Is this Guitar Nut too high above the fretboard?

Tele-Meister

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jun 28, 2021
Posts
264
Location
To'hajiilee Desert
Dear Tele-talkers,

Back to this rando flamed maple neck again...
Drilled holes with no problem, thanks for all the help with that! Now this nut.
I have a TUSQ nut from an old neck of mine, I may replace the one on this new neck with the old TUSQ nut. I don't know, but it seems a bit high to me, right?
IMG_2404.jpg
IMG_2405.jpg
IMG_2406.jpg

I know the nut slots aren't ready yet, need to be lightly sanded with a string. How high is the nut supposed to be? How high are the slots supposed to be? I think I heard that the nut slots are supposed to be a tiny bit higher than the frets.

Thanks for all the help you guitar wizards.

Love,

Tele-Meister
 

mfguitar

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Posts
2,084
Age
61
Location
Buffalo
The good news is you have plenty of material to work with. From the pictures, it sure looks high and the slots are large depending on the string gauge. There are plenty of setup guides on the forum if you do a search. Your string height should be roughly the same as the string height on the next fret from a fretted note (if that makes sense) providing your action is set the way you like. If you have to push down too hard to fret a note on the first fret then your guitar will play hard and you risk pulling the note out of tune. You don't want your strings sitting that far into the nut, at least half the string should be above the nut.
 

W.L.Weller

Tele-Afflicted
Silver Supporter
Joined
May 20, 2014
Posts
1,318
Location
Queens
Here's one great resource for cutting a nut. Electric or acoustic it works the same way:

Frank Ford always has clear photos and descriptions.

So does Freeman Keller in this thread:

 

PhredE

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Posts
1,906
Location
Suburban PDX, OR
Would respectfully add, anytime modifying nut/tweaking height or action there..

Use proper tools, and,
Measure, measure, and measure again.
.. then, do the work.

Edit: An old school automotive feeler (depth) gauge is really handy for measure distance between under side of string and to of first fret (or even from bottom of string [at nut] to top of fingerboard).. comes in handy in a variety of ways.
 
Last edited:

Tele-Meister

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jun 28, 2021
Posts
264
Location
To'hajiilee Desert
Thanks for all the help, I just wanted to know about the height, but some of you guys even gave me sources to how to do a complete set up!! This helps me so much, so I thank you all! Let's just say it's too high (probably is but I gotta check with strings), how do I lower it? I take it out of the fretboard and sand the bottom, so it sits lower? And yeah for the nut string slots I can sand those down LIGHTLY so the strings have optimal action. Is this correct? Thanks!
 

jfgesquire

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 23, 2018
Posts
2,461
Age
55
Location
Lake View
Thanks for all the help, I just wanted to know about the height, but some of you guys even gave me sources to how to do a complete set up!! This helps me so much, so I thank you all! Let's just say it's too high (probably is but I gotta check with strings), how do I lower it? I take it out of the fretboard and sand the bottom, so it sits lower? And yeah for the nut string slots I can sand those down LIGHTLY so the strings have optimal action. Is this correct? Thanks!
You don't lower the nut from the bottom other than to make sure the nut is perfectly shaped to fit the nut slot in the neck. Once the nut is fit in the slot, all the shaping is done on the topside.

The pre cut slots are not there for depth, they are there for spacing.

This is exactly how I do it.


The last part about how much string is above the top of the nut - I do not follow that and I do not leave that much string above the top of the nut. When I do it, maybe 50% on the low e and completely below on the high e - otherwise, for me, they are prone to "jump out" of the slot.
 

Timbresmith1

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Posts
3,227
Location
Central TX
Dear Tele-talkers,

Back to this rando flamed maple neck again...
Drilled holes with no problem, thanks for all the help with that! Now this nut.
I have a TUSQ nut from an old neck of mine, I may replace the one on this new neck with the old TUSQ nut. I don't know, but it seems a bit high to me, right?
View attachment 943595 View attachment 943596 View attachment 943597
I know the nut slots aren't ready yet, need to be lightly sanded with a string. How high is the nut supposed to be? How high are the slots supposed to be? I think I heard that the nut slots are supposed to be a tiny bit higher than the frets.

