Do I need to remove the nut when fret leveling?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by powerex21, May 15, 2021.

  1. powerex21

    powerex21 TDPRI Member

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    I have a 16" beam that I will be using and was wondering if I really need to remove the nut in order to get the leveling done right?
     
  2. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    Its easiest to remove it otherwise you are relegated to short strokes in that area. Usually just a small sideways tap with a block of wood and hammer will free it up. Reinstall with a TINY amount of the glue of your choice.
     
  3. Laren

    Laren Tele-Meister

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    Yes. If only because you'll be bound to hit the damn thing however much you try not to. As jimgchord says it's easy enough to remove.
     
  4. braveheart

    braveheart Tele-Afflicted

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    yes
     
  5. Cyberi4n

    Cyberi4n Tele-Meister

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    No.

    I’ve levelled the frets on three of my guitars and managed it without removing the nut. You DO have to make shorter strokes, and be aware of the potential to damage the nut. But it can be done successfully.

    That said, as everyone here points out, taking the nut out is easy enough to do if you would rather do that.
     
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  6. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    I never take out the nut. Never even considered it.
     
  7. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I lay my index finger alongside the nut & crash the beam into myself rather than deal with reinstalling the nut. I also place a rag over the pickups to avoid steel dust from migrating upon them.
     
  8. Cyberi4n

    Cyberi4n Tele-Meister

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    Painters White Masking Tape is also good for covering pickups as well. I tend to use it on the fingerboard too.
     
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  9. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nuts are easy enough to remove unless they're not. Then they break.
     
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  10. mfguitar

    mfguitar Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Normally it is better but you do have to assess if there is a possibility of damage to the surrounding finish.
     
  11. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I do.
     
  12. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    You should. I always do except in certain situations. But the point when leveling is lost if you use short strokes because of the nut. You wannna run from one end of the board to the other in a single stroke when finishing up. Otherwise you defeat the purpose. What can happen is the frets near the nut will not come down as much as the rest of the neck and the action will have to be adjusted for them leaving the rest of the board in higher registers with the action higher than it should be. Hard to explain what i'm trying to say, but think of it as the same situation as a nut with the slots now filed deep enough and the clearance between the string a 1st fret being way too much. It raises the action up high with no benefit other then to open stings. So i say always remove the nut. This is one more reason why i personally do not like gluing nuts in with more then a slight bit of glue if any. I actually prefer none, just sand the nut when making it to where it's just thick enough to hold itself in tightly w/o glue. That way you can remove it for leveling or any other reason you may have to do so. If i go a bit too far and it doesn't hold tightly i spread a coat of superglue along the headstock side of the nut and when it dies shove it in the slot and it should fit tight. If not, repeat till it does. Everyone has their methods, these are mine. In any case i highly recommend removing the nut. And if it's a plastic or synthetic bone nut all the more reason to remove it so you can make a quality bone nut. Bone is IMO the best material. Again, my opinion but my opinion's all i got so there ya go..:D
     
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  13. WalthamMoosical

    WalthamMoosical Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    I didn't. I wanted to but it wouldn't budge (very inexpensive neck, who knows, maybe cheap plastic and the world's strongest glue) and I was afraid of chipping the wood, so I just left it in. It was fine.
     
  14. highwaycat

    highwaycat Tele-Holic

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    If you’re doing the frets you might as well remove the nut and true it up. Or you can true it up while it’s still in there if you can avoid scratching the guitar.
     
  15. ThermionicScott

    ThermionicScott Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nope. I leave it in place and use small motions with a long enough beam to stay in contact with all of the frets.
     
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  16. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    You missed an opportunity to put a nice bone nut in there. Just saying.
     
  17. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Why not? It is likely you will need to adjust it anyway after the fret level.
     
  18. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz Tele-Meister

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    I dont unless upgrading the nut ;)
     
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