Raising a Nut Slot

TheWelder

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A guitar I'm working on has one nut slot that is too deep (B string) and frets out on lower frets. I'd like to salvage this nut if possible rather than replacing with a new one. Any tips on how to build up a slot? StewMac sells a powder that can be mixed with superglue, but I don't feel like dropping $20 + shipping on something that I'll use one time. If there is a good solution that uses easily accessible household materials, I'm all ears.

Thanks!
 

redking

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A guitar I'm working on has one nut slot that is too deep (B string) and frets out on lower frets. I'd like to salvage this nut if possible rather than replacing with a new one. Any tips on how to build up a slot? StewMac sells a powder that can be mixed with superglue, but I don't feel like dropping $20 + shipping on something that I'll use one time. If there is a good solution that uses easily accessible household materials, I'm all ears.

Thanks!
If you have a spare Tusq or bone nut blank on hand, grind off a portion of it into dust with a file and use this with water-thin CA glue to build the nut slot back up. Baking soda is the old standby for this also, but I have found that it eventually breaks apart - the 2 nut slots I have restored using Tusq nut dust are still holding strong several months later.
 

TheWelder

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Thank you. I'd read about using baking soda, but that seems like a job that would require repeating, or may fail at an inopportune time. I like the idea of using dust from a nut blank - I'll have to check to see if I have a spare.
 

Roxy13

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I have read from people here that the baking soda fix is still going strong on their guitars after like 10 years.

I just save the pieces I cut off the ends of my bone blanks in case I needed to do this and that did come in handy once.
 

Slater529

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Baking soda is only tempory
I have read from people here that the baking soda fix is still going strong on their guitars after like 10 years.

I just save the pieces I cut off the ends of my bone blanks in case I needed to do this and that did come in handy once.
In my experience baking soda is temporary. It works in an emergency. I have fixed 2 nuts this way, and neither one lasted more than a couple months.

I stepped up and bought the Stew Mac kit last year. It really is a permanent fix.
 

Roxy13

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Baking soda is only tempory


In my experience baking soda is temporary. It works in an emergency. I have fixed 2 nuts this way, and neither one lasted more than a couple months.

I stepped up and bought the Stew Mac kit last year. It really is a permanent fix.
I've never used it. All I did was report what some people here said.
 

redking

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I would imagine the durability of baking soda, or any other method likely depends on what string slot has been repaired (thickness of string guage), the break angle of the particular guitar's headstock, whether it is a string that you would normally bend, etc. For me it was the low E and A on a tele, so I expect it to last a long time. If it were a plain G string on a Les Paul, I would suspect more movement and pressure on the nut slot might cause it to fail.
 

TheWelder

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This is the B string slot on the Les Paul Jr, so it's going to get heavy use from break angle, bending, tension, etc. I have a Strat TUSQ nut that has the the mounting tab on the bottom that would be sanded off anyway for any purpose I would use it for - so I'll likely go that route over baking soda.
 

redking

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This is the B string slot on the Les Paul Jr, so it's going to get heavy use from break angle, bending, tension, etc. I have a Strat TUSQ nut that has the the mounting tab on the bottom that would be sanded off anyway for any purpose I would use it for - so I'll likely go that route over baking soda.
go for it! Just follow Dan Erlewine's instruction and you are golden!
 

strayedstrater

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There's a really permanent fix some people do.

File an oversized V groove in the nut. Saw a wedge out of a matching blank that matches the V groove. Superglue the wedge into the V groove and let dry. File the wedge down flush with the nut and then cut a new groove.

Obviously there's fine fitting involved and more work than just filling the slot. But it'll give you a perfect slot that will last the life of the nut.
 

redking

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There's a really permanent fix some people do.

File an oversized V groove in the nut. Saw a wedge out of a matching blank that matches the V groove. Superglue the wedge into the V groove and let dry. File the wedge down flush with the nut and then cut a new groove.

Obviously there's fine fitting involved and more work than just filling the slot. But it'll give you a perfect slot that will last the life of the nut.
I've seen a youtube demo of that method too - it seems like more work than installing a new nut altogether lol
 

moreles

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I have a file that is exactly the width of a saddle blank. If I overdo a nut slot, I can file a slot perpendicular to the nut, to whatever depth is needed, and then superglue a piece of the saddle - which fits the slot exactly -- and then file all excess flush before reslotting this patch. It works perfectly (thanks to having a file that's exactly the same width as the bone blank). is really fast, and super strong. I dislike the glue+powder approach, which never really replicates the density or smoothness of bone; I super-dislike removing a nut as regaining exact fit is hard (and removal can produce bad surprises, like cracks). Using a patch is one-and-done. Because this kind of patch is so easy, I am more willing to really work my nut slots down to a low, clean position, and this helps playability very, very much.
 

cmjohnson

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I know it's more work, but the best answer is to start over and be careful to not over-slot again. This way you'll never think "Oh, that's a make-do repair. I could have done better.".
 

Boneyguy

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Just yesterday I repaired a bone nut with bone dust and thin CA. Somehow I had cut the 'B' string slot in the wrong spot despite having it marked out in the right location. But somehow I had also begun filing a slot in the right location as well!! So I had two slots begun side by side. I have no idea how I accomplished that.
I filled the wrong slot with bone dust from a discarded nut and using a whip-tip on my thin CA bottle put one drop on it. I had to also do this to a small chip that occurred in the little 'island' between the two slots. The result is an absolutely invisible repair that is probably stronger than the original bone was. I was careful to use bone dust that came from a nut of a very similar colour as the one I was fixing. The customer is a good friend of mine so I will tell him what I've done and I'm sure he won't have any problem with my fix.
 

zdoggie

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nuts are cheap buy yourself a bone nut and replace it I believe you can get pre cut for your guitar .

zdog
 


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