Help! I think I f'd up the nut change

Discussion in 'Gibson Les Pauls' started by TLespaul, Aug 16, 2018.

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  1. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

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    Oh boy...:rofl:
     
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  2. TLespaul

    TLespaul Senior Member

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    OK, but back to being serious.
    I sanded the nut so it's slightly taller than the previous nut. I figured after all the filing I made to the nut slot, the slot would probably be a bit deeper so the installed height turn out about the same.

    The notes from the frets near the nut currently seem quite sharp, but I wonder if it actually turned up higher and enough to make the first fret +15 cents sharp. Perhaps it was already a bit off with the previous nut and now it's simply worse. The strings are likely around 3 months old, and I did leave the same set loose for the entire nut replacement and then tuned it up again, but I doubt it makes the strings go sharp near the nut.

    I'm not going to remove the nut (possibly impossible as of now), so the question is if I (or a guitar tech...) should deepen the string slots some?

    Here is the low E when fretting the 3rd fret IMG_20180817_053158.jpg
    I'd say the space is ~twice that of a business card which they often tell you to use for action measurement.
     
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  3. C-Grin

    C-Grin Senior Member

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    play some chords and see if it stays in tune and intonated while your playing them. If so your fine I don't think any more messin with it is a good idea.
    BTW I don't remember anyone telling you it would be easy, quite the opposite. Glad you got worked out.
     
  4. TLespaul

    TLespaul Senior Member

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    I think a couple said it is. And definitely the customer support of Graph Tech who I'd contacted beforehand.

    I don't say it loses its tune, I mean that the first few frets are definitely too sharp. You can hear it when playing E major, for example.
     
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  5. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member

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    Brother, with all due respect, what you need to do is STOP working on this guitar nut!

    This job was beyond your present ability. You aught to have studied more material and practiced on junk guitars, first. If you were lead to believe nut replacement was a job every guitarist could do themselves, like setting intonation, you were definitely mislead. It's a reasonably skilled procedure, especially on a Gibson, especially if you want good results. Not for everyone.

    Take it to a pro before you make it worse and it costs you more, later.
     
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  6. TLespaul

    TLespaul Senior Member

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    But it's already done. Taking the entire nut out is out of the question unless the guitar tech is willing to chip off more wood layers, as it's glued.

    Here's a recording (excuse the camera angle and my lousy attempt at unplugged tapping later). The strings are way too old so they are "unintonable", but just to demonstrate: you can hear how the 12th is flat (the saddle is all the way in, even, but again - the set is old and rusting), but the low frets are sharp.



    So my question is whether I can take it to the tech and ask him to lower the nut slots from above rather than him attempting to remove the glued nut and file it from below?
     
  7. Shadow Explorer

    Shadow Explorer Senior Member

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    Someone has to check the headstock crack that happened when the original nut was removed.
    Better fix it now, than later. YOu have a nice guitar, treat it like that.
     
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  8. TLespaul

    TLespaul Senior Member

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    Treat it how? If it's not broken and just some surface crack with mostly cosmetic implications, the fix would be cosmetic, which I don't really care about as this guitar doesn't look new at all anyway. If it's due to concerns to the headstock's material integrity in the long run, which would a guitar tech/luthier do? Can you "patch up" tiny cracks to actually make them stronger?

    And my main concern is about fixing the sharp intonation now after the nut is already glued.
     
  9. jkes01

    jkes01 Senior Member

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  10. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member

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    The fact that you're asking questions like this, and others such as "was it glued on too tightly" "should I replace the entire neck" and "does the nut need to fit tightly before I glue it" just proves my point.

    It's NOT already done because you aren't happy with it and it needs more work. Take it to a pro.

    You aren't ready for this project.
     
  11. Cjsinla

    Cjsinla Senior Member

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    Once it’s glued in, all the work should be from the top.

    Edited to add - yes, you f’ed up the nut change.
     
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  12. TLespaul

    TLespaul Senior Member

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    Done 1. "finished, ready". OR
    Done 2. "performed, over".

    Did I say "it's already done good", or "it's already done [period]"? I said, as clearly explained, it's already glued in, possibly even harder than it was before. So removing the nut like this will probably cause even more damage, even if done by a professional (unless they have a way to somehow go under the nut and chemically dissolve the superglue, they'll need to break the bond by force, even if gently-applied force).
     
  13. TLespaul

    TLespaul Senior Member

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    The point is that I'm not certain what physically wrong. I measured the original nut at the low E, the height was a little over 7.5mm. The height of the new nut is about 9mm, but it's pretty certain a certain amount of wood was shaved off the nut slot, as a layer was peeled off during the removal of the original nut and then I filed some to level it. I'd say the new nut's height when correcting for wood filing could be between 8mm to 8.5mm, so having a height increment of less the a millimeter throw the intonation so off seems strange to me. The string slots also seem a little deeper on the Graph Tech, so the practical height should be even a tad lower.

    That would seem strange, but perhaps it is at least in part related to the old strings having gone bad. I didn't want to waste another of my Elixir sets if I'll end up giving it for a setup, but I'll probably have to test new strings first.
     
  14. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member

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    Why ask for advice when you don't want it?
     
  15. Frozen Rat

    Frozen Rat Senior Member

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    Put a capo across all the strings at the 3rd fret (nut side). Now check the clearance of each string above the 1st fret. You want clearance but only just. File down the nut slots until the clearance is a hair above the 1st fret with that capo attached. Don't file straight though, angle the file at a 17 degree angle toward the headstock. Once you're done you shouldn't have sharp notes in 1st position any longer unless there's something else going on I've not read about in this thread. The sharp notes are your clue that something is too high, and in this case it's the nut because that's where you left more material than the prior nut.
     
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  16. Paul46

    Paul46 Senior Member

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    Can't wait for the tremolo install !
     
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  17. HogmanA

    HogmanA Senior Member

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    Good on yer for trying - it's how we learn after all. It's your guitar. Now you know what happens when you change a nut on a Gibson - I don't, but i've done all other setup work.

    Your nut is too high and I second Frozen Rats post. But do take it slowly - less than a 1mm is enough to make issues. Maybe use a feeler gauge between the first string/ fret with capo on at the third fret, just to make sure you're going in small enough increments. Maybe an idea to study as much material on the subject as possible before jumping in.

    Remember this, make a poster and put it on your wall, look at it often: A nut is only 1 file pass away from knackered! :Ohno:
    :thumb:



    ^
     
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  18. PierM

    PierM Black & Gold Premium Member

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    The problem here is that you just dont listen to anyone, other than don’t understanting.

    You asked how to glue, I told you to NOT overglue and to only use one or two drops, to avoid any further damage in case of a further deglue, and you just overglued the nut.

    With that terrible approach, you can only make it worse.
     
  19. Who

    Who I'm back. Back in the New York groove.

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    Taking it to someone for a setup is cheaper than buying the proper set of files you need to file the nut slots.

    IMG_0870.PNG

    @Frozen Rat gave you the instructions for your next course of action. I'll add "when the slots are deep enough, file the top of the nut until the strings are only halfway buried in the slots".

    No:
    [​IMG]


    Yes:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
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  20. Who

    Who I'm back. Back in the New York groove.

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