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Nut binding problem

Total Topics: 12
Total Posts: 90
Hi guys - well, number 2 is done and hung up to dry. Looks good so far. However, am still having problems with the nut on number 1 though. Have slotted with the exact files for string size but still get binding on 1st and 2nd strings, and some (very little) on the G. Rest have no problem. Could it be that the angle for the slots is off, or maybe not slanted enough where the strings enter?

Feb 02, 10 | 11:30 pm
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
If you make the slot too tight you get the bindng. I like about .005 clearance so the strings can slide easy. You can widen the slot with your file by rocking it right to left a touch. Also a little lube can help. Your angle may be too tight but with the plain steel string binding I think you may be just a tad tight.

John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc.
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center

Feb 03, 10 | 6:13 am

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
What John says. I like to file the nut slots slightly larger than the string gauge - you can either use the next size file (which allows you to try heavier gauge strings if you want) or slightly "rock" the file in the slot. You can also fold a piece of 600 - 800 grit wet and dry over the nut file and take a couple of swipes to both smooth the slot and open it a hair.

I also like to angle the exit to point to the tuner post - that seems to make tuning a little smoother. When I'm done with a nut I polish it with some white compound on the buffing wheel. Some people like to lubricate nut slots with graphite from a lead pencil - I've never found that necessary.

Feb 03, 10 | 6:58 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
The slots can and should be a tiny bit oversize --- However, if they are not sloped with the headstock and perfectly flat on the bottom buzz will happen. The thing I see most with binding strings are slots that are WAY too deep. About half the string diameter is all that is necessary. Its not absolutely necessary but I angle the slots just slightly toward the tuners. And as Freeman mentioned a little relief on the headstock side of the slot is also good.


Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978

Feb 03, 10 | 8:11 am

Total Topics: 12
Total Posts: 90
Thanks guys, that gives me a lot to work with. I'll work on the nut tonight, and if I don't come right, I'll make a new one using your suggestions. Thankks again.

Feb 03, 10 | 10:34 pm

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