Correct nut height measurements needed!

Discussion in 'Epiphone Les Pauls' started by MASSMARK, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. MASSMARK

    MASSMARK Senior Member

    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    38
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    I have installed my Tusq nut upgrade, I didnt take any off the bottom just made it fit perfect from the sides, this is what it looks like now:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It not only looks too high but it feels harder than it should to push down at the first and second frets. I know the height needs to be reduced.

    I want the action to be as low as possible, to make for really effortless and comfortable playing but obviousely without any buzz.

    Is there a standard measurement that I need to follow?
    Can anyone give me some advice based on your perfectly set up examples for a nice low action?

    Any measurements would be great (in milimetres if possible)? :hmm:

    Thankyou in advance.
     
  2. KenG

    KenG Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,052
    Likes Received:
    3,063
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    The nut doesn't look well seated for one. There is a tiny gapbetween the nut and the end of the fingerboard, the nut appears to be leaning forward a bit. It's crucial that it be well seated and square to the fibgerboard for proper intonation.
    It does look high as well.....if you have feeler gauges the Low E could be anywhere from 0.015 - 0.030 inches measured from the top fo the 1st fret to the bottom of the string. High E 0.010 - 0.020 inches. These are general measurements though.
    To chnage the height, place sandpaper sheet on a flat, level surface and work the nut back and forth across it, sanding the bottom down slowly. Since people often press down unevenly while sanding this way, I would periodically check for square (bottom face to face going against the fingerboard). It also helps to switch the nut in your fingers around 180 degrees so that you are sanding from front of nut to back, switch then sanding back side to front of nut. Sand across the narrow part of the nut not along the long side (low to Hi E)
     
  3. MASSMARK

    MASSMARK Senior Member

    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    38
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    KenG,

    Thankyou for an informative reply. The nut wont sit any closer to the fretboard though, although there appears to be a faint gap line, in person its as flush as it can be. But when I take it back out, I will have another look to see if I can seat it to expose no gap line at all.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. KenG

    KenG Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,052
    Likes Received:
    3,063
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    try an exacto blade held at right angles to the end of the fingerboard to scrape any leftover glue off without cutting into the wood. If the nut is too wide front to back to sit well on the shelf of wood behind the fingerboard, you can make the nut skinnier but sanding the side opposite where it rests against the FB
     
  5. Pinkie

    Pinkie Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,155
    Likes Received:
    3,669
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Got some major gaps happening there both at the fretboard end and along the bottom shelf.Pop it off and start sanding.
    Looks like you didn't get all the glue off the front of the fretboard the nut must fit flush up against it no gaps.
     
  6. sjmckean

    sjmckean Senior Member

    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    60
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2010
    When I replaced mine, I kept the old to compare. If the old one fit right, then sand the bottom as described above until the string notches are the same. Don't try to sand until the top of the nuts are the same, the slot depths may be different. As for the gap, you have to make sure that where the fret board and nut meet, it is very clean. It also looks like you didnt sand the face. The back of the nut looks like its sitting too far back, which means the nut wont sit flat. You need to sand the face (that faces the fret board) until it sits flat. I'm also assuming you haven't glued it in yet if you haven't set the string height yet. The string tension you have on it know might be pulling in forward. Once you sand it and it fits well, glue it in before you put any strings back on.
     
  7. charlie chitlins

    charlie chitlins Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    1,454
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    First..you MUST set the bridge height, intonation and truss rod.
    Then...If you fret a string at the first fret, look at how close the string is to the second fret.
    It's a VERY small gap.
    Provided you have no buzzing, that gap you saw on the second fret is all the open string needs to clear the first fret.
    It's only around .010".
    I have been working with feeler gauges for decades, so I can eyeball to a thousandth of an inch or 2...if you don't trust your eyes, get some automotive feeler gauges.
    There are a LOT of ideas about cutting nut slots and I've tried about all of them.
    Real, gauged nut files are the way to go.
    Buy a set and you can set up every guitar you own forever.
    When you screw up a slot (and you will) a little baking soda and super glue will fill it in and is good enough to be considered a permanent repair.
     
    Dolebludger likes this.
  8. charlie chitlins

    charlie chitlins Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    1,454
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    And...I just checked your pics...those slots are WAY high.
    You can fit change for a dollar between the strings and the fretboard.
    And...when you measure using the above method, your strings will follow the curve of the fretboard.
    Now they're straight across.
     

Share This Page