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Source for nut slotting files??

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by scottie65, Jun 19, 2014.


  1. scottie65

    scottie65

    Jul 31, 2013
    New Mexico
    I have a new bass that I am setting up and of course the nut slots are cut too shallow. I need to file them a little deeper. Anyone know of a not too expensive vendor for purchasing a set of files for filing the nut slots on my bass? I know Stewart Mac has them but they want about $49 + shipping for a .065", .085", and a .105" gauged nut slotting files for bass. Can anyone recommend any other company with good files that produce a rounded seat for the strings that are not this expensive or is this just the normal price? Thanks for any info.
     
  2. I would just try ebay if ur not looking to spend much
     
  3. Hi.

    IMO the price is normal for decent quality precision files.

    BUT...

    Unlike our skinny string brothers and sisters, we bass players are in luck if a cheap nut file for an occasional use is needed.

    Just wrap a bit of emery paper or -cloth on a drill bit shank of an appropriate size.

    Regards
    Sam
     
  4. use a set of old roundwound strings and run them back & forth through the slot. slow but it works
     
    Moley13 and hover like this.
  5. SBassman

    SBassman

    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    I hesitated for years to buy proper files. Once I did, it was easy to see - it was worth the money.
     
    scotch likes this.
  6. Harbor Freight sells files that work decently for $5. Otherwise old strings work but are very slow to file the nutt.
     
  7. SBassman

    SBassman

    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    You can get files at tool/home places that will get the job done, but there's no substitute for having bass nut files
    with the precise edge and gauges. Makes the work a breeze.
     
  8. hover

    hover

    Oct 4, 2008
    Massachusetts
    Buy once, cry once, or, spend the money to have a tech with the proper tools do it.

    I've done the string trick to widen a slot at bit in the past...but man, changing the depth of the slot would be slow going and imprecise.
     
    elBandito and hdracer like this.
  9. scottie65

    scottie65

    Jul 31, 2013
    New Mexico
    Thanks for the reply as well as everyone else. I just need to find out the exact size to use for each slot. I guess I can try to measure the slots with a digital caliper which should work. I am doing this on a Squier Jaguar bass. If anyone already has the sizes I need please post them. I would think the three sizes on the Stewart Mac site might be all I would need. Please reply if you have any info. Thanks.
     
  10. Your string guages are roughly the size you need. My file set is .045, .065, .075, .085, .105, .130
     
  11. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I got mine at Stew-Mac.
     
  12. I got mine on ebay. 40 bucks shipped i believe.
     
  13. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    If you are only needing to do this one time, you can get by with a cheap set of needle files. But, those gauged slotting files will help you do a nicer job, much quicker than you can ever do with a set of needle files. The Stewmac pricing is actually pretty good on those.
     
  14. scottie65

    scottie65

    Jul 31, 2013
    New Mexico
    After checking around I have to agree with you and some others about Stew-Mac. Their prices are pretty good and the thing about them is the guarantee as well as they have the most correct sizes that a person would need. As far as the basic harbor freight and other hardware stores I have not seen any gauged (thickness) files at all. Ebay has some nice sets but the prices are much higher than Stew-Mac and the some of the sizes would work but at least 1/3 of the sizes would not. I figure if I am going to do this it is worth buying from Stew - Mac. Bobdabilder looks like the sizes he has are what I need but I can not find anything on Ebay at present like his.
     
  15. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Often times Stewmac prices are pretty outrageous, but in this case they have about the best prices I have seen. The files at Harbor Freight or Home Depot aren't gauged, they are a standard set of needle files. They will work, but the slotting files are much better suited for the job.
     
  16. JLS

    JLS

    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
  17. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Buying files you get what you pay for.
     
  18. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I've never gotten anything from Stewmac that wasn't a quality tool
     
  19. Yep.
     
  20. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Not only is it slow, it will also cause you to do a poor job because strings are not rigid. So you will end up with a rounded, or convex, nut slot with the highest point being in the center of the slot. To do it properly the slot needs to be cut with a rigid file, with the string slots cut at the same angle as the string between the nut and tuner post, with the highest part of the slot being at the inner edge of the nut.
     

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