Flipping the nut

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by lhallam, Feb 14, 2005.

  1. lhallam

    lhallam Member

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    My boy wants to learn gtr but alas I cannot readily find and 3/4 left handed gtrs. I'm toying with buying a right handed one and just flipping the nut.

    Does this sound viable?

    If so, how do I take out and reinsert the nut?
     
  2. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    Easy enough to do - but you need a guitar with a 'captive' nut like a Fender Strat or Tele.

    Sometimes they're glued in, other times they're just press-fit. Take something with a bit of a flat end, press it against the nut on one side of the fingerboard, and tap it with a small hammer. I've done this several times to 'convert' right- or left-handed Strats with no problems.

    --chiba
     
  3. gregc

    gregc Supporting Member

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    Why make him learn left-handed? Big mistake, IMO. I'm a lefty. I play righty. The majority of lefties do. He'l get his fingering down easier. The strumming/picking will come. Let him learn to play a standard guitar.
    meant in the best possible way...:)

    gregc
     
  4. Ron Thorn

    Ron Thorn Gold Supporting Member

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    I just converted a 3/4 Mini-Strat from righty to lefty for a good friend's 9 year old.
    I had hoped to just flip the nut until I realized the slots were filed at a slight downward angle towards the tuners. By flipping it, the angle would be reversed placing the string's breaking point at the back of the nut...no good. I had to cut a new nut.

    I also added a matching third strap button to the shorter horn since moving just one of them left a hole in the horn.

    A black sharpie gave "replaceable" side dots on the lefty side of the neck.

    Lastly, the intonation screws on the high E and B were longer. Those had to be swapped for the low E and A once converted, then re-intonated of course.

    "Reversed" pots wasn't an issue since he has no prior knowledge of the correct rotational direction. I just popped the knobs and centered "10" TDC.

    It ended up taking about an hour total.

    Ron
     
  5. alderbody

    alderbody Member

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    very easy to do on fenders or similar.
     
  6. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    Excellent point, Ron. Could be that the few I've done were older - I know my personal lefty-to-righty conversion was on an early-80s Strat.

    --chiba
     
  7. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Just out of curiosity, does it annoy you that Fender wire their left-handed guitars 'left handed' but use normal right-handed knobs (so the numbers read backwards) and normal Log pots so the taper is useless?

    It annoys me, and I'm not even left-handed! This is one of the most common complaints I get from lefties though, usually wondering why their controls act like switches.

    You'd think that a company with the volume of production that Fender has (even on left-handed guitars) could source the proper parts to do the job really right, wouldn't you?

    Or maybe the lefty had a flipped righty nut on it in the first place...
     
  8. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    That's possible, but I don't think so - I had to sand lacquer off the edges of the nut to get it out in the first place. In my case the nut slots weren't angled at all - straight flat across.

    --chiba
     
  9. lhallam

    lhallam Member

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    Hmmm, what takes you an hour will take me 8 hours and probably a crummy job in the end. I'm going to have to put some thought into this.

    In the meantime I got him a ukelele, we'll see if he sticks with it.

    Thanks guys, much appreciated.
     

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