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  #61  
Old 11-09-2014, 11:58 AM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
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If someone pulls the nut off a vintage guitar, it's not original any more anyway.
??? IMHO, it is still original if you reinstall it

I do try to preserve an original ivory nut, and removing it is required if I want to shim under it or to level the fingerboard. Besides accommodating taller frets, nuts can also be shimmed to compensate for wear of the slots. However, I like to avoid trimming the top of the nut, and assuming that the replacement frets are not too tall, raising the strings can be accomplished by filling the nut slots and recutting them. My favorite method for doing this is to deepen and square the bottom of the slot, and glue in a sliver of ivory with CA. Then the slot is recut to the proper depth. This can be done with the nut in place.

My point on this subject is that in my experience, heating has been sufficient to remove a stubborn nut in 99+% of the cases, rendering the saw kerf unnecessary.
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  #62  
Old 11-16-2014, 06:34 PM
BothHands BothHands is offline
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Default The growing gap

To say I'm "walking on eggshells" here is an understatement. We've already established "who knows what" and I'm at the bottom of the pile. That said, it's my thread, so I want to reintroduce the notion of "the growing gap" behind the nut.

I hate to see you "mythical figures" dustin' up here. These exchanges are amazingly instructive, so for the sake of clarity and enlightened discussion, I want to interject the following (and somebody please correct me if I'm wrong):
1. Let's say a tech cuts a .010" saw kerf behind a nut, so when he whacks that nut it can move/rock enough to break the existing glue joint.

2. Then the tech makes a new nut that is .010" thicker than the original, so that new nut fills perfectly the enlarged gap between fretboard and headstock face plate.

3. For whatever reason, a year later the guitar crosses the tech's workbench again, and he needs to pull that nut...again...

HERE IS WHERE THE GAP GROWS (MAYBE)

4. The tech is forced to cut another .010" saw kerf, in order to whack and release the second nut, which is already over-sized by .010".

5. So the tech will have to cut another .010" saw kerf at the rear of the gap - a gap that's already .010" over-sized. So the gap GROWS from original to .010" over-size to .020" over-size.
I think this is how others meant the term, and I'm 99% sure it was not intended to suggest that Frank Ford's initial saw kerf might widen over time...

Am I right?

Last edited by BothHands; 11-17-2014 at 01:11 PM. Reason: Peace & Goodwill
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  #63  
Old 11-16-2014, 06:58 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Originally Posted by BothHands View Post
Am I right?
No. Frank was very clear about using this on "stuck" nuts, not every nut. He was equally clear that when he makes a new nut and attaches it, it is attached in such a way that it will not be "stuck" and will not require cutting it out again.

Leave it alone: it works for him and his customers and has for decades. What is there to argue about? If you don't like the technique, don't use it. There is no objective "right" and "wrong" here, despite the war of egos. Move along: these aren't the droids you're looking for.
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  #64  
Old 11-16-2014, 08:02 PM
BothHands BothHands is offline
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Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
No. Frank was very clear about using this on "stuck" nuts, not every nut. He was equally clear that when he makes a new nut and attaches it, it is attached in such a way that it will not be "stuck" and will not require cutting it out again.

Leave it alone: it works for him and his customers and has for decades. What is there to argue about? If you don't like the technique, don't use it. There is no objective "right" and "wrong" here, despite the war of egos. Move along: these aren't the droids you're looking for.
Well, Charles...certainly I'm not passing judgement on Frank Ford's technique.

Frank recommended his saw-kerf method to me based on my nut being captive between fretboard end and a particularly heavy headstock face plate. There has been no discussion as to how my particular nut is glued in, because I have no idea...

There has been a lot of discussion (among you all) since Frank's initial remarks. In the course of all that, the "growing gap" concept arose, and if my take on it is correct, then it's something that deserves clarification and consideration, at least by me before I attempt it.

Maybe I missed reading a post, but as far as I can see, the "growing gap" issue remains unclear as it pertains to my situation. I would like to know if my understanding of it is the correct understanding (per my post above).

Your "leave it alone" admonishment seems to suggest that I re-raised the issue for the purpose of annoying Frank, or others(?) Not what I had in mind.
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  #65  
Old 11-16-2014, 08:14 PM
stanron stanron is offline
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The idea I got from Frank's 'behind the nut cut' was that it was done so that the nut was not damaged in removal and could therefore be re-used and not replaced. When the nut was back in position the cut would not need to be redone for any subsequent removal. There was no reason for the cut to 'grow'.
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  #66  
Old 11-16-2014, 09:40 PM
BothHands BothHands is offline
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Originally Posted by stanron View Post
The idea I got from Frank's 'behind the nut cut' was that it was done so that the nut was not damaged in removal and could therefore be re-used and not replaced. When the nut was back in position the cut would not need to be redone for any subsequent removal. There was no reason for the cut to 'grow'.
That's what his latter comments seem to suggest, wherein he refers to avoiding breaking off one of the nut's corners (I think...). But earlier in the discussion I thought the kerf was just to create space for the glued-in nut to move (in response to gettin' whacked) enough to break that glue joint....

