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Paul December
03-16-2012, 01:31 PM
What does the edge of a nut file look like: V-shaped or Rounded?
My low G continues to creak when tightening so I assume its binding.
I wanted to see if I could pick up something similar locally at the hardware store.

the.ronin
03-16-2012, 02:10 PM
I highly recommend these (http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Special_tools_for_Nuts_and_saddles/Gauged_Nut_Slotting_Files.html).

1931jim
03-16-2012, 02:11 PM
Hello Paul December,
First question Paul, is it Low G or the 4th string on re-entrant gCEA. I have a micrometer and my Low G is .036 but and this is a biggy but..... If you have re-entrant g then the gauge will be around .025 or .027.
1931jim
PS: You type real fast the.ronin

Paul December
03-16-2012, 02:36 PM
Hello Paul December,
First question Paul, is it Low G or the 4th string on re-entrant gCEA. I have a micrometer and my Low G is .036 but and this is a biggy but..... If you have re-entrant g then the gauge will be around .025 or .027.
1931jim
PS: You type real fast the.ronin

Thanks, it is for Low G

Paul December
03-16-2012, 02:37 PM
I highly recommend these (http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Special_tools_for_Nuts_and_saddles/Gauged_Nut_Slotting_Files.html).
Thank you for the link

mm stan
03-16-2012, 04:40 PM
Get a set Paul...they call them needle files at Micro Mark..

benjoeuke
03-16-2012, 05:22 PM
I use something like these, hole files or torch tip cleaners:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0017Z04Q2

kapahulu50
03-16-2012, 05:29 PM
Rounded with a constant radius.

OldePhart
03-18-2012, 10:00 AM
I highly recommend these (http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Special_tools_for_Nuts_and_saddles/Gauged_Nut_Slotting_Files.html).

+1 - well, sorta - I prefer these (http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Files/Double-edge_Nut_Files.html) from the same source.

If you get the .026 / .032 file you'll have the perfect tool for anything except maybe a baritone or an unwound low-G.

The bottom of a nut file should be rounded, but the sides should be smooth so the slot doesn't get wider, just deeper, when you file.

You absolutely do not want a triangular shape. Trianglular notches will make tuning a nightmare because they tend to "grip" the string as it is tensioned. They also can result in problems if you change to strings with a slightly different gage (or softer nylon strings after using fluorocarbon, etc) because the string height changes with the string gage.

When you file the notch you want to keep the slot very straight (i.e. don't rock the file and end up rounding the bottom of the slot). You also want to slant it down from the fret side to the tuner side so the string breaks cleanly over the bottom of the slot right at the fret-side edge of the nut.

John

Tudorp
03-18-2012, 11:43 AM
Before ya file, try powder graphite. That works wonders for binding. Believe it or not, it can also help the tuners keep it in tune. I have corrected erratic tuning issues even in my Gibson guitars by simply adding graphite to the nuts. You can buy powder graphite almost anywhere, or you can also take an x-acto knife and shave a regular #2 pencil lead into the slots (as most know, pencil lead is actually graphite.)
If that doesn't fix the problem, then move on to filing and dressing the nut per OldPhart's direction.

OldePhart
03-18-2012, 11:52 AM
Before ya file, try powder graphite. That works wonders for binding. Believe it or not, it can also help the tuners keep it in tune. I have corrected erratic tuning issues even in my Gibson guitars by simply adding graphite to the nuts. You can buy powder graphite almost anywhere, or you can also take an x-acto knife and shave a regular #2 pencil lead into the slots (as most know, pencil lead is actually graphite.)
If that doesn't fix the problem, then move on to filing and dressing the nut per OldPhart's direction.

Yep, graphite is great stuff. You don't even have to shave the pencil lead. For years I've kept a .05mm (or maybe .03mm, I'd have to pull it out and check and I'm too lazy) mechanical pencil with my string changing kit. Each time I change the strings on a guitar I just "scribble" in the nut slots with the pencil before putting the new strings on.

I've never had strings bind with ukes, so far, but I suspect that's because I've never used wound strings until very recently; it is usually the wound guitar strings that stick and pop.

John

barefootgypsy
03-18-2012, 11:57 AM
I use something like these, hole files or torch tip cleaners:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0017Z04Q2I've got those, too, fro, ebay.co.uk sold as "Nut files?" Look on there for a good description and explanation. They're VERY cheap, the profile is rounded, not V shaped, so the string sits nicely in there. I'd recommend, for what it's worth. Just a few dollars.

