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Nut install, leave it or dig it out and reseat it

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Obsessive Tinkerer, Jul 28, 2020.

  1. Obsessive Tinkerer

    Obsessive Tinkerer Member

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    Hey all,

    on one of my own guitars I was installing a new Tusq XL nut. I had it sanded just right on all three surfaces for a glue and drop in completion. Well the CA set faster than I expected and the high e side is up maybe .004” but glued in solid and there’s a good bit of glue between the nut and the bottom of nut slot. The sides are a tight but not jammed in fit. It sounds good to me, but we all question if our little mess ups have a bigger effect than we think.

    Considering it’s glued it really well... would you say: it’s in, the CA will make it a pain to extract and the onslaught effect is negligible.... get your files and it’s okay. OR - not having a positive nut to wood contact is actually worth the effort of extracting that nut cleaning it up and redoing it?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    A small drop is all that is ever needed..as you may know now;)
    There is no harm in leaving it, but considerable risk if you are knocking or prying it out. Leave it alone.
     
    Dana Olsen likes this.
  3. Obsessive Tinkerer

    Obsessive Tinkerer Member

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    Thanks, I thought this too. If it was really a big deal I was going to put it on a drill press, drill horizontally, destroy the nut and file out the left overs to get it clean. Considering that it actually sounds great (well going from a crap corian one how could it not) I was pretty confident that the bit of glue was making contact and it’s pretty hard when cured.... plus the side to side fit is god and tight so I wouldn’t be missing a lot of energy/resonance transfer. I didn’t use much glue at all, it just set far faster than normal it seemed... possibly because a very little amount blew off the solvents so fast... nuts can drive you nuts... I guess there the origin of the name
     
    Dan40 likes this.
  4. T Dizz

    T Dizz Member

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    Another vote for leave it.
     
  5. Obsessive Tinkerer

    Obsessive Tinkerer Member

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    I think you’re right. Since I replied to Tone Terrific I’ve dressed the sides of the nut and ordered a better set of Hosco files... I might as well do it right :)
     
  6. aussie_owner

    aussie_owner Member

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    When I glue a nut, I just use a drop of Titebond. You don't need to weld it to the neck, you just want it to stay put when you remove the strings. And if you should ever want to replace the nut, it's easier to remove with little chance of damaging the nut slot.
     
    DaveNJ, Harryq, Dove37 and 2 others like this.
  7. Troglite

    Troglite Supporting Member

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    I use a toothpick to add just a tiny amount of hide glue. A nut should be reversible/removable, in my opinion. I little hot water on a towel and I can easily remove any nut I've installed.
     
    aussie_owner and Khromo like this.
  8. Obsessive Tinkerer

    Obsessive Tinkerer Member

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    Now you tell me! Haha. Good advice.
     
  9. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    irrelevant;

    it will bother you every time you look at it :mad:, time to pop it out and do it over. (note your own TGP username!)

    CA is actually quite brittle, so assuming you didn't flood the entire slot with it that nut should come out without too much trouble.

    a tip from youtube luthier/repair guy twoodford, the trick is to just put the glue on the front face of the nut, less or none on the bottom. the front face will be against endgrain wood, and endgrain wood will not shred or splinter like the side grain wood on the bottom of the slot might. that makes future removal much cleaner.
     
  10. bluesjunior

    bluesjunior Member

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    Walter is correct. So called superglue is very strong but also very brittle. Take a small lightweight hammer and a dowel or similar piece of wood. Put the wood against the face of the nut on the fingerboard side and a gentle tap with the hammer should break the bond. If the nut is slotted like a strat the do the same but from the side of the nut just above the fingerboard.
     
    cugel likes this.
  11. Obsessive Tinkerer

    Obsessive Tinkerer Member

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    I get what you're saying, but I had the foresight to use black glue boost on a black Tusq-XL nut and went overboard on my masking job prior to starting. So while I know the seating isn't dead on between the contact points of the nut (it's Graphtech Fender one where you sand off the tab in the center if you don't need it). I've taken the files to it and cut to .005" for clearance, sanded compounded and buffed the sides... it actually looks totally flawless. While I would have like to have gotten a perfect seating between the bottom of the nut and the floor of the nut slot... it sounds right to me and the cosmetics are good too. Next time I'll be a little more stingy with the glue. :)
     
    Tone_Terrific likes this.
  12. Rhomco

    Rhomco Silver Supporting Member

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    If you choose to remove the nut please don't try to use a drill press in any form to remove it. Your going to destroy your neck. You will be far better off to collapse the nut. You do this by sawing the nut lengthwise with a razor saw or sharp hacksaw blade. Cut it right down the middle and get as close to all the way through as you dare. Next take your pliers and collapse it in on itself along the length of the nut. Most if not all will fall out. You might need to gently remove any remaining nut with a small chisel or file to clean the slot. If you have a nut slot file, even better.
    Good luck with your project,
    Rob
     
    Troglite likes this.

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