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Ideal nut file sizes for 11-49 strings?

stratchamp57

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,080
I recently got a Gibson SG standard and the previous owner had the nut cut for 10's, and after I strung it up with my preferred 11-49 gauge strings, they're all binding pretty bad in the nut when I bend them. I tried putting some graphite in the nut and I stretched the strings very well when I strung it up, but it didn't help.

I use D'addario strings, and the individual string sizes are: 11-14-18-28-38-49. I heard that the files should be around .003 inches bigger than the string when filing. Is this true in a sense?

Also, are there any preferences you guys have for nut files? I was thinking either the Uo-Chikyu files on the Ja.parts website, or just the single gauged nut slot files on Stewmac's site, but I'm not sure which would work better.
 

ahhlou

Member
Messages
777
I use a combination of various nut files for cutting and shaping the slots. Everyone has their favorite tools. I even run wound strings back and forth to shape the bottom of the slot. Here are the files I normally use. Where you acquire them is up to you:

http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Types_of_Tools/Files/Double-edge_Nut_Files.html
http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Types_of_Tools/Files/Gauged_Nut_Slotting_Files.html

More important than the tool is the final shape of the slot. The shape of the bottom of the slot, the exit angle to the string post, string clearance, etc. are extremely important. Also, I would cut a slot no more than .001" larger on the small strings. No more than .002/3" on the wound strings. Almost every job is different (acoustic, electric, straight or angled pull through, angled/straight headstock, nut material, trem./non trem., etc.).

Tools are great, but knowledge and experience rule. A willingness to learn no matter how old you are is your greatest tool.
 

stratchamp57

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,080
I use a combination of various nut files for cutting and shaping the slots. Everyone has their favorite tools. I even run wound strings back and forth to shape the bottom of the slot. Here are the files I normally use. Where you acquire them is up to you:

http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Types_of_Tools/Files/Double-edge_Nut_Files.html
http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Types_of_Tools/Files/Gauged_Nut_Slotting_Files.html

More important than the tool is the final shape of the slot. The shape of the bottom of the slot, the exit angle to the string post, string clearance, etc. are extremely important. Also, I would cut a slot no more than .001" larger on the small strings. No more than .002/3" on the wound strings. Almost every job is different (acoustic, electric, straight or angled pull through, angled/straight headstock, nut material, trem./non trem., etc.).

Tools are great, but knowledge and experience rule. A willingness to learn no matter how old you are is your greatest tool.
Cool, thanks for the advice.
 






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