Tudorp
03-18-2012, 12:01 PM
You know us old guys Phart. We like to keep our nuts good and lubed. Binding at our age can be painful and problematic. Just sayin..


Yep, graphite is great stuff. You don't even have to shave the pencil lead. For years I've kept a .05mm (or maybe .03mm, I'd have to pull it out and check and I'm too lazy) mechanical pencil with my string changing kit. Each time I change the strings on a guitar I just "scribble" in the nut slots with the pencil before putting the new strings on.

I've never had strings bind with ukes, so far, but I suspect that's because I've never used wound strings until very recently; it is usually the wound guitar strings that stick and pop.

John

benjoeuke
03-18-2012, 12:03 PM
ya, I'm not the first person to use hole files for slotting nuts, I got the idea from an uku player about 10 years ago :)

Paul December
03-18-2012, 03:30 PM
Before ya file, try powder graphite. That works wonders for binding. Believe it or not, it can also help the tuners keep it in tune. I have corrected erratic tuning issues even in my Gibson guitars by simply adding graphite to the nuts. You can buy powder graphite almost anywhere, or you can also take an x-acto knife and shave a regular #2 pencil lead into the slots (as most know, pencil lead is actually graphite.)
If that doesn't fix the problem, then move on to filing and dressing the nut per OldPhart's direction.
Thanks, I'd prefer an easy fix like that :)

TheCraftedCow
03-18-2012, 08:43 PM
There is a fellow sells his nut files thriough eBay. They are rounded bottom and look more like a feeler gauge than a file . The price is far better than StuMac's price.. Torch tip files are pretty coarse for wanting to do fine work. Has anyone used a diamond wheel in a Dremel type tool on a set of point feeler gauges to make up their own set?

ukuhippo
03-18-2012, 08:55 PM
I have this, it feels cheap, but does the job:

http://www.ebay.nl/itm/Guitar-top-nut-file-tool-set-with-FREE-UK-P-P-/180843356263?pt=UK_Guitar_Accessories&hash=item2a1b1aa067#ht_1349wt_835

benjoeuke
03-19-2012, 05:42 AM
I have this, it feels cheap, but does the job:

http://www.ebay.nl/itm/Guitar-top-nut-file-tool-set-with-FREE-UK-P-P-/180843356263?pt=UK_Guitar_Accessories&hash=item2a1b1aa067#ht_1349wt_835
Those are torch tip cleaners being resold under a different name, looks just like the set I have :)
As for too coarse, actually mine are much finer than the Stewmac files, I have to saw away at it so long to make any progress that it gets frustrating, at least I only have to use it about once every 5 years :)

OldePhart
03-19-2012, 07:28 AM
There is a fellow sells his nut files thriough eBay. They are rounded bottom and look more like a feeler gauge than a file . The price is far better than StuMac's price.. Torch tip files are pretty coarse for wanting to do fine work. Has anyone used a diamond wheel in a Dremel type tool on a set of point feeler gauges to make up their own set?

You don't want any kind of wheel. You want the bottom of the slot to be flat and slanted slightly down to the tuner side. It's absolutely critical that the string break cleanly at the fret side of the nut and that it not fibrate or "squirm" in the slot.

John

benjoeuke
03-19-2012, 07:40 AM
I think the craftedcow is talking about making files with a dremel, not cutting slots with one :)

OldePhart
03-19-2012, 07:49 AM
I think the craftedcow is talking about making files with a dremel, not cutting slots with one :)

Oh, that would make more sense! ;)

Before I broke down and bought nut files I had a small pocket knife that I'd used the corner of a file to put lateral notches across the sharp edge. It worked more like a saw than file. It did the job but it took a LOT of patience to get the bottom of the slots shaped right.

John

Skitzic
03-19-2012, 09:05 AM
Those are torch tip cleaners being resold under a different name, looks just like the set I have :)
As for too coarse, actually mine are much finer than the Stewmac files, I have to saw away at it so long to make any progress that it gets frustrating, at least I only have to use it about once every 5 years :)

That's why I stopped using torch tip cleaners. It took way too long to do one nut.

I still keep one in my bag in case of an emergency, but I sucked it up and bought some proper files.

benjoeuke
03-19-2012, 09:30 AM
ya, I'll probably break down and buy a set some day, especially now that I got UAS ;)
Maybe the hole files can be used as a finishing file after cutting with the stewmacs, and then after that a little bit of graphite and... voila! the ultimate smooth slot...
nah... :)