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Thread: Lowering Nut Slots after No Buzzing with Capo at 1st Fret?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
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    Default Lowering Nut Slots after No Buzzing with Capo at 1st Fret?

    If not thinking about intonation or volume at the moment, will this work?

    1. Lower the action at the saddle to something fairly comfortable at the 12th.
    2. Put a capo at the 1st fret and check for no buzzing on all the frets.
    3. If no buzzing found, then lower the nut slots without causing buzzing at the first fret.
    4. Repeat above steps until happy with the low setup.

    This is my first attempt to lower action myself and thought I should ask others who know more than I do if this is a good plan. Also, I expect to have to go back and forth between the saddle and nut doing the above a very little at a time.

  2. #2
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    Oct 2012
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    Queanbeyan, NSW Australia.
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    Default

    The approach sounds OK to me. Do you have the right tools to lower the nut slots though?
    You really want to do the job with a proper, rounded profile nut file, otherwise you will create a sticky nut that doesn't allow the strings to slide freely and this is counterproductive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    Default

    I had not heard/read about using the capo in this way prior to lowering the nut slots. Is this accurate? As long as no buzzing with the capo, it is ok to lower the nut action? of course, within limits I am sure.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by eclipsme View Post
    I had not heard/read about using the capo in this way prior to lowering the nut slots. Is this accurate? As long as no buzzing with the capo, it is ok to lower the nut action? of course, within limits I am sure.
    I didn't necessarily want to disagree with the approach, but its not the only way to assess things either. Personally I would go to the trouble of checking each string at each fret looking for any high frets that would cause a buzz. There can be problems with higher frets that simply testing the first fret won't pick up. Keep checking the action heigh at the first fret as you go to make sure you don't lower the nut height too much.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyg View Post
    I didn't necessarily want to disagree with the approach, but its not the only way to assess things either. Personally I would go to the trouble of checking each string at each fret looking for any high frets that would cause a buzz. There can be problems with higher frets that simply testing the first fret won't pick up. Keep checking the action heigh at the first fret as you go to make sure you don't lower the nut height too much.
    I should have made it clearer that checking each fret for buzzing was the first thing to do. I'm thinking of redoing the numbers and putting this question over at uke talk. This sub-forum doesn't get much use and I don't think it belongs in the luthier's section.

    Thanks to those who gave me their thoughts on this approach.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Default

    I've designed a new nut file holder that may be of interest to you. You can check it out here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/114734392414. I only have 4 available at this time, but will be producing more shortly. Here's what I do with a factory made nut NOT a blank nut from scratch:

    1. Lower the saddle so that you have 2.5mm of height at the 12th fret.
    2. Run a straight edge up and down the fretboard and look for frets that are too high that might cause buzzing.
    3. Lower that fret/frets with a proper fret file, until they are even with others on the fretboard. Search YouTube for instructions.
    4. Put capo at 3rd fret and lower the string height so each string is .5mm from top of fret.

    "Real" nut files are very agressive and take material away very quickly. Be very careful. It's very easy to mess up the nut if you go too far. If you do, put tape on each side of the nut, fill the slot with baking soda, add a drop of super glue and start over again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    8

    Default Nutfiles update

    After my foray with eBay, I now have a new Nutfile holder that's not only easier to use, but also includes a free string height gauge. Go to Nutfiles.com to check it out. Thanks! Steve


    Quote Originally Posted by Codeman View Post
    I've designed a new nut file holder that may be of interest to you. You can check it out here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/114734392414. I only have 4 available at this time, but will be producing more shortly. Here's what I do with a factory made nut NOT a blank nut from scratch:

    1. Lower the saddle so that you have 2.5mm of height at the 12th fret.
    2. Run a straight edge up and down the fretboard and look for frets that are too high that might cause buzzing.
    3. Lower that fret/frets with a proper fret file, until they are even with others on the fretboard. Search YouTube for instructions.
    4. Put capo at 3rd fret and lower the string height so each string is .5mm from top of fret.

    "Real" nut files are very agressive and take material away very quickly. Be very careful. It's very easy to mess up the nut if you go too far. If you do, put tape on each side of the nut, fill the slot with baking soda, add a drop of super glue and start over again.

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