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How were nut slots cut and rounded before nut files?

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by trxx, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. Goldenshellback

    Goldenshellback Tele-Meister

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    Files. Files have been around a long time.
     
  2. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    My buddy trained at Roberto-Venn, too, and I watched him file a nut with a trangle file when he built a dreadnought.
     
  3. TomK

    TomK Tele-Holic

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    Yes, I saw that article and was thinking the same thing. It was Guitar.com, the nice Brit mag . . .

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. chucker

    chucker TDPRI Member

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    hey guys. just checked my needle file set. there is a very small triangle file. also there is a sharp taper flat oval shaped file which could also be used for smaller slots. these file sets are inexpensive and you should have one anyway.
     
  5. Southpa

    Southpa TDPRI Member

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    HPIM4131.JPG I'm surprized that nobody has mentioned using cutting torch tip cleaners. I simply measure the string gauge then use the right sized one for that slot. They are serrated and have the right round profile for making a perfect fit. They are also extremely affordable at any place that sells welding supplies.
     
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  6. TwangBrain

    TwangBrain Tele-Meister

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    Cool question. I dunno about old timers...but when I was a teenager, I had a nut shatter at the B string on my only guitar functioning...so, I wrangled the nut from my acoustic (didn't really use it at the time), sanded it down to fit, and used a pocket knife and safety blade to cut the string slots...it worked great!
     
  7. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    I think that probably isn't what the old timers used, which is what the question was. ;)

    I'm always curious about how things were done in the past. For example, seeing how woodwork was done before machines were so common is really eye opening as to what can be done with a higher ratio of skill to cost of tools.

     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
  8. Anguslaing

    Anguslaing TDPRI Member

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    Notch with saw finish with sandpaper on appropriate string
     
  9. Danb541

    Danb541 Friend of Leo's

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    Butter knife?
     
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  10. zekester

    zekester TDPRI Member

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    Abrasive cord is used to round the bottoms of nut slots.
     
  11. dasherf17

    dasherf17 TDPRI Member

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    StewMac used to have special sized saw blades.
     
  12. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    Drima
     
  13. dasherf17

    dasherf17 TDPRI Member

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    Coping (shorter, D-shaped) saw or hacksaw (linger, rectangular)?
     
  14. dasherf17

    dasherf17 TDPRI Member

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    Sorry, vike, that was meant for someone else...
     
  15. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    ?
     
  16. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    No idea, should have been Dremel.................not funny now anyway!
     
  17. luthier59

    luthier59 TDPRI Member

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  18. luthier59

    luthier59 TDPRI Member

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    Use a triangle file. It is the most versatile tool you can buy. Nut file, fret end file (make one edge a polished safety edge put a dot with sharpie on top so safety polished corner is facing down) saddle slot file for resonator or any guitar with floating saddle fret slot file to camber fret slots prior to fretting( this makes the fret go in much smoother and eliminates most tearout when the next person does a refret. I am an RV grad and my fret slotting files just sit in a drawer.
     
  19. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    The fact that we have string trees and angled headstock suggests that the string passing through / over the nut needs to be pretty firmly seated though not gripped. Even pressure around the strings circumference would seem to be a better answer than excessive pressure on one or two points. The latter could also give rise to more buzzing?
     
  20. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm wondering if a triangle file is the traditional tool for nut slots before nut files came about. And I assume you meant to say that your nut slotting files just sit in a drawer.
     
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