Best way to remove a nut

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by RMstrat, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. RMstrat

    RMstrat Member

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    When I look down the neck of my strat (from bridge up to tuners) after my strings go through the nut they angle hard left toward the tuners. It looks like the nut slots are off about 1/16. Is this affecting anything and if so I was gonna remove it ang reglue it straight. Anyone with experience taking one loose? Ive always wondered why my high E was so close to the edge of the neck and the low E has plenty of room.
     
  2. oscar100

    oscar100 Member

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    crack a nut with a hammer of course!!!! :crazyguy
     
  3. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey RMStrat -

    The nut should be centered on the neck, side to side. If it is centered and the string spacing is off, then you need a new nut.

    FIRST, with a sharp blade, slice/ score the finish at the edge of the nut slot so when the nut does come loose it doesn't crack the finish on the way out.

    If it's off center, to loosen it, put a small piece of wood (a piece that's narrower than the nut is best) up to the edge of the nut and tap it oh-so-gently in a sideways direction (perpindicular to the length of the neck) with a hammer from the treble side and it'll come loose right away.

    When regluing it, use only a spot or two of white glue - no epoxy! Center it, make sure the outside strings are lying where you want them to be, two drops of glue in the slot, and tighten the strings a bit to hold in place.

    Make sure to remove the old glue before you put in the new. As always, if you're not mechanically inclined, or if this is a really nice guitar, you ought to take it to a pro for better results.

    EDIT: As I reread your post, it sounds to me like you'd benefit from having a good tech take a look at your guitar. There's not really enough info here to give correct advice on how to solve the overall problem. That said, this is a decent procedure for nut removal.

    Hope this helps, Dana O.
     
  4. fumbler

    fumbler Member

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    Is this true near the nut or just as you go up higher on the neck? If it's near the nut then you are definitely correct. The nut needs to be shifted in its slot.

    Can you post a straight-on photo of the nut?
     
  5. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Fumbler is right.

    In the end, the nut itself should be centered, and also the strings should be centered on the neck at the nut, at the last fret, and at the bridge end too. On a bolt on neck guitar like a Strat, there's always a little wiggle room in the neck pocket. You have to move the neck in the neck pocket to get the strings to follow the edges of the neck parallel along the length of the neck once they're right at the nut. Then you have to check the saddles on each string.

    Good Luck, Dana O.
     

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