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Thread: How much can we lower the action on the first fret?

  1. #11
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    I would also recommend that we take a more cautious approach, it seems a little severe that we start knocking our nuts about filing the slots is a lot safer.
    All the best,
    Campbell

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camsuke View Post
    I would also recommend that we take a more cautious approach, it seems a little severe that we start knocking our nuts about filing the slots is a lot safer.
    Basically these jobs should be done on spare nuts which we can get very cheep in the Internet. And factory do not touch nut grooves either. They dig nut slots and put commercially available nuts in there. Their approach of the nut hight is managed on the nut slots on the head stock (not the each groove on the nuts) in general. Maybe Kamaka may filling nut grooves. Because Kamaka's nut groove s are very deep.
    Kamaka HF-1 100

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by buddhuu View Post
    Personally, I prefer to set nut action with nut files, one string at a time, rather than taking material from the bottom of the nut.
    Agreed. That's the way I've always done it too. A factory nut doesn't take into account the specific kind of strings you are using, so fine tuning can be needed on the slots to get the ideal setup. My reason has nothing to do with worrying about filing too deep though. I'd just get a new nut if that happened. I just simply think it's a better way and it seems most pros do it that way.
    <><

  4. #14
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    Hi, Thank you for reply, buddhuu!

    Quote Originally Posted by buddhuu View Post
    Personally, I prefer to set nut action with nut files, one string at a time, rather than taking material from the bottom of the nut. It gives more control and if you take off too much you've only screwed up one slot and can build it back up if you have to.
    When you lower the action, where do you shave on saddle and nut? Do you shave both top?

    Kamaka HF-1 100

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by zztush View Post
    Hi, Thank you for reply, buddhuu!



    When you lower the action, where do you shave on saddle and nut? Do you shave both top?

    Is this a trick question?
    All the best,
    Campbell

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by zztush View Post
    Hi, Thank you for reply, buddhuu!

    When you lower the action, where do you shave on saddle and nut? Do you shave both top?

    Buddhuu doesn’t shave at the nut (correct me if I’m wrong). He uses nut files to adjust the slots.

  7. #17
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    Like Buddhu, I file each nut slot as needed per string, and do not sand the bottom of the nut.

    For saddles, I sand the bottom for height, and then file the string breakpoint on the top of the saddle for compensation as necessary.

    This has worked out well for me over the previous 35 yrs on guitar, and the past 4 yrs on ukulele.

    I have 2 ukes where I went too far on the nut slots on one string, and need to get some superglue so I can tape off the area, and fill the slot, and start over.

    Yes, I also have some spare Tusq nuts, but the other strings are intonating perfectly so I'd rather not redo the iterative and tedious process of doing ALL FOUR STRINGS, over again.

    I think that shaving your nuts will cause problems, especially if you are wearing shorts in the winter
    Just the FAQs __________Less > more.__________Serenity now, insanity later.

  8. #18
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    Aloha, Booli!

    I think most of the people (if they file the nuts) take your way. File the top of the nut and sand the bottom of the saddle. I used to took same style but sanding bottom of the nut is easier than filing top of the nut for me. And as it is easier, the result is better to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Booli View Post
    I think that shaving your nuts will cause problems, especially if you are wearing shorts in the winter
    Good point. Ireland nuts are cattle bone. I need Tusq or ebony nuts.
    Kamaka HF-1 100

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeso View Post
    Buddhuu doesn’t shave at the nut (correct me if I’m wrong). He uses nut files to adjust the slots.
    Yup. What Seeso said. I file each slot until I have the action at the nut exactly as I want it. I use the capo at 3rd fret technique to check the action at the first fret and then adjust.

    I always work from unslotted bone blanks so I rarely, if ever, ever file or sand the bottom of the nut.

    I tend to have slightly different action on different strings. On a low G I keep the action just a tiny fraction higher than the other strings as I hit that hardest.

    I'm a believer in not having nut slots any deeper than they need to be, so after setting the action I file/sand off the surplus height around the slots until the tops of the strings peek over the tops of the slots.

    I also file the slots at a slight incline to avoid a sharp friction edge on the headstock side and to ensure a clean break where the string leaves the slot.

    Oh, and I put a tiny spot of CA glue on the face of the nut that butts up against the end of the fretboard. That's safe as the glue goes against end-grain so you get no tear-out if you want to tap it loose later. I do NOT put glue on the bottom of the nut as you risk pulling wood away when you next remove the nut.

    There. Now I have no nut-filing secrets left!
    Last edited by buddhuu; 01-02-2018 at 11:27 PM.
    And whether the blood be highland, lowland or no,
    And whether the skin be black or white as the snow,
    Of kith and of kin we are one, be it right, be it wrong,
    As long as our hearts beat true to the lilt of a song.

  10. #20
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    I'll just add that, for anyone who owns several uke/mandos/guitars, or who regularly experiments with different string gauges and set-ups, a good set of nut files is one of the best investments you can make. It still takes experience to do a good job but it's way easier with good files.
    And whether the blood be highland, lowland or no,
    And whether the skin be black or white as the snow,
    Of kith and of kin we are one, be it right, be it wrong,
    As long as our hearts beat true to the lilt of a song.

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