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Thread: Nut Files - Worth Buying?

  1. #1
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    Default Nut Files - Worth Buying?

    I make the occasional ukulele, just for the fun of it, and the slots in the nut usually need cutting. It would be ridiculous for me to spend $100 on files, but $13 seems reasonable. Is there any reason I shouldn't buy these?

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/3pcs-set-Gu...IAAOSw~ipfDP7t
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  2. #2
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    I bought a similar set and for a uke they will be fine. I also build guitars and they don't go small enough for the treble strings.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Orr View Post
    I bought a similar set and for a uke they will be fine. I also build guitars and they don't go small enough for the treble strings.
    Thanks! I was waiting for justification.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  4. #4
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    I have a very similar set - they could well be exactly the same - that I’ve used to set up a dozen or so Ukes over a few years. As far as I’m concerned they’re a good buy, but the slot sizes that they cut are a bit confusing to me. I got hold of a scrap bridge, labelled the positions up and used each face for a trial cut that I then measured with feeler gauges. There must be a better way but I manage to get slots that seem right for the strings used.

    Edit. I’d share my gauge data but I can’t say it’s that accurate. I tend to offer stings up to the various slots in the old scarp bridge, see what’s a close fit and then cut the slots in the nut with the matching file and blade.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 01-18-2021 at 09:40 AM.

  5. #5
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    I have a new tenor which needs a wider G slot. I forgot to request that option when I bought it, and after a recent move, I can’t find my set of fine files.

    The first time I needed nut work I took the instrument to a local music shop and the owner did the work for free and only requested that I purchase strings from them in the future. I’ll probably take to them this time.
    Last edited by rorym; 01-18-2021 at 07:02 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Greenbag View Post
    I have a very similar set - they could well be exactly the same - that I’ve used to set up a dozen or so Ukes over a few years. As far as I’m concerned they’re a good buy, but the slot sizes that they cut are a bit confusing to me. I got hold of a scrap bridge, labelled the positions up and used each face for a trial cut that I then measured with feeler gauges. There must be a better way but I manage to get slots that seem right for the strings used.
    I ordered them, but I also ordered a kit from Amazon. That contains files and other things.

    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  7. #7
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    What are the guages for the files?

  8. #8
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    Jun 2020
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    I use the welding tip cleaner style files for guitar and uke sized strings. If you're just adjusting a slot in a precut nut, they're more than adequate. For a new nut, I start the slot with either a fine saw or a knife, depending on the string gauge. Then use the file to get it the right shape and tune the depth. I agree regarding the spend - I cut a couple dozen nuts a year, I can't see dropping $100 on special files. But I'm sure they're nice! I haven't tried the style you linked to, but I've seen mixed reviews on them on other builder forums. Lack of consistency and proper gauge seem to be the complaints. At that price, maybe it's worth a try though.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by badhabits View Post
    What are the guages for the files?
    Do you mean the flat gauge on the left? That looks like it's a string gauge - to see how far about the fretboard the strings are.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  10. #10
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    I used to use the acetylene torch cleaners to cut my nuts but then bit the bullet, swallowed my pride and shelled out the money for these ridiculously over priced nut files ($44) and I'm happy with them.

    gauged-nut-slotting-file-set-for-ukulele.jpg

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