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 Post subject: Cutting nut slot
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:02 pm 
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First name: Carl
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Any suggestions?


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting nut slot
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:18 am 
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You mean besides planning for it first?

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting nut slot
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:19 am 
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There are several ways to do this, including the following:

1. Mill a scrap of 1/2" plywood to 4" x 7", with one of the 4" long sides cut to the peghead angle. Clamp this to the peghead so that the jig is spaced nut width out from the end of the fretboard, with angled face parallel to the plane of the nut end of the fretboard end. Carefully score the peghead along the line of cut with a fresh single edge razor blade, and use the angled face of the jig to guide your fine toothed razor saw. Remove the waste with a chisel and finish the bottom of the channel with a nut slotting file.

2. Make up a half dozen plywood (shellac and wax before use) or UHMW nut blanks to act as spacers between fretboard and peghead veneer for future building and repair projects to avoid a repeat performance.

3. As my boss is wont to say, please don't ask me how I know this.

Good luck with your project!

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These users thanked the author Woodie G for the post (total 2): CarlD (Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:08 pm) • klooker (Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:03 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Cutting nut slot
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:37 am 
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Not that I want to add to your pain, but if this happened because you accidentally glued the fretboard flush to the headstock veneer, and you fix it the way Woodie suggests, that will place your bridge closer to the headstock, too. Everything associated with the strings is scootched toward the headstock. If it was supposed to be a 14 fret guitar, it will now be a 14.5 fret guitar. Does your bridge plate have enough extra width to accommodate that change? Will the bridge pin holes get close enough to the X braces that interference is an issue? You might want to do some measuring down at the bridge end, just to make sure everything will work out OK down there if the bridge is a nut’s width closer to the headstock.


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 Post subject: Cutting nut slot
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:08 am 
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Koa
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Well, he’s got to cut the slot there.
Maybe has asking how to cut it? / how to get it. Strait and the 15degree Angle on the headstock right.
If that’s the question here’s what I do now... although it’s really low tech ha.

I took a radiused sanding block that I use to use for fingerboard radius, and on the end of it embedded some magnets. I clamp that radiused block to the fingerboard, extend it an appropriate amount and use it as a magnetic saw fence to get my angle right. You’ll need a fairly tall saw with fine teeth with no spine

Be really careful not to cut into the headstock or you’ll have two little slots under your nut. Don’t ask me how I know


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting nut slot
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:35 am 
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He could definitely cut the slot, and there are a few ways to do it. However, if this mistake causes serious problems at the bridge end, he might want to unglue the fretboard and put it where it was supposed to be. If there are no serious problems with the bridge being a little closer to the headstock than planned, then just cutting the slot is the better solution.


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting nut slot
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:44 am 
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Heat, remove and re-glue fingerboard.

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These users thanked the author Haans for the post: dpetrzelka (Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:12 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Cutting nut slot
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:45 am 
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First of all make sure the fretboard is in the correct position relative to the bridge. If the fretboard is ok then what Woodie or SnowMan said will work, just go slow and be careful. If the fretboard is in the wrong position (too far from the bridge) they you'll need to do what Hans said.

In the future you can put the headplate so the nut slot is already there, it just takes some planning. There's plenty of ways to do it. I thickness the nut (usually about 1/4"), angle the bottom if needed and then sand it to 320 so it is pretty much at it's final dimension. Note that I'm not cutting the top or ends of the nut yet just the front/back/bottom. I use a disc sander to trim the end of the headplate to the correct angle, normally 14 degrees for me. I clamp the headplate in position with the nut in the slot and when it's all correct (a light tap or two on the headplate will tighten it up against the nut so the nut fits nice and tight) then I drill 1/8" holes through the tuner holes so that I can index the headplate into position with waxed stainless 1/8" dowel pins when I glue it on. It takes me a bit of extra time but saves me time later. I just did one yesterday, if I remember when I get down to the shop today I'll take a photo.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting nut slot
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:54 am 
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This is the way I do it intentionally every time? I don't see a problem with it. I like to glue the FB right up against the face plate veneer. That way it helps to hold it in place when alighting it. Horses for courses I guess. Usually I extend the face plate over the FB plane but sometimes I do it like that if I want an angled nut slot which I think has an elegant look to it.

But anyway, what I do is trim the nut blank and sand it out to it's final state then simply hold it up against the end of the FB where it belongs and score a line with a brand new and sharp Exacto blade. Sore it several times and on a slight angle in and under the nut. Then use a razor saw and cut to the depth I want it and remove the waste with a chisel.



These users thanked the author jfmckenna for the post: CarlD (Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:07 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Cutting nut slot
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:50 am 
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Pretty easy to plane your angle on the end of the headstock blank, and glue the headplate on with the nut in its final position, then knock out the nut after clamps are in place to keep from gluing it in place. I like to thin the nut a few thou below 1/4" so that a replacement nut in the future can always be made to fit. Also, by angling the clamps a touch away from the nut, they put a small force against the nut to make sure the head plate is where it should be. Not only saves time, but eliminates another opportunity for a problem - which I need desperately.

