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curved or flat nut?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by UnDoNe, May 5, 2004.

  1. UnDoNe


    Dec 6, 2002
    hi. im looking at buying a neck off warmoth and when it came to the nut there's a choice of flat or curved. does my choice really matter and what is the difference between the two? thanks in advance :)
  2. Curved and flat, obviously, have to do with the nut "trench" machined into the neck. On Warmoths, they're curved, as they do the nut slot and fret slots together on a curved arbor.
  3. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Am I to understand that you are saying that the profile of the nut slot bottom is something other than dead flat?

    What could the advantage of a radiused nut slot be?

    I don't believe I've ever changed a nut on a Warmoth. If I ever do, I wont be surprised if i have to do a lot of extra work. :)

    Radiusing the nut bottom would almost have to be done with a jig of some sort to ensure a precice fit.

    On the other hand a radiused nut slot would have slightly more "meat" in a traditionally weak spot.

    Whatcha think, Hambone?

    Harrell S
  4. On a Warmoth, yup. On many past and current Fenders, yup. On many many many manufacturers, yup.

    The advantage is to the manufacturer, who can take out a step by having precisely set up and distanced cutters on a single arbor that can reproduce the same operation consistently, and in one step, increasing efficiency, and therefore, profit per piece.

    I wouldn't think it's that much work. If you're set up, and knowledgeable of such operations, a nut blank can be filed and fitted in 10-15 minutes.

    Yes. But all the same, there are many curved-bottom nut blanks available on the market, either OEM from places like Fender, or custom products like Tusq, or offerings from Stew Mac or Luthiers Mercantile. Relatively cheap, and take time and guesswork out of the equation.

    Yes, dependent on what method of truss rod you are using, and where the adjustments are made. If at the headstock, yes, definitely...moreso on veneer boards, and them lovely block-neck Fender necks from the late 60's, thru mid 70's....bullet trussrods...[shudder]
  5. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Live and learn. :)

    Thanks for some good info.
  6. Ol Mon is right.

    And it's the bain of my nut cutting existence! I like to fashion my own nuts from all sorts of material but aluminum especially. Doing the top contour is easy peasy compared to handworking the back radius for fit. I've even tried carving the nut and then bending the piece to mimic the radius of the fretboard. Didn't work. So now, I carefully carve that back contour with a Dremel and test fit many, many time before it fits like I want.

    HOWEVER, I've learned from this and the nut slots on my own neck design is and will be flat on the bottom. I don't have the problem with weakness in the headstock because my necks use a heel adjusting trussrod.
  7. Infact, here's a pic of the machine in question... it has a rotating assembly that holds the neck and passes the fretboard first over a belt sander to pre-radius, then to the cutting arbor. Note as a result the fretslots are also curved trench, which ends up needing less glue to slot-fill and hold the fret.