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A different way to cut a nut?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by SixShooter, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. SixShooter

    SixShooter Friend of Leo's

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    I was thinking about the challenge of getting nut slots adjusted perfectly and then thought about zero frets which would seem to eliminate that problem. My idea is this: Cut slots on the back side of the nut- these would keep the strings from moving around. Then leave the front portion of the nut smooth. This way there is no nut material coming up the side of the strings.

    I'm probably not the first to think of this...What are the pro's & con's?
     
  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Funny you say this because I made a zero fret on my last guitar and yesterday made a bone nut for a LP I replaced a peghead on. I was looking at the bone nut ( it needs slots cut down more) and thinking that why couldn't that be made level at the front edge with steeper ramps on the back side to guide the strings...same thought as you I think. Being a tilted peghead I think as long as it wasn't lower than the first fret, it would work.
     
  3. jkes01

    jkes01 TDPRI Member

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    I came across this conversion kit that transforms a regular guitar into a zero fret.

    Replacement Nut System
    [​IMG]

    No affiliation, just thought I would pass along the idea.

    -John
     
  4. onenotetom

    onenotetom Tele-Afflicted

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    Interesting!
     
  5. TwangBilly

    TwangBilly Tele-Afflicted

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    It will work if done right.
    It is an old concept used in various nut setups over the years that I have seen.
     
  6. SixShooter

    SixShooter Friend of Leo's

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    So why would this be less desireable than the standard method? Would it be any more difficult to cut? Seems like it would be easier.
     
  7. Ronsonic

    Ronsonic Tele-Afflicted

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    As I see it (a guy with no experience of it) the problem with that conversion is that it doesn't allow you to level the zero fret along with the others.
     
  8. dmondo

    dmondo Tele-Meister

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    Hey Sixshooter - not a new idea but it would seem to be a good way to go - maybe would work best if you used a taller fret ( taller than the other frets that is ) for the zerofret ? And if the string didn't touch anywhere, except maybe the sides, between the zerofret and the tuner peg - for greater vibration transference to the neck ? Would surely save "nut cutting" time and help to set a nice action easily at that end of the neck.
     
  9. SixShooter

    SixShooter Friend of Leo's

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    Ok, hang on. I'm not talking about the zero fret thingy that Jkes posted. I'm talking about a nut with slots on the backside (peghead side) but smooth on the fretboard side.
     
  10. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    So you level the frets and the nut, and then slot the back of the nuts to retain the strings?

    Sounds like a great idea.
     
  11. Mojotron

    Mojotron Poster Extraordinaire

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    On my acoustic with a zero fret I have to raise the action a little on the bass side to eliminate buzz; on regular nuts I make the high e-sting about .005" higher than the 1st fret then add .002" per string so that the low e-string is .01" higher than the high e-string and .015 higher than the 1st fret on the low side. These are tiny differences, but it allows me to make the saddle height as low as possible.

    I think this is a great idea - plus leveling the nut with the frets; but what if after the leveling, a shim is put under the nut to raise the nut .015" on the bass side and .005" on the treble side to keep the saddle height as low as possible - that would keep the action as low as possible across all the frets. ? I think that would work great and be fairly easy to do.
     
  12. Pete McC

    Pete McC Tele-Meister

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    only downside to that idea might be when it comes to restringing, could be like threading a needle if you don't make the slots nice and big..
     
  13. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Of course when the fretboard wood expands due to humidity and the nut doesn't, it could become lower than the fret and buzz. Of course that never happens right :).
     
  14. Davecam48

    Davecam48 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    zero fret?

    There has been a lot of discussion re zero frets. I have built a few guitars with zero frets, and the Dragon Wings unit I did uses two frets, one as the nut and the other as the string guide/spacer.

    The system works very well and the actual zero fret needs to be the same dimensions as the other frets on the neck. The guide fret can be any size as long as it holds the string position and is lower that the string break over the zero.

    There has been lots of discussion re zero frets on here before.

    DC
     

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  15. piece of ash

    piece of ash Friend of Leo's

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    Nothing wrong with the principle at all... it divides one tricky issue into 2 far simpler ones...
     
  16. Davecam48

    Davecam48 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Exactly! There is also the theory that a bone or plastic nut will sound different when the string is played open compared to fretted but being an old deaf fart, I myself cannot pick the difference.

    I'm a great believer in the old KISS theory! 'Keep it simple Stupid! "
     
  17. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Zero frets get a bad rap because lots of bad clone guitars were made ith them when Asian factories were still gaining skillz ... and the zero nut means great playing action without talented nut slotters on the team.

    The way some very expensive guitar's nuts are cut these days, I wish they were brought back.
     
  18. Luthier Atlanta

    Luthier Atlanta Tele-Afflicted

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  19. orangedrop

    orangedrop Friend of Leo's

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    The nut would still have to be very precisely cut to height for proper intonation to negate sharping due to string bending in the first few positions.

    I like the concept, and zero frets are quite nice on a guitar.

    The thing on Wiki about zero frets wearing out quickly sounds like it also harps back to the cheap guitar rap.

    That conversion nut idea is pretty creative!

    Any idea what spurred the owner or luthier onto doing that?
     
  20. Davecam48

    Davecam48 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    .........Zero Fret GOOD!!! ..........Badly Slotted Nut BAD!!

    Truly doing a zero fret nut is so much simpler and I think works as well or better than the alternative. Intonation is well taken care of by the adjustable bridges of today anyway!

    I have just machined a compensated saddle for a bridge/string retainer of my own design made of high grade alooominum about to do the frame today if the Grandkids give me a break!!! DC
     
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