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  #16  
Old 12-17-2019, 03:48 PM
redir redir is offline
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binding happens when the slot is too thin for the string and as you tune up the string gets stuck, or binds, in the slot then releases and you usually hear a ping ping ping sound.

And yes you definitely want the string to exit on the face of the nut.
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  #17  
Old 12-17-2019, 05:22 PM
Gil80 Gil80 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redir View Post
binding happens when the slot is too thin for the string and as you tune up the string gets stuck, or binds, in the slot then releases and you usually hear a ping ping ping sound.

And yes you definitely want the string to exit on the face of the nut.
Thanks for the explanation.
When you mean the string to exit on the face of the nut, you refer to the fact that the depth of the nut should be 1/2 to 3/4 of the nut diameter?
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  #18  
Old 12-18-2019, 08:14 AM
redir redir is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gil80 View Post
Thanks for the explanation.
When you mean the string to exit on the face of the nut, you refer to the fact that the depth of the nut should be 1/2 to 3/4 of the nut diameter?
No that is not what I meant thought that is also true. I tend to bury the treble strings a bit more then the bass because they (treble) tend to get bent a lot.

What I mean by the face of the nut, and you actually mentioned this earlier and I was just agreeing, is the surface of the nut that touches the end of the fretboard. That is the very start of the string length.
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  #19  
Old 12-18-2019, 09:24 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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I use a combination of a small "back saw" that I reserve for "roughing in" the slots, skewing the blade to widen the slots where needed.

I also utilize a piece of stainless hobby flat stock that's .015" and rounded on the edge.

I first cut slots and then wrap and hold 220 sandpaper over the rounded edge to finish the rough cut slots and create the smooth and rounded bottom. Wider slots simply get 2 or more layers bent over the edge of my "slot tool". The smallest slots can simply be finished by doubling over a piece of sandpaper to smooth the slot and round its bottom.

I've done it that way for many years. I'd purchase good nut files if I cut slots all the time, but it's not a daily endeavor for me.

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  #20  
Old 12-18-2019, 11:30 AM
Peter Wilcox Peter Wilcox is offline
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I'd like to afford gauged nut files, but a couple hundred bucks are not in my lutherie picture. I mark, then cut all the slots to depth using a jewelers' saw.

For the slots under 0.015" I've selected some jewelers' saw blades of the appropriate kerf. For slots around 0.020 to 0.026 I use welding tip cleaning files in the jewelers' saw.






For slots up to about 0.060 I use a bead reamer in a rotary tool. I measure the fit using the appropriate guitar string.






For larger slots (basses) I can get needle files into the above slots to enlarge them. I only make 5 or 6 nuts a year, so this method is not too egregious.
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  #21  
Old 12-18-2019, 11:55 AM
Skarsaune Skarsaune is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wilcox View Post
I'd like to afford gauged nut files, but a couple hundred bucks are not in my lutherie picture.

The StewMac set is only $89, not hundreds of dollars.....
https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tool...ic_Guitar.html
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  #22  
Old 12-18-2019, 12:22 PM
Peter Wilcox Peter Wilcox is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarsaune View Post
The StewMac set is only $89, not hundreds of dollars.....
https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tool...ic_Guitar.html
It would be about a couple of hundred for both sets. I was looking at these as being more useful and they work for basses too:

https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tool...Nut_Files.html

Anyway, even $90 is too much for me at the rate I make nuts (from the dog's old soup bones, so they're free.)
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  #23  
Old 12-18-2019, 12:55 PM
redir redir is offline
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Are the blades in the jewelers saw stiff enough to stay straight? If they bow then I would be worried about putting the point of string contact apex of the nut slot in the middle of the thickness of the nut rather then right on the face.
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  #24  
Old 12-18-2019, 01:27 PM
Peter Wilcox Peter Wilcox is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redir View Post
Are the blades in the jewelers saw stiff enough to stay straight? If they bow then I would be worried about putting the point of string contact apex of the nut slot in the middle of the thickness of the nut rather then right on the face.
There is enough tension on the blade that it is straight for practical purposes, especially with lighter downward pressure when finishing the cut. In any case, since the slot is angled downward toward the tuning pegs, even the apex of a curved slot would be below the level of the slot as it leaves the face of the nut.
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  #25  
Old 12-18-2019, 01:45 PM
Edgar Poe Edgar Poe is offline
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I made these by belt sanding down different hacksaw blades, then rubber coated the ends. I have several sizes.

Ed

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  #26  
Old 12-18-2019, 06:24 PM
jpmist jpmist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gil80 View Post
How did you get the teeth on the feeler gauges?
I have a set of 32.
I made my own set of feeler gauge files with a Dremel and a diamond disc cut-off wheel. Not hard to do, and as you can see from the sloppy job I did, it's pretty forgiving - about 10 - 12 teeth are enough. Micarta and bone nuts are relatively soft.

The acetylene tips aren't super sharp but they work ok for the 4 thicker strings, then the feeler gauge files works great on the thinner unwound ones. You might use a feeler gauge to do the thick slots to depth first and then finish with the tips since they cut pretty slowly (and leave a nice polished finish). eBay Australia might have a set pretty cheap or Amazon maybe? Be careful on the thin feeler files, they can go too deep a lot faster than the thicker ones, then you have to start over with a new blank.

If you haven't yet, I'd suggest taking a look at Frets.com which is my favorite do it your self guitar tech site: http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Luth...ut/setnut.html

Good luck with it!

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  #27  
Old 12-18-2019, 06:32 PM
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Caution! I found that you can take away way to much real fast. Go cautiously slow.
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  #28  
Old 12-18-2019, 07:06 PM
frankmcr frankmcr is offline
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I once cut string slots in a blank fossil mammoth ivory ukulele nut with a Ka-Bar.

And I wasn't even one of a small group of survivors facing a zombie apocalypse at the time!
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Last edited by frankmcr; 12-18-2019 at 07:32 PM.
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  #29  
Old 12-18-2019, 09:39 PM
Gil80 Gil80 is offline
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Thanks everyone for the help.
I've ordered a set of 10 pcs diamond-coated files, 3mm diameter, as stated in my posts before.

I managed to get the 6th, 5th and 4th slots as I calculated.
They have about 0.5mm (6th) to 0.58m (4th) clearance from the bottom of the string to the top of the fret.
No buzzing and quite comfortable to press.

I also did the test where I press the string near the 3rd fret, between the 3rd and 4th fret and check the clearance on between the string and the 1st fret.
there's a tiny crack of light.
I need to check with my feeler gauge how much of clearance, but the point is, no buzz and comfortable fretting.

I tried to round the bottom of the slots using a carefully folded sanding paper and pencil marks.
I made sure to put an angle at about the same as the head, but also direct the back of the nut slot to the tuning pole.
I didn't do the most accurate job, but considering the tools, I believe it's ok.

I'm now facing the 3rd, 2nd and 1st to work with.

As mentioned, I'll have these slots a bit deeper since the strings tend to be bent a bit more.

I'll report back once I'm done.
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  #30  
Old 01-05-2020, 05:37 AM
Gil80 Gil80 is offline
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So a bit of an update.
I got those diamond filing for the nut and I donít see how I can use them for the G slot.
Whatís worse is Iím about to give up :/
I seem to not able to restring the G string. It keeps breaking.
I know how to restring but the G string just gets too much tension when at E3 so when I try to get to G3 it snaps.

Not sure what to do anymore. Thanks for all your help.
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