With any luck, Hizself will check this thread and clarify the point.
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  #67  
Old 11-17-2014, 08:02 AM
redir redir is offline
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I think the point is that the kerf would protect the corners of the head plate. Personally I don't see anything wrong with that type of fix. The problem with a lot of these guitars like Gibson's etc.. is they glue the hell out of the nuts and then even apply finish all over them. Nut's should never be treated as permanent fixtures, along those lines that's why I tend to like unbound fretboards better too but I digress (since it's not quite the same argument). Once you remove a nut like that and install it properly, with a dot of CA/Fish/Titebond/Hide or any glue of your choice besides epoxy then it's simple enough to remove it with a block of wood and a tap with a hammer.
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  #68  
Old 11-17-2014, 08:39 AM
BothHands BothHands is offline
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Originally Posted by redir View Post
Once you remove a nut like that and install it properly, with a dot of CA/Fish/Titebond/Hide or any glue of your choice besides epoxy then it's simple enough to remove it with a block of wood and a tap with a hammer.
Bear with me now, I'm a noob. I'm just trying to understand, and am not the least bit interested in contributing to any "fracas among the truly knowledgeable":
In my case, the nut is set in a gap created by the edge of the fretboard and the headstock faceplate/veneer, which is about 1/8" thick.
See the image on page 2 of this thread, post #19.

The nut appears be a tight/exact fit for the gap in which it sits.

I assume the nut is glued in lightly, with a single dab of CA or maybe wood glue at its midpoint.

I want to avoid damaging anything - the nut or the veneer faceplate.

Q1. In your opinion (ANYBODY), do I need to employ Frank Ford's technique of cutting a very narrow saw kerf behind the nut before tapping it?
If so, exactly WHY? To protect the nut? To protect the faceplate as suggested above? OR...to allow for movement in breaking the glue joint?

Q2. If I do make the kerf, should I endeavor to make a replacement nut that fully fills that now-wider kerf?

Q3. Assuming I do what's described in Q2 above, what happens next time I want to remove that wider replacement nut? Will I have to cut another kerf behind that new nut in order to remove it? Assume I glue the replacement nut in per redir's instructions above.


I don't mean to be a PIA about this. I'm just trying to understand exactly what people mean
so I can get the best possible result while doing the least possible damage.

Last edited by BothHands; 11-17-2014 at 08:53 AM.
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  #69  
Old 11-17-2014, 08:59 AM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Originally Posted by stanron View Post
The idea I got from Frank's 'behind the nut cut' was that it was done so that the nut was not damaged in removal and could therefore be re-used and not replaced. When the nut was back in position the cut would not need to be redone for any subsequent removal. There was no reason for the cut to 'grow'.
This point seemed so obvious that I couldn't understand why anyone would construe that this would be done with subsequent nut removals. And it is done only in the case that the nut is not easily removed by other methods.
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  #70  
Old 11-17-2014, 09:04 AM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Originally Posted by BothHands View Post
Bear with me now, I'm a noob. I'm just trying to understand, and am not the least bit interested in contributing to any "fracas among the truly knowledgeable":
In my case, the nut is set in a gap created by the edge of the fretboard and the headstock faceplate/veneer, which is about 1/8" thick.
See the image on page 2 of this thread, post #19.

The nut appears be a tight/exact fit for the gap in which it sits.

I assume the nut is glued in lightly, with a single dab of CA or maybe wood glue at its midpoint.

I want to avoid damaging anything - the nut or the veneer faceplate.

Q1. In your opinion (ANYBODY), do I need to employ Frank Ford's technique of cutting a very narrow saw kerf behind the nut before tapping it?
If so, exactly WHY? To protect the nut? To protect the faceplate as suggested above? OR...to allow for movement in breaking the glue joint?

Q2. If I do make the kerf, should I endeavor to make a replacement nut that fully fills that now-wider kerf?

Q3. Assuming I do what's described in Q2 above, what happens next time I want to remove that wider replacement nut? Will I have to cut another kerf behind that new nut in order to remove it? Assume I glue the replacement nut in per redir's instructions above.


I don't mean to be a PIA about this. I'm just trying to understand exactly what people mean
so I can get the best possible result while doing the least possible damage.
It's very simple. First, try to gently tap the nut out. If that doesn't work, try heating the nut with an iron, then gently tap and or pry out. If that still doesn't work the razor saw method would be the option

Now if the nut is too high, you can lower the slots. If it's too low you can buy bone shims. Finally if you do decide to replace the nut, make it for a snug slip fit. I use a sparing amount of white glue.
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  #71  
Old 11-17-2014, 09:32 AM
arie arie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BothHands View Post
Bear with me now, I'm a noob. I'm just trying to understand, and am not the least bit interested in contributing to any "fracas among the truly knowledgeable":
In my case, the nut is set in a gap created by the edge of the fretboard and the headstock faceplate/veneer, which is about 1/8" thick.
See the image on page 2 of this thread, post #19.

