Cutting a new nut - G string issues

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by canyongargon, Jan 17, 2020.

  1. canyongargon

    canyongargon TDPRI Member

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    I'm cutting a new nut for a Telecaster of mine and I'm having a bit of trouble getting the pitch of the slot for the G string quite right. This particular Tele is '50s style with only the single E/B string tree just below the G tuner.

    I took a spare nut blank and, as an experiment, slid it back and forth cutting only a series of G string slots at varying angles back toward the headstock. With a steeper angle, I can get a clean open G string but with a wicked harmonic ring behind the headstock on that string. With a shallower angle, I can dampen the harmonic ring but get a less well defined, almost fuzzy sounding open G string. The balance point, if it exists, is proving hard to find.

    My string set uses a .018 G string and so I'm cutting the slot with a .020 Stewmac file. I'm reasonably confident in my technique, as I've done good nut work on other personal guitars, but never one without a second string tree like this guitar. I think the weak break angle on the G is what's making this a challenge, but most Teles only have a single tree so I'm thinking I'm just missing something.

    Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
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  2. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    Most G strings have this issue, it is the design that causes problems. A single piece of fabric slotted between two chunks of flesh against a tender area on the human body is just a bad design, even it if doesn't show granny undies lines...

    Oh wait, you are talking about something else. :)


    Seriously,
    Are you using a wound G? A .018 G I am assuming is not wound. And it would make sense to cut a .020 slot. But I would go up and cut a .024 slot on that for this reason. Should you decide to go up to a wound G you won't have to cut the slot again.

    Usually I cut all my nut slots at least .004 larger than my standard strings (I typically do a .011 on my high E) for all my guitars.
     
  3. canyongargon

    canyongargon TDPRI Member

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    Not a wound string, correct - a plain .018 string.
     
  4. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Holic

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    The harmonic, if it's on the tuner side of the nut, "shouldn't" be transmitted to the pickups.

    I would want that G ringing as bright as possible. Any dullness tells me it's not coming off the nut properly to the fretboard. Oh, I love my old Gretsch with its zero fret.

    I too have a problem on a Telecaster G, and it was also with a plain .018 string. I put a plain .017 on just to see if the problem went away and it did. The .018 is stiffer and obviously isn't lying flat in the nut slot, but I don't have an electron microscope handy to see how I'm buggering up the ramp on the slot and where/how I need to change the slope/curve of the slot. Trial and error only goes so far and then it's super glue and talc.... Which kind of defeats my installing a NEW nut.

    I feel your pain, but I say you had it right.

    Sent from my LG-H932 using Tapatalk
     
  5. jdiego

    jdiego TDPRI Member

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    Did you make the nut slot a little bit wider (V shape) and downhill toward the headstock side to reduce the friction point?

    Did you polish the slot?

    Is the string well seated over the nut slot?

    Try this (good idea for bigger gauge strings):
    https://hazeguitars.com/blog/string-seating-and-witness-points

    I don't know if it would help, but I made a very cheap and easy nut sauce mixing solid vaseline, graphite pencil powder and a few drops of 3-in-1oil that worked well. [​IMG]


    My tele had a buzz on the G string that I heard on the whole neck, but the culprit was the saddle spring rattling in the bridge.
     
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  6. StoogeSurfer

    StoogeSurfer Tele-Afflicted

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    Install second string tree. ;)
     
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  7. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Holic

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    That author was consistent with my post above, about the thicker gauge string not seating all the way to the bottom of the nut slot on the fret board side of the slot.

    However, using his method of making a witness mark is easier on the saddle end, but the nut slot bottom is only sitting .05 above the fingerboard; not a lot of room to push down on the string. And I hate the idea of maybe putting a kink in the string as much as the author. With my luck I would buy a set of strings with an extra E and B and break the G.

    Sent from my LG-H932 using Tapatalk
     
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  8. canyongargon

    canyongargon TDPRI Member

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    I did push down on the strings at the nut before filing the slots; I've been burned before by filing slots that end up being too low when the fresh string starts to bend at the nut slot.

    I am tempted to just throw a second tree on there before I cut another nut. I've never had this issue on other guitars with dual trees or angled headstocks so I think some more break on the G string would cure my headache.
     
  9. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    If you use Kluson style tuners, with the slotted top, try leaving the string longer. The extra winds on this type of tuner end up with the string meeting the post lower down. Gets you a little more break angle. You just need to stretch the strings thoroughly on installation, to suck up the slack caused by the extra winds.

    I've been winding my Tele D and G this way for years. Every little bit helps with the G.

    Sounds like you've been quite thorough, practicing on an extra blank like that. Still, I think there is a sweet spot. The poorly defined sound is usually because there's not one clear take-off point. Carve the slot a bit high, and flat, so it sounds wooly. Then matching the angle of the string - or a bit more - take one stroke at a time, checking after each. I guess you've done that, but keep trying. It is possible to cut a clean G slot.

    By the way, what type of file are you using? The thin ones that look like a hacksaw blade, or the V shaped ones with two sizes on one handle? I prefer the latter, and it shouldn't really matter, but maybe try the other kind than you've been using...
     
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  10. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    When it's problematic - I get a 3" piece and attach it to wood or metal . That becomes my file. Generally I use D'Addiaro 0.017 on that particular string. That way , you've made your own " fret file from an old string."
     
  11. jackal

    jackal Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Check out the 3 string retainer on Reverend's web site. Might just solve your problem without any drilling or filing.
     
  12. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    StewMac sells 'em, too. And here, maybe cheaper than either of them...

    https://reverb.com/item/11081701-th...ainer-nickel-by-music-city-bridge-aged-nickel

    I forgot, when I was saying 'keep trying', that I gave up on a Strat a few years ago, and installed one of these. Fixed the problem pronto, and no new holes...
     
  13. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I’ve been doing this for some time and it certainly helps!

    :) Peter
     
  14. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Tele-Afflicted

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    Interesting. I think I might have had this problem very briefly once and cured it with a couple swipes of a file, but I use slightly heavier strings. Wrapping the string further down the post should also work, IMO.

    If not, plenty of options have been suggested already!
     
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