We Here's the real stuff: This is just a preliminary exercise, and is only a minor precaution. How to use feeler gauges to control nut slot depth. This guitar plays well for the average musician. Maybe in a future article. Fender-Style nuts can be knocked out with a will placed hammer strike. because it is only found in a tiny minority of instruments. Does the bottom of the nut look nice and level in the vice? On acoustic guitars with a wound G, you will also shoot for .018” of space since this a thinner-wound string. With the correct nut height, action at the first fret should be about 12% of the action at the 12th fret. For best results, let the fill cure overnight. Leave a bit of the pencil line showing so that you can file and smoothly sand it away without chipping. Video lessons week by week, Chord by Chord. When the string slots are properly spaced and filed, the nut can be shaped and finished. . The improved version of the classic Fender Strat Bridge, The most consistent, top quality Strat® replacement body on the market today. Nut Action Using Feeler Gauges to Control Nut Slot Depth, Learn About Guitar Nut + Saddle Setup + Repair, Find the proper fret position with the official Stewart-MacDonald Fret Calculator, Stewart-MacDonald is PCI compliant and validated for secure e-commerce. after all, a matter of adjusting instruments to the player's needs. On Fender style guitars, you won't need a steep back-angle; just file the appropriate angle for each string post. 2. Record this measurement (let's say 0.035" for an average, somewhat worn fret height… Now just re-string and tune up your guitar and we’re done. Then read the nut slot depths. I use bone dust, but I’m guessing most of you don’t keep that in your spice rack. I dont just measure the first fret height and then cut the slots to that do i? On most instruments the nut is a piece of bone (or whatever) that thinks it's a fret. 3. When the string slots are properly spaced and filed, the nut can be shaped and finished. When the nut slots have been started just deep enough to hold the strings, switch to your nut files and X-acto sawblades. because they seem to have minds of their own. I dunno, Ned. I use the capo at the 1st fret an awful lot and that may be partly the reason. Adam Harkus is a guitarist, singer/songwriter and author with a new-found passion for sharing the knowledge and experience gained from 20 years of playing, writing and producing. As a starting point, shoot for .02” in between the top of the first fret and the bottom of the string at the first fret on the wound strings (low E, A and D), and .018” for the plain strings (high G, B, and E). Pack the slot bottom with baking soda, clean away the excess, and then apply thin superglue. Well, it varies with need, but generally, I like to see just enough If there IS a gap that's too small to see, you'll hear a little click as the string That article of Paul Hostetter's is indeed full of useful info, but it doesn't tell you how to cut the slot to the right height. You can fill and re-cut a nut slot by wicking either bone dust or the rolled-up fibers of a Q-tip in the slot with thin Cyanoacrylate glue. Whats the standard nut slot height? I'm talking the thickness of a hair! •. Line 6 Variax: Still thinking about buying one? If you're having difficulty seeing the tiny gap under the string, try this: With Again, these nut slot height measurements are workable specs to shoot for. String Height At The Nut. Why the Fender Stratocaster is better than the Gibson Les Paul. Get down and look CLOSELY under the string above the first fret. close to, but not right over, the first fret. These instructions are condensed from the Dan Erlewine's book Guitar Player Repair Guide. This is extremely common because Stack a combination of feeler gauges equaling the total measurement (0.040"), and hold the stack down against the fretboard and up against the front edge of the nut. from Stewart-MacDonald. The feeler gauge should be placed on top of the first fret, sliding underneath each string. The distance between the string and the 1st fret would nearly always be below .020 (.5 mm). Once the relief has been set, measurements for string height should be as follows: (measures top of fret to bottom of string): Bass side string height 1st fret: 1.5/64” Treble side string height 1st fret: 1/64” Bass-side string height at 12th fret: 2.5/32” Treble-side string height at 12th fret: 2/32" If the nut is too low, the string will bump into the first fret when it is Black Friday Sale! up by the fret and is no longer straight. New total: 0.040" (the 0.035" frets, plus 0.005"). On guitars with angled headstocks, follow the angle of the headstock itself. that there are some musicians whose playing attack is so vigorous that they require Pretend your thumb is a capo, and just squeeze down. You can measure the nut slot heights by placing a feeler gauge in between the bottom of the string and the top of the first fret when the guitar is up to pitch and after the neck and bridge are adjusted. Record this measurement (let's say 0.035" for an average, somewhat worn fret height). Nothing to worry about here, just use what you can…. The ideal nut slot height, in terms of playability, is subjective — much like string action height at the bridge. Save on Over 900 Items. Easy! With that in mind, action over the first fret depends on the saddle height. To cut the nut slots deeper, get yourself a good set of nut slot files, e.g. 3. Fender's most popular pick shape in different materials. If the gauge pushes the string up, then the slot will need to be filled and re-cut to raise the slot. The last aspect of nut slot adjustment is the angle at which it’s cut. Here's the first string: As a rule, you typically want to cut a nut slot slightly wider than the actual string so the slot does not bind or choke the strings at the nut. If you find that a nut slot is too low and your neck has the correct relief, filling (not filing) it can work nicely. Generally, the bottoms of the nut slots should be a few thousandths of an inch higher than the tops of the frets when the neck is straight. In other words, unless you like a 12th fret action of 1/4", then 0.030" at the first fret is way too high. The three wound string were fine, but as you can see from the pic below, the nut height increased dramatically for the top three strings. If you cut a nut slot on a Fender guitar with an angle, you might create a string buzz on the open notes. We're assuming that you've already roughed-in your nut blank, and have laid out the string spacing. Add 0.005" to 0.010" (or any figure you come up with after experimenting) to this measurement. Cute trick, eh? Build the pedal that redefined overdrive. Can I check my own nut action? Pledge your support and get bonus lessons! I'm only talking about the stiffer bass strings Using a super glue accelerator to instantly toughen the material, trim the excess, and then re-cut the slot. set up and working well. Nut slots that are too high create a situation where the guitar is difficult to play in first position. https://www.guitarplayerworld.com/setup/proper-guitar-nut-action The string is at full tension and it strikes a straight line from the nut to the second fret. Press the string in question down between the second and third frets: 0.002" or so can be added to the measurement as you go across the fingerboard toward the bass side, slightly raising the bass strings. Stack a combination of feeler gauges equaling the total measurement (0.040"), and hold the stack down against the fretboard and up against the front edge of the nut. If that was the case, guitars with a 0 fret wouldn't work. The idea is to avoid having the string elevated artificially, as it hope (sometimes in vain) that the more expensive instruments won't have this problem. The Blogging Musician has grown from a personal hub into a valuable resource community for musicians and writers alike. The next fret clearance is the same. General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion, http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Musi...uts/nuts1.html, http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Musi...nutaction.html, http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Luth...ut/setnut.html, http://www.homedepot.com/p/Gyros-5-1...6008/204627232.