Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22

Thread: Nut slots

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    91

    Nut slots

    One of the things I learned somewhere years ago, and don't know how important it is, was besides having the strings resting on the very front of the nut, was to file the slot with a slight curve or angle, so the strings exit the nut slots in a straight line to the tuning post. I've done this on all my acoustics and just made a fossil ivory nut, with a slight curve, for my Allender PRS. Has anyone heard of this technique?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    519
    That's just how it's done...

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    91
    Thanks for the reply. Besides my guitars and nuts I've made for others I have only seen this technique on less than ten or so guitars in the last fifteen years. You are one of the rare people that seem to know about this.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    77
    All of the nuts I have cut over 50+ years have been ramped down toward the tuners. That has been standard practice in the industry. The "leading edge" of the slot must be crisp tor a defined take-off point. Ramping slightly down guides the string to the tuner post and "encourages" a downward wind which is usually desired. It is considered unnecessary on lockers, but I still do it by habit- several wraps going down toward the bottom of the tuner. Now that they are routinely available, I use gauged saws and files.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    91
    Thanks for the reply. Are we talking about the same thing? I've seen the slot ramped down on almost all guitars and nuts I've seen. What I've rarely seen is the ramp at an angle or curve towards the tuners such that, looking down at the nut slots, they are not straight and/or parallel to each other. That is the ramping in the slot is aimed at the tuners.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    519
    Quote Originally Posted by henryr View Post
    Thanks for the reply. Are we talking about the same thing? I've seen the slot ramped down on almost all guitars and nuts I've seen. What I've rarely seen is the ramp at an angle or curve towards the tuners such that, looking down at the nut slots, they are not straight and/or parallel to each other. That is the ramping in the slot is aimed at the tuners.
    sounds like a recipe for binding. I thought you were talking about a downward angle towards the tuners. The strings already exit the nut aiming at the correct tuning post, there is no need to get all crazy and making the job harder than it should be. Do you have a pic of the one you made?

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    91
    Why do you think what I describe is a recipe for binding? I own 4 acoustics and one electric and all have various string angles from the back of the nut slots to the tuners. If you look at almost all decent guitars the nut will have a ramp so the strings rest on the very front edge of the nut and that’s it. An example is the PRS Korean SE nut which I’m holding. It has a ramp angle and also very deep slots, which are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the front of the nut, so the strings leave the nut at various angles to the tuners, rubbing the slot for the full width of the nut. Also,on most guitars, if you hold the strings in a straight line from the saddle through the nut slot, or rest a straight edge in the saddle and corresponding nut slot, you will see that the strings or straight edge will rarely touch the tuner posts. My experience and my guitars has shown me that bringing the strings into contact with the posts usually results in an angle of the strings from the back of the nut to the post. Pics are now visible in post below.
    Last edited by henryr; 03-26-2015 at 03:56 PM. Reason: added pic

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    91
    Quote Originally Posted by henryr View Post
    Can anyone tell me how to post pictures?

    Thanks,
    henryr
    Thanks. Here are the pics of the string angles I mentioned in an earlier post.

    Last edited by henryr; 03-26-2015 at 08:20 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    519
    Nope, never seen a nut cut like that. By doing it this way it seems that your compound bends all happen in a smaller place and would put all the friction on a much smaller portion of the nut. By putting the friction on only half the nut surface in some of these instances pictured you are increasing the friction in relationship to the area which means that the string is "digging in" harder which can lead to binding. When you work a nut over when there are problems with binding the goal is to reduce friction. It looks like there are some string spacing issues from the pictures as well which wouldn't surprise me. Cutting those slots with those complicated shapes would be hard to do even with very exacting tools.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Duffy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    On the South Bank of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in rural town.
    Posts
    352
    Quote Originally Posted by Ol'Lefty View Post
    Now that they are routinely available, I use gauged saws and files.
    Where do you order these, Ol'Lefty?

