Brass Nut filed too deep?

Faldoe

Senior Member
Messages
1,222
I just picked up an old Aria Pro II PE guitar - LP type. It has a brass nut and I'm wondering if the nut has been filled too deep.

On the low E, the height from the 1st fret to E (not fretted) is .009.

The A is maybe .008.

The A and D seem pretty low.

Is it possible to use the superglue/baking soda combo on a brass nut to rebuild the height? Or is it pretty much skrewed and I need a new nut?

The action on the guitar was super low when I got it. I raised it a bit because I don't like the action that low. Its now at 4/64ths on the Low E at the 12th fret and 4/64s on the high E.

I don't really get fret buzz on the Low E, none on the High E but buzz on the other strings - I'm wondering if thats because of the nut filing.
 

Baxtercat

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,697
Try a shim under the nut, a just-right cut size of index card stock or heavy paper...depending on the height you need.
 

Faldoe

Senior Member
Messages
1,222
yeah I have some veneer strip and I used a little piece. Seems to have helped it out. Thanks.
 

John Coloccia

Cold Supporting Member
Messages
9,584
Forget the measurements. Fret at the 3rd fret, and look at the clearance under the first fret. Is there any? If the string is laying on the 1st fret, it's too low. If there's clearance....even a little clearance, it's likely fine. If it's too close to tell, tap on the string over the first fret. Do you hear it go *PING*? Then it's still probably fine.

Then check the relief. Fret at the 1st and maybe 15th fret or so....somewhere before the neck joins the body. Is there clearance at around the 8th fret? There should be at least some clearance, but I generally like my necks pretty flat. If there's NO clearance, you need to back off the truss rod until there is.

THEN you can capo at the 1st fret and set the action. A good starting point is 1/16" at the 17th fret, and go from there until you're comfortable.
 

Faldoe

Senior Member
Messages
1,222
Forget the measurements. Fret at the 3rd fret, and look at the clearance under the first fret. Is there any? If the string is laying on the 1st fret, it's too low. If there's clearance....even a little clearance, it's likely fine. If it's too close to tell, tap on the string over the first fret. Do you hear it go *PING*? Then it's still probably fine.

Then check the relief. Fret at the 1st and maybe 15th fret or so....somewhere before the neck joins the body. Is there clearance at around the 8th fret? There should be at least some clearance, but I generally like my necks pretty flat. If there's NO clearance, you need to back off the truss rod until there is.

THEN you can capo at the 1st fret and set the action. A good starting point is 1/16" at the 17th fret, and go from there until you're comfortable.
Yes there was clearance prior to shimming it - using the fretting the 3rd fret method.

There was a little relief - clearance at the 8th fret.
 

John Coloccia

Cold Supporting Member
Messages
9,584
Another thing to check if you still have some rattling with clearance at the first is to see if the string is rattling behind the nut of if there isn't a clean break in front. You can lift the string a bit and see if it's solidly sitting on the front of the nut. For the back, you can mute it with your hand and see if the rattle goes away. Sometimes shimming it will bring an errant slot into solid contact with the string, even if the height was already OK.

That's just something else to check for next time. As long as it sounds good now and you're happy, everything's good :)
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,744
Yes there was clearance prior to shimming it - using the fretting the 3rd fret method.
then like john C says, it by definition didn't need shimmed. now it will never play or intonate that well, as there's too much height over the first fret.

you might want to "un-shim" and look at other areas of the setup.
 

blong

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,543
Is the buzz coming with open strings? If it buzzes on open notes, then the nut slots might be too deep. If it doesn't buzz on open notes, then leave the nut alone. If it buzzes on fretted notes, which frets? Is it on 1-5 or so on the middle strings? If so, you might have some back-bow in the neck. If it is on only some frets, you need to check the fret height of each fret with a fret rocker and isolate the tall frets. Then you can level them. If the buzz comes only on frets that are pitted, then it may need a fret dressing or a refret (partial or total).

There are many issues here. If you can provide a little more info, we can help you diagnose it and resolve it.

Bob
 

Faldoe

Senior Member
Messages
1,222
then like john C says, it by definition didn't need shimmed. now it will never play or intonate that well, as there's too much height over the first fret.

you might want to "un-shim" and look at other areas of the setup.
I can't recall what I did but I either pulled the shim completely or I cut the shim to only site on the bass side.

The guitar seems to play better now.
 




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