue them before finishing, and they don't embed the nut in a sea of glue. SO, there's no difficulty removing them.

Last edited by Frank Ford; 11-04-2014 at 11:45 AM.
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  #43  
Old 11-04-2014, 11:40 AM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned Milburn View Post
My point is simply that a nut on a guitar is sometimes removed twice, 3 times, or even more over the life of a guitar. Reasons for removing the nut as you know include different string spacings for new owners, lowering nut slots as frets are dressed, chipped nuts (okay, no jokes here ;-) ).

In the case of a stubborn nut, certainly a thin-kerf blade can be a godsend, and making a new nut and only tack-gluing it in is likely one of the best, if not the best option. However, it seems a bit excessive to me if the nut were to be cut out losing a quarter mm each time it required removal. That is all.
I think however, with a competent tech, a stubborn nut is only removed once. The new nut would be installed such that it wouldn't necessitate such an operation again. I do prefer to cut the center as John described and hit the nut toward the kerf, but only if I knew I was wasting that nut.
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  #44  
Old 11-05-2014, 07:41 PM
gpj1136 gpj1136 is offline
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[/QUOTE]The string heights for this nut are slightly higher than the string heights for its 'twin dreadnaught' (I have two), and the twin plays less stiffly, so sanding the nut bottom on this one seems like a reasonable 'next step'...no?[/QUOTE]

Yes most likely
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  #45  
Old 11-05-2014, 07:52 PM
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Frank Ford Frank Ford is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpj1136 View Post
Quote:
The string heights for this nut are slightly higher than the string heights for its 'twin dreadnaught' (I have two), and the twin plays less stiffly, so sanding the nut bottom on this one seems like a reasonable 'next step'...no?
Yes most likely
No.

If you're attempting to lower the action at the nut a relatively small amount, the safest procedure is do so by lowering each string carefully by filing its slot. If you try to lower the action accurately by sanding the bottom of the nut, the there's a good chance that you'll go a bit too far for at least one of the strings, and THEN you'll need to go back up.

Better to lower action in the slots. Then, if you find the slots are too deep for your liking, you can recontour the top of the nut for a more pleasing appearance, just as you would while making a new nut.

Nut slot height tolerances are on the order of a few thousandths, where saddle height tolerance is better measured in 32nds. We lower saddles by sanding the bottom, but we risk disaster by trying that with nuts.
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