Thanks for all the help you guitar wizards.

Love,

Tele-Meister
Yep.
 

Tele-Meister

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jun 28, 2021
Posts
264
Location
To'hajiilee Desert
You don't lower the nut from the bottom other than to make sure the nut is perfectly shaped to fit the nut slot in the neck. Once the nut is fit in the slot, all the shaping is done on the topside.

The pre cut slots are not there for depth, they are there for spacing.

This is exactly how I do it.


The last part about how much string is above the top of the nut - I do not follow that and I do not leave that much string above the top of the nut. When I do it, maybe 50% on the low e and completely below on the high e - otherwise, for me, they are prone to "jump out" of the slot.
Thanks for the information! If the nut is so high above the fretboard though, shouldn't I sand the bottom though? Because if I sand the nut slots down a bit (which I will do of course) they will be good, the strings will hopefully be fine, but the nut itself will still be high up the fretboard-- maybe I should sand the completely the top so that it's lower (this shouldn't affect the nut slot).
 

David Meiland

Tele-Meister
Silver Supporter
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Posts
278
Location
Friday Harbor, Washington
Nut files and abrasive cord to get the width and depth of the slots right, and a file and sandpaper to knock the top of the nut down to the right height once you've done the slots. The nut is on the neck now so I would get the slots done, stringing the guitar up and playing it to make sure you're there. I would probably take the nut off to work the top, to avoid having to worry about damaging the neck. Gluing the nut back on takes very little time. It's easy to make a great nut if you have the few needed tools and you go slow and steady.
 

Peegoo

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Posts
12,524
Location
Beast of Bourbon
the height of the nut does not matter when installing it. The critical dimension is the distance between the strings and the first fret, which should be in the neighborhood of .018" to .021" or so. This is achieved by filing the nut slots to the proper depth in the nut. This is called nut action.

After you get the nut action dialed in, that's when you carefully plane off the top of the nut, shape it smoothly, and polish it.
 

Tele-Meister

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jun 28, 2021
Posts
264
Location
To'hajiilee Desert
Thanks both of you, I will keep this in mind when I get to the nut. But now this little beautiful neck over here got himself in trouble once again-- I'm trying to install Fender locking tuners, and I can't just drop them in because the Fenders have little "feet".

IMG_2428.jpg


But I already knew about this, in fact I did it for my raw wood neck that I own two years ago:
IMG_2429.jpg

I removed a few tuners to see what I did, and I vaguely remember drilling two tiny holes so the feet could fit (yeah I'm just calling them that now). It dropped in so nicely. NOT FOR MY FRIEND"S GUITAR NECK THOUGH! I drilled the two holes, but the tuner did not fit flush to the headstock. It just didn't want to fit in-- I had to bang it in and then screw the tuner very hard and now it's finally parallel to the headstock.

Did anyone do this before? Is there a better way? Thank you!
 

somebodyelseuk

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Posts
490
Age
55
Location
Birmingham UK
It looks, to me, like the slot the nut sits in hasn't been routed deep enough. I have reservations about whether that nut will start moving once it's strung up and being played.
 

Fenderbaum

Tele-Meister
Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Posts
292
Age
40
Location
Bergen, Norway
Thanks both of you, I will keep this in mind when I get to the nut. But now this little beautiful neck over here got himself in trouble once again-- I'm trying to install Fender locking tuners, and I can't just drop them in because the Fenders have little "feet".

View attachment 944546

But I already knew about this, in fact I did it for my raw wood neck that I own two years ago:
View attachment 944547
I removed a few tuners to see what I did, and I vaguely remember drilling two tiny holes so the feet could fit (yeah I'm just calling them that now). It dropped in so nicely. NOT FOR MY FRIEND"S GUITAR NECK THOUGH! I drilled the two holes, but the tuner did not fit flush to the headstock. It just didn't want to fit in-- I had to bang it in and then screw the tuner very hard and now it's finally parallel to the headstock.

Did anyone do this before? Is there a better way? Thank you!
Stew mac has a bracket for this to hole them up. The quick way is just drop them in. Align them and give them a good push so the 2 studs leave a slight impression in the wood.
Then drill it. Just gotta use correct drill.
 




Top