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Some really great nut files!
Author
Post
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 984
I have been wanting to get a set of nut files since trying to set up the two guitars I've built with needle files. They work, but I found it is a bit difficult to get the nut slots right. So, I fiddled around, waited, looking at what LMI and Stewmac have, and since I am an Ebay seller and spend a bit of time there looking at guitar supplies too, I came across the files that I purchased last week and received in the mail today. They are made and sold by Norman Trent (norman_1957). These will work for light and medium guage strings for sure.
I got 9 files that also work as feeler gauges for checking the string to fret clearance, for $54 plus about $2 shipping. I set up two guitars today that I had used the needle files on. They both needed to come down at the nut. These files worked very well, and they make a proper rounded slot.
The only thing I would like to see different is for them to be a bit longer in the handle area, and a little plastic coating over the hande area would be nice, but for the price, these are a real winner. I suggest you guys who don't yet have files check these out on ebay. Again, the user name of the maker is norman_1957.
If I wasn't so tired I'd take a picture of them, but you can go to Ebay and find them easily.

Kevin

Dec 26, 09 | 5:26 pm
SteveC

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 61
Nut files are one of those tools you think "how did I get by without them" after trying needle files and anything else you can think of to make a proper slot. I have seen these on eBay for some time, glad they work well.
Steve

Dec 27, 09 | 1:20 pm
JS

Total Topics: 15
Total Posts: 48
How many nuts have you done with the Norman "files"? Mine were dull, after three nuts.

Jan 22, 10 | 9:01 am
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Well I have done two and as far as I could tell were still cutting fine.
Interesting, did you contact Norman about it? I should think they would last much much longer. Bone is not that hard that I would think it could dull them that fast, but maybe you are using something else for a nut.....micarta, Tusq, Ivory? I know Micarta can be a bit more abrasive on tools, but even there I would be surprised if it dulled these files. Perhaps they are not adequately tempered. I would contact Norman and let him know.

Kevin

Jan 22, 10 | 10:04 am
JS

Total Topics: 15
Total Posts: 48
This was a few years ago, the nuts were bone, and Norman won't back up his products. Trying to communicate with him is a real treat, too. Read his feedback, and not just the negatives.

Live, and learn. I had real nutfiles before his junk, and still use them.

Jan 22, 10 | 10:48 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
These can be made by the DIY'er ---- you need this stuff

Kasenit Surface-Hardening Compound— Produces a hard-wearing surface on plain-carbon and low-alloy steel parts being heat-treated at 1650° -1700° F (899° -927° C). To use, sprinkle the compound over the heated part, heat again, and quench.

Cut notches in the feeler gauges, heat, sprinkle of the Kasenit re-heat then dip it in water. Use a propane torch for heat source.

The Kasenit is 12 bucks a LB from McMaster Carr. Don Teeter used if to harden some of his shop built tools.

Ken

Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978




Jan 22, 10 | 11:52 am
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
JS,
I'm sorry to hear your experience wasn't good. I did preview the feedback on Norman and his files, and from what I have seen, he has done well.
I guess the test will be in the use. I am not doing production work, and may only use these a dozen more times in my life time, so the testing will come slowly.

Ken, I have a heat treat oven for my knife making that I can use if it becomes necessary. Of course these are not made of tool steel, but should be fine with soft material such as bone. I'll remember your post about this case hardening compound in the event I need it sometime.

Kevin

Jan 22, 10 | 12:15 pm
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
This is standard machinist shim gauge stock. I made a few sets of these in my early days and bought nut files , They may be fine for a beginner but don't expect them to last long on bone.
john hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center

Jan 23, 10 | 3:10 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Ah ha! I am a beginner....
Perhaps I'll get a set of real nut files when I'm no longer a beginner.
Hmmmm, I wonder when that will be??? :>)

Kevin

Jan 23, 10 | 6:54 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Ah, c'mon Kevin! The quality of your guitars show that you are no beginner. Good workers deserve good tools. :-) You wouldn't sell a dull knife to a guy just because he's a beginner, would ya?