The nut appears be a tight/exact fit for the gap in which it sits.

I assume the nut is glued in lightly, with a single dab of CA or maybe wood glue at its midpoint.

I want to avoid damaging anything - the nut or the veneer faceplate.

Q1. In your opinion (ANYBODY), do I need to employ Frank Ford's technique of cutting a very narrow saw kerf behind the nut before tapping it?
If so, exactly WHY? To protect the nut? To protect the faceplate as suggested above? OR...to allow for movement in breaking the glue joint?

Q2. If I do make the kerf, should I endeavor to make a replacement nut that fully fills that now-wider kerf?

Q3. Assuming I do what's described in Q2 above, what happens next time I want to remove that wider replacement nut? Will I have to cut another kerf behind that new nut in order to remove it? Assume I glue the replacement nut in per redir's instructions above.


I don't mean to be a PIA about this. I'm just trying to understand exactly what people mean
so I can get the best possible result while doing the least possible damage.


"The nut appears be a tight/exact fit for the gap in which it sits"

nope. i see plenty of room to work with here.

but first, have you fully determined that this nut is not coming out after using all of the usual methods? is it really that stuck? What methods have you tried so far?

Q1 No. IMO it would be used as a last resort to protect an ancient nut and to allow room to break the joint. Apparently a controversial method. I do not think that this is the case on your modern guitar nor necessary for it.

Q2 Yep, that's the idea.

Q3 hopefully not. that would be silly. honestly, i don't glue down nuts that are set into a slot like yours. if it is crafted correctly it won't roll out, and if the fit is snug enough, it won't fall out when fully unstrung nor shift sideways either.

fwiw, if this is truly the mission impossible nut that no normal methods of removal will ever work, -then saw it down the middle (80~90% deep, but not through it), clear all contact faces (veneer, fretboard, neck) with a scalpel, grab it and pluck it out and make a new one. it's not that hard.

Last edited by arie; 11-17-2014 at 09:40 AM.
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  #72  
Old 11-17-2014, 10:36 AM
BothHands BothHands is offline
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Thanks, Louie and arie. I just wanted that clarification BEFORE I start tapping...and then WHACKING the nut. You know how it goes: It's the Bigger Hammer Phenomenon, and it just sorta grows of its own volition, beyond your awareness. Next thing you know, that headstock faceplate is all splintered and mashed up, and you can't figure out how such a thing could happen...

I'll employ the saw-kerf-behind-the-nut method as a last resort.
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  #73  
Old 11-17-2014, 10:54 AM
arie arie is offline
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Originally Posted by BothHands View Post

I'll employ the saw-kerf-behind-the-nut method as a last resort.
i'd employ the "saw the nut in half" method as a last resort were it mine. imo nuts, saddles and frets are disposable commodities. for your project i see no need to hack into the veneer. as far as i know you haven't even tried yet. it might just come out in the first 3 seconds of effort.

you might be suffering from "IFITA" -Internet Forum Induced Technology Anxiety. slow down and proceed carefully with the easiest/least invasive method first and work from there as the need arises. you can do this.

Last edited by arie; 11-17-2014 at 11:02 AM.
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  #74  
Old 11-17-2014, 11:56 AM
BothHands BothHands is offline
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Originally Posted by arie View Post
[...]you might be suffering from "IFITA" -Internet Forum Induced Technology Anxiety. slow down and proceed carefully with the easiest/least invasive method first and work from there as the need arises. you can do this.
"IFITA" TOO GOOD!

But actually, I think I'm a carrier for that. LOL!

Good advice though - all of it. Thanks, man.
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  #75  
Old 11-17-2014, 12:28 PM
redir redir is offline
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The picture of the nut you linked to looks like it will easily come out. My nut removal tool consists of a piece of wood approximately as wide as the nut, 1/4 inch thick, about 6in long and a dead blow hammer. The short side that is the width of the nut gets placed flush right up against it along the fretboard and then you give it a gentle whack and look for any movement increasing the pressure as necessary till it moves. Then come back to the opposite side and tap it. Continue to tap it back and forth till it is free.

I still like to glue nuts in place even though they fit snugly but it's probably not necessary. I've just always done it as an extra added measure. It's not really comparable to a saddle since that is the main control over the action it's going to get more adjustments and hence need to be removed more often. Once a quality bone nut is set up you have many many years ahead before it's necessary to repair. I still don't like to finish them in place though.
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