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Cutting the nut

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Basschair, May 3, 2005.

  1. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    After looking through StewMac and Warmoth, I'm wondering about working on the nut. I'm not there yet, but am trying to anticipate tool expenses.

    What tools are most vital for cutting out the slots for strings in the nut? I'm thinking about buying the gauged files for proper sizes, and then making do with the tools I have around my shop already. Is there any other tool or tools that are vital to the nut slotting process? I've already got files available for shaping the nut.
  2. Luke Sheridan

    Luke Sheridan Commercial User

    Dec 30, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    I build guitars and sell them. Strings, too
    Call Stewmac and discuss it with them. I did any was told i could get by with just three files depending on my string guages. It's actually fairly easy to cut the nut. Don't be intimidated the brass blanks cost about $3 each. The cost of the files is worth it as my local shop wanted $125 to cut it.
  3. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Thanks Luke. Did you go with the brass? I always loved the thumb bass neck thru with the brass nut, but wasn't sure how much the brass nut had to do with it.

  4. drd07


    Jan 19, 2003
    I use a 10 dollar set of hobby files from the local hardware store. I've always had good results - at least with bass string gauges. If you plan on cutting the nut of a guitar, you would probably need a set of nut files for the smaller gauge.
  5. ditto!
    the only problem I've had is with the C or smaller gauge string on extended ranges. I solved that by buying a cheap set of feeler gauges and using a file (from the cheap hobby set) to cut notches and turn it in to a very small saw ...worked GREAT!
  6. I use a set of very cheap needle files and they work great for bass nut slotting.

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