Bill

Jan 24, 10 | 5:06 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
Having been doing this as long as I have ,I tried about every gadget out there. I use 2 nut files , the decimal file at stew mac and when you thing about it , you get 2 files for the price of 1 as both edges are burred and the double sized files . As the price is the same I would go with the decimal sized files. Yes they are not cheap but they do the job well.
Good tools are not a cost but an investment.

john hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center

Jan 24, 10 | 5:19 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
I can certainly vouch for good tools -- I have a set of (4) Grobet files that are many, many years old and used on countless nuts and still seem good as new. They are pricey! But they do make the job at hand a snap.

On the other hand I can understand why guys and gals are hesitant to spend big bucks on premium tools if they are not sure where the hobby will take them --- perhaps one guitar is all they will build? The bottom line is, as John said over a "long period" of time the tools in the tool chest will be a personalized set -- experimenting to find out what suits your needs, skills and budget is all part of the fun. Expensive tools don't necessarily make one a better "guitar maker" --- desire for excellence is the key. What tools were available 200 years ago?

Ken

Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978



Jan 24, 10 | 6:22 am
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
"Take that!" "Punch!" and that! "Pow"!
Just kidding. Well perhaps I made a mistake with what I purchased, but time will tell I guess. These files worked great so far on two nuts. No complaints.
Just cause these are "homemade" tools doesn't mean they are not adequate.
Shoot, I'm using all kinds of homemade tools around the shop and getting all kinds of things done :>).
But seriously guys, I do appreciate your thoughts and opinion, after all you guys are the ones with the experience, and I for one have all been thankful for your participation and help here on the forum. I use some of both of you guys ideas in my building, and it has taken some of the "fear" out of the processes. So, thanks again John and Ken.....and Bill!

Kevin

Jan 25, 10 | 5:58 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Hi Kevin,

Seems like the majority of the feedback on the Norman files is very positive -- My thought is that they would be very easy to make -- I'm actually thinking about putting the process on my website! PS $.02 -- in the beginning I made at least 100 a nuts with nothing more then Swiss tool makers files --- the quality of those nuts was just fine --- the Grobet round joint files (nut files) just makes the job easier.

Ken

Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978

Jan 25, 10 | 6:19 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
what makes these less the perfect is they are not hardened stock and bone will kill the steel in a short time . They will work fine for those that only build a few a year. Those of us that have nut files in our hands every day will find them kess than a pro tool .

john hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center

Jan 25, 10 | 7:22 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
John I totally agree.

Ken

Jan 25, 10 | 7:30 am
JS

Total Topics: 15
Total Posts: 48
I agree. as well--I've never kicked myself later, for buying a good tool!

Jan 25, 10 | 7:53 am
Alan

Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 5
I bought a set of these when I first started out and they worked well enough for a while. However, for about the same price ($69), you can get these, which in my view is a much better set of nut files.

http://www.warmoth.com/Nut-Files-Set-of-8-P45.aspx

Mar 28, 10 | 6:07 am
Adaboy

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
Wow, that would be a nice acoustic set if you could trade the 0.010" file for either the 0.058" or 0.062" file from the other set.

Mar 30, 10 | 5:06 pm
Adaboy

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
I was referring to the Warmoth set listed above.

Mar 30, 10 | 5:06 pm
Chuck D

Total Topics: 5
Total Posts: 18
For about $10 more than the Warmoth files you could put together a set of the Grobet-style Gauged Nut Slotting Files from Stew Mac in your choice of widths.

Stew Mac Gauged Nut Slotting Files

I'm planning on getting a set when I get to the nut prep part of my guitar build, planned around a light gauge string set: .016, .020, .028, .035, .046, .056

Chuck

Mar 31, 10 | 6:11 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
The Grobet files get my vote! I think you can actually purchase those direct at their site. At one time that was the case.

Ken

Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978

Mar 31, 10 | 6:19 am



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