If you glue the head plate on first, then you could still put the nut in the sandwich when you install the fretboard, or temporarily install the fretboard with register pins to locate it now and in the future.

Picture looks like all of yours I am sure

Ed


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting nut slot
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:18 am 
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Actually, as others have guessed, you haven't provided enough information. Is the 12th or 14th fret slot in the right place for the particular instrument you are building? Is double + from the 12th fret where you plan to put the bridge, plate and saddle? Have you allowed for extra neck material to make the neck joint?
These are unanswered questions that make an answer impossible...

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting nut slot
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:07 pm 
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Haans--

I played the odds and gave my responses based on the assumption that the neck heel work and neck/body joint had already been constructed, subject to final tweaking. I wouldn't consider cutting off a nut's width of wood as final tweaking. Trying to cut that much off after the fretboard has already been glued on would make me want to give up on the neck entirely. I'm with you that undoing the fretboard gluing mistake is probably the better way to go, but if there is enough bridge plate, etc., such that the bridge end of this problem is not a big deal, maybe cutting a notch for the nut is not so bad. Like you say, we don't know the whole picture.


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting nut slot
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:43 pm 
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First name: Carl
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Thanks for the suggestions. The heel/body joint is completed and bridge positioning has been established for a 14 fret neck. I usually use a nut blank to butt the headplate to but not this time. I'll use Mr.McKenna's, Snow's and Woody's suggestions to come up with the solution. Angled nut slot would look cool.

Thanks,

Carl


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting nut slot
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:07 pm 
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Just to add another option....

You could apply some nut compensation. If you check the pic below, the nut is sat on a ledge on the end of the fretboard, which is the standard way I do things. That ledge extends 3mm forward of and 2mm back from the zero fret position, leaving space for a 5mm nut. (forward = toward the sound hole). Nut compensation is applied by cutting back into the nut as you can see.

How much nut compensation to use can be readily calculated if you have the know-how (which is involved) but a quick-and-dirty approach which gives a pretty reasonable result is to figure how much compensation you would apply to a saddle-only compensated guitar for the strings and set up you want to use, then on a per string basis apply half of that to the nut and half to the saddle. You can then figure out where the saddle/bridge need to be compared with what you initially intended. It will move less using this method than the 6mm (1/4") it would move by cutting a nut slot abutted to the current fretboard end.

The process would be to mark a line on the fretboard 3mm from the zero fret position and saw down far enough to give you a 2mm flat on top of the headstock facing when you clean out the waste. It might look a bit more intentional than some of the other options and you get a more in-tune guitar.

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DSCF4247s.jpg


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These users thanked the author Trevor Gore for the post: CarlD (Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:06 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Cutting nut slot
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:53 pm 
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I was assuming that the only deviation from your desired configuration was a bit of a snafu on leaving enough room for an angled bottom nut. If not, Mr. Brentrup’s suggestion to remove and reposition the fretboard seems to be a way to resolve two issues with one action.

Now that StewMac appears to have ceased production on their angled bottom nut file, a saw file can be modified to clean up the bottom of the slot if the fretboard will remain where it currently resides.

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These users thanked the author Woodie G for the post: CarlD (Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:06 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Cutting nut slot
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:34 am 
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If the fret slots have already been cut, which the first picture suggests, then, unless an allowance has been made to cut the nut slot, the first fret would end up in the wrong position. The only way around that would be to remove and re-position the fretboard.


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting nut slot
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:44 am 
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Don, we (myself included) always have a tendency to try to answer questions to the best of our ability. After my first post, I decided I might not be right based on the info given. Now the question can be answered. Laying a straight edge along the fingerboard glue joint, looks to me that there is at least 1/2" of room to make a saw cut and using a 1/4" thick file, make a 90 degree slot perpendicular to that neck line. That would still allow a ledge for the nut at the peg head end.
Hope that all makes sense...too much of a luddite to be able to draw on my computer.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting nut slot
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:14 am 
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"If the fret slots have already been cut, which the first picture suggests, then, unless an allowance has been made to cut the nut slot, the first fret would end up in the wrong position."

James Taylor in one of his videos describes a way to tune open strings progressively more flat to achieve better intonation for some chords /scales. Compensating the nut essentially does this, but allows the open strings to be brought up to pitch. Some people do a simple variation of this by shortening the (calculated- theoretical) distance from the nut to the first fret.
Some people have tried compensated fret schemes, but most of these have been failures.


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting nut slot
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:58 pm 
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Well...how'd I do?


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting nut slot
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:34 pm 
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Nice work. Simple solution. Michael Greenfield cuts the slot in a similar fashion as a matter of course. So you’re in good company.






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 Post subject: Re: Cutting nut slot
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:46 pm 
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I'm glad to see that the recovery was straightforward.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting nut slot
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:48 pm 
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Looks good.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting nut slot
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:05 am 
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Well...how'd I do?


Adapt, improvise, overcome. I'd say you nailed it.

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