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Nut Files - Any cheaper Alternative?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by gapupten, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. gapupten


    Dec 29, 2004
    I have been messing with an older Pedula Bolt on neck Series II for over a month with setup including traditional saddle and truss rod adjustments and more significant shimming of the neck getting an unplayable bass fairly close to playable with low action. But I am convinced now that the last bit of adjustment I need to do is lower the slots in the nut.

    I do not want to spend $70 Warmoth wants for a set of nut files. At the same time a pocket knife is not working too well. Any $10-$15 suggestions? :help:
  2. rdhbass


    Jun 28, 2003
    Springfield, mo
    Buy small hobby files at like harbor freight or some other supplier, they are under 5.00 for a whole set.
  3. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Though not exactly the right tool for the job, you can get a set of miniature files from almost any hardware store. Keep in mind that these files aren't exactly the right size. So, you will need to be extra careful. I've never used my set on a nut, but I have used them to notch BAII bridge saddles.
  4. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA
    assuming it's not brass..
    if you are just lowering the existing slots slightly and do not want to buy files...try this-

    take a piece of roundwound string (the correct gauge for each slot) and super glue it to the edge of a popsicle stick..use this in the slot to remove a small amount of material and burnish the slot.

    it really smoothes the slot and it is the perfect size every time.
  5. That's very clever!
  6. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA

    I learned it from Dan Erlewine.
  7. NoisemakerD-Lux


    Oct 12, 2004
    If you're in the US, you can get this "Kronus Precision Miniature Needle File Set" at Radio Shack:


    It's only $12.99 and has 6 tiny files of assorted shapes.

    I had to file a nut a couple of weeks ago and this set worked wonderfully. I used 3 of the 6 files - triangle and spear [?] to cut deeper quickly and, of course, the round one for majority of the work.

    If you don't want this set, just search for "needle file" on the web and you'll find a bunch of places selling them. Even amazon.com sells these.

    I really like the Radio Shack set though --- the files are really tiny (smaller and thinner than most of the files I found at hardware stores) and very "fine" as far as the cutting strenght goes.
  8. I never realized how expensive these files are! Even Stew-Mac's tools aren't cheap.
    The only problem with buying a cheap set of needle files (I know, I have 2 different sets) is that you'll usually only get 1 or 2 files that edge-cut only. And of course these won't be in the exact thicknesses you might be needing.
    I like the Harbor Freight Tools set. Nice set at an extremely low price.

    I really like the roundwound string glued to a stick idea.. Now that sounds like something I should have thought of...
    Maybe something like multiple short pieces of fine-tooth hacksaw blades attached together (glued?) in some sorta way. This might allow you to adjust your cut by adding another blade thickness. I might experiment with this idea someday..
    Gotta love this forum..

  9. gapupten


    Dec 29, 2004
    Amen to that.. internet order placed..$8 shipped.. May not be what I need but a whole lot better than what I have.
    Who knew that there were that many sharp pointy objects in the world.
    Now I just need a site that sells popsickle sticks.

    BTW - When totally set up, this bass will have a "setup by Magneto" sticker on it.
    Without the advise by Mag and other guys, this base would be good for kindling.

    Thanks to all...!!