    I would really appreciate knowing that. I want to get a set.
    "Now all the things that use to mean so much to me has got me old before my time." G. Allman, "Old Before My Time", Hittin' The Note cd.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Duffy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    On the South Bank of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in rural town.
    Posts
    352
    You know, along this same line of the nut's bearing edge, my new Gibson LP Junior has a brass nut with a "zero" fret, made from brass and integrated into the brass nut. This is on the fretboard side of the nut and is the size of a regular fret.

    It actually is a fret; above fret number one - the "zero" fret designation, but just like a regular fret. It turns the nut into a fret, essentially. I think it is a good idea.

    I have no problem with the SE nuts on my PRS guitars, however. I have been dressing them myself and it has worked out good so far. I do want a set of nut files though, maybe even saws.
    "Now all the things that use to mean so much to me has got me old before my time." G. Allman, "Old Before My Time", Hittin' The Note cd.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    519
    Quote Originally Posted by Duffy View Post
    Where do you order these, Ol'Lefty?

    I would really appreciate knowing that. I want to get a set.
    Stew mac and philadelphia both have them

    stew mac also has zero fret nuts
    Last edited by DHW; 03-27-2015 at 02:09 PM.

  13. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    91
    Thanks for the reply. You are right about the smaller contact area and spacing which does vary, from about .005 to .015, up to .025 on the first couple of nuts I made.

    The reason for the angle, I learned years ago, was to make the strings contact the front edge of the nut, for the portion of the outer diameter of the strings that are below the top of the nut, which would make the vibrating string lengths more consistent.

    I’ve seen many nuts that had “straight slots” but the strings rubbed on the sides of the slots at different distances back from the front edge. I also only make the slot deep enough to have about half of the string diameter below the top of the nut.

    Regarding wear, I only use very fine grain fossil ivory and MOP which seem to hold up well. However, the next time I replace strings, I’ll look for wear with a magnifier.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    519
    Quote Originally Posted by henryr View Post
    Thanks for the reply. You are right about the smaller contact area and spacing which does vary, from about .005 to .015, up to .025 on the first couple of nuts I made.

    The reason for the angle, I learned years ago, was to make the strings contact the front edge of the nut, for the portion of the outer diameter of the strings that are below the top of the nut, which would make the vibrating string lengths more consistent.

    I’ve seen many nuts that had “straight slots” but the strings rubbed on the sides of the slots at different distances back from the front edge. I also only make the slot deep enough to have about half of the string diameter below the top of the nut.

    Regarding wear, I only use very fine grain fossil ivory and MOP which seem to hold up well. However, the next time I replace strings, I’ll look for wear with a magnifier.
    The fall away from the front of the nut towards the tuner(downward angle) is what they are referring to as far as the contact point. Any contact behind that is incidental. My wife's musicman has a compensated nut from the factory... that is a thing of beauty and makes for very consistent intonation up and down the neck.

  15. #15
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    91
    i've never seen or heard of a compensated nut only compensated or adjustable saddles. I'd really like to see what a compensated nut looks like.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    519

  17. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    91
    First one I've ever seen. Surprised the low E, A and D are in such deep slots and even the G looks to be a little below the top of the nut.

  18. #18
    Senior Member gush's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    washington iowa
    Posts
    1,390
    Quote Originally Posted by henryr View Post
    Thanks. Here are the pics of the string angles I mentioned in an earlier post.


    Man, call me stupid but the guitar in the first pic I think I would try winding the 2 E strings backwards. It would put them more in line with the nut slot.?????

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    519
    Quote Originally Posted by henryr View Post
    First one I've ever seen. Surprised the low E, A and D are in such deep slots and even the G looks to be a little below the top of the nut.
    There's no musical reason to have shallow slots. the headstock angle is shallow and the guitar has a trem. The deeper slots are required to prevent the strings from flopping out during heavy trem use. The system is flawless. My prsi are the same way and again perform flawlessly.

  20. #20
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    91
    I'm used to acoustic and jazz hollow body guitars and the standard slot depth has been 1/3 to 1/2 of the string diameter. I just got my first electric with a trem as was amazed to see slot depths 2 to 3 times as deep as the string diameter. I assumed it was to keep the strings from popping out because of the techniques used in rock, heavy metal and shredder style guitar playing.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •