MIM Squire with an off-center locking nut. QC?

Medeltids

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Note: Repost from Tele DIY.

So I gave this MIM 1989 Squire Strat with a Floyd Rose II double locking trem to my brother about 20 years ago. He recently gave it back. I never noticed how poorly the nut was installed...or how shi++y the frets were/are and several other issues. I was an acoustic guy back then and really didn’t play this thing much. Simply not savvy enough to recognize the issues. Bro almost never played it so there it sat for many, many years.
Overall, it’s in great shape...except for the parts that aren’t.

I got this guitar home and tore into it. One to the trem posts was loose, action was horrible, intonation way off, and the frets looked like someone set the action by filing the frets down! Really low on the bass side, all scratched with file marks, and nearly full height on the high e side. Level, crown, and polish was not an option.

So I did my first refret. Turned out great...I’ve built many necks so not an unfamiliar process. Gave me a chance to try dressing the fret ends “hemispherical”.

Tedious and time consuming but I attribute that to the learning curve. For my first refret I’m happy with the results.

image.jpg



On to the nut. Looks like a really bad QC day in Mexico. The locking nut is shifted in the slot toward the low E by about 1/16”ish. Here’s some pics:

CB2493B6-190C-4E7D-AD45-A83B46B68E79.jpeg



60D9D745-2871-4467-AB39-EA56B7506941.jpeg


ED00ED68-7135-465F-91D4-6CCB2DBF9F0A.jpeg


The mounting holes are spot on even on either side of the trussrod route so it looks like the neck was carved wrong. Plugging and relocating the holes won’t work as one of them would then encroach into the trussrod access.

My question: How would you correct this? Will a regular bone nut work? I am not normally a trem guy (this one is blocked) so that was my first thought...replace with a standard nut to get strings located on the fretboard correctly, keep the term blocked, and life will be happy.

Now, the flip side is to keep a locking nut on there, unblock the trem, and come up with a solution for the misalignment. Even though I don’t use trem equipped guitars very much, I’m thinking this one I’d use...if the nut weren’t so wonky.

All input is welcome.

Thanks.!
Jeffro
 

rojo412

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I was working on an Ibanez from about the same era and the guy wanted all of the trem/locking nut replaced. Well, the new setup didn't line up at all, as it was going from MIK Ibanez parts to MIJ Gotoh parts.
The new locking nut actually used screws to mount from the top now, too, so the rear mount ones were kinda useless.

NOTE: He wanted the job done and working, but wasn't gonna pay me to make it look "perfect". Plus, it was a cheapo guitar anyway, so it was not worth full restore levels.

- I drilled the back holes out slightly, