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Do I need to file the slots in GraphTech nut?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by dscottyg, Jan 17, 2021.

  1. dscottyg

    dscottyg Tele-Meister

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    I got a Strat/tele nut:
    TUSQ XL SLOTTED STRAT AND TELE STYLE
    PQL-5000-00

    I know in general the width of each nut slot should be tailored to the string width. My strings are 10-46 on the Vintage Hot Rod ‘52. The package doesn’t say if it is for 9s, 10s, 11s, or whatever.

    Would I need to have the slots filed, or do they come already filed for 10s?
     
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  2. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Actually, I like to leave them as delivered unless there is an issue. The slot is smooth and shaped well. I usually use 10s and don't automatically file the slots. I use Bigsbys, so I wait and see if there is any binding first. If there is no binding, I then go on to check out depth. If the strings are too high, I typically sand the bottom of the nut to get to where I want to go. I believe the Fender Tusq nuts are designed for 9.5" radius. Perhaps they have 7.25" now, I don't know. But if your neck is 7.25" at the nut, you can deepen the outside slots to match the radius, if desired.
     
  3. glenlivet

    glenlivet Tele-Afflicted

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    In my somewhat limited experience... no (or at least probably not).
    Get the radius right, and you can fine adjust the height by sanding the bottom of the nut.
    Old nut on top....new nut on bottom.



    strat2.png

    strat1.png
    strat3.png

    Test fit to get the height of the low E correct. The low E height was what I aimed for, I figured I'd have to do some adjusting for the high E side....and I was right. Above is a pic of what I used for my string gap (from the GraphTech workshop site). After I got the low E set...I sanded off the high E side of the nut until I got it good as well. I used the guitar fretboard as my radius gage and focused on sanding down the High E side of the nut bottom, and keeping the radius.

    Worked like a charm.
    (edit: I play with 10's )
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
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  4. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    In the above illustration, NOTE, the measurements in the illustration are correct. In the text below it, they are off by a decimal point. It should be pretty obvious, but it is still clear some people are not good with decimals.....or proofreading...
     
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  5. glenlivet

    glenlivet Tele-Afflicted

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    Good catch..... me....I never noticed, I just look at pictures...reading directions ??? Bahhhh ... I'm a guy, I don't need to READ directions.
     
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  6. Fenderdad1950

    Fenderdad1950 Tele-Afflicted

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    Great answer with pic, says it all
     
  7. highwaycat

    highwaycat Tele-Holic

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    For best performance sound and reliability, yes, learn everything about nut work. You’ll get better results doing it the traditional way.

    88211E4D-DAF3-4495-8A83-1C850E3B9315.jpeg
     
  8. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I will do just about anything, to leave the precuts alone.

    It seems to me, the surface, as delivered by Graphtech, is denser and tougher than the material that lies below. Just like you, I remove material from the underside and break my back not to mess with the stock slots.

    And they can work with 12s. Excellent product. For nuts, that is - this material IMO doesn't work for saddles, in my experience.
     
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  9. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I occasionally have to finesse slits in a preslotted graphtech nut, but I avoid it whenever possible. Those slots come more perfect than I can make them, so I set string height by sanding away at the bottom of the nut.
     
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  10. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Usually if I need to adjust a slot or two, I will use abrasive cord and not files.
     
  11. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't touch a nut unless my strings are sticking and it's causing issues. Kinda "if it ain't broke don't fix it" mentality. Having said that I love working with nuts (that didn't sound good) and it's a good thing to have a set of files on hand. I picked up a set from StewMac at some point on a half price deal.

    I know I have Tusq nuts on a couple of guitars and I don't remember having to do anything to them.
     
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  12. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Afflicted

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    I just got a Warmoth neck with a Tusq Nut installed. I don't know if it was a precut Tusq Nut or a Tusq blank that Warmoth cut for the neck, but I had to widen the slots. It wasn't returning to pitch after string bends. I just used the next guage up (ex., used the A string on the D slot) and ran it through each slot a few times to widen it. Worked like a charm.

    Edit:. I should add, I previously used a precut nut on an Epiphone and the slots were cut wide enough for .010 and probably even a few sizes above that. It was a little high, but as others have said, sanding the bottom of the nut did the trick.
     
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  13. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Good way to go. I love some abrasive cord.
     
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