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I need some nut files.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by sleeping buddha, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. sleeping buddha

    sleeping buddha

    Jul 12, 2007
    Endorsed by Welch basses
    My nut cutting skills suck, to put it bluntly. But thats not gonna stop me! I want some dedicated bass files. Not the ones that are for guitar that you have to rock side to side in the slot. My old boss used to use a chainsaw file for some of his slots. What do you folks use?
  2. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    went to an industrial cutting tool vendor.. they sold me some very high quality preceision files.
  3. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    nut files? ouch!
  4. sleeping buddha

    sleeping buddha

    Jul 12, 2007
    Endorsed by Welch basses
    Better that a nut hammer!
  5. Dream Weaver

    Dream Weaver

    Jul 11, 2009
    There are some on vendors on eBay who sell nut files. Can't vouch for their quality, but you can pick up 6-12 for less than the cost of 2 files from the Stew.
  6. Greenman


    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    If I was building as many basses or doing service work as much as you folks do I would go for the proper files. If you need the occasional nut get creative and use whats around. I did a brass nut with old round wounds and drill bits. :smug:

  7. I read somewhere that torch cleaning files did the trick.

    I am a pack rat when it comes to saving little text notes...unfortunately, I didn't note who said this. My apologies for not giving credit to the source......

    "Nut files:

    Go to Home Depot, Lowes or whatever home builder store you have in your area. Buy a "torch tip cleaner". It will be found near the acetylene torch equipment.

    The torch tip cleaner is a set of very small round files in a metal holder that resembles a feeler gauge set. There are all the sizes you need to file out the string grooves for your nut."

    Hope this helps...and again, my apologies to whomever I am quoting here...
  8. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
  9. sleeping buddha

    sleeping buddha

    Jul 12, 2007
    Endorsed by Welch basses
    I'll have to check this out. Sounds like what I'm looking for.

    Thanks for all the suggestions so far folks. Any more are appreciated.
  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I use the StewMac's for the rough work and Dremel micro-bits and emery cloth for the touch-up.

  11. xaxxat

    xaxxat Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    Harbor Freight has a pretty good selection of needle files at reasonable prices. Some of them are diamond grit.
  12. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    if those are like typical needle files that get fatter along their length, then no-go.
  13. Hi.

    I use regular needle-files.

    The taper doesn't bother me at all, only needs a bit more control.

    The torch cleaning kit is great for guitar gauges, but usually way too thin for bass gauges, the 8 string octave ones aside.

  14. Dream Weaver

    Dream Weaver

    Jul 11, 2009
    I ordered some of those feeler gauge style files off eBay. Supposedly high carbon steel... <shrug> We'll see. I'll be sure to let you know if they are worth the coin.
  15. Rocky McD

    Rocky McD

    Jun 28, 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    I am a part time Luthier, I do it for side income since I am retired. I love tools, I have a large Snap-On tool box with approximatlly $40,000 worth of automotive tools from a previous life. I love StewMac catalogs and dream about having "one of each" BUT... I now have a fairly low income so I have to economize. High quality nut file sets are great but I cannot justify the price on so many "neat tools" What I am slowly getting around to is, improvision. I study the catalogs and then think, "how can I do that with what I have? Or, how can I make one of those?"
    Cutting nuts is not a high volume repair for me so I use small files, hacksaw blades, Dremel bits and old, rough roundwound strings. I bought some really cheap needle files and they are a very sad quality. What I am encouraging is imagination, making your own tools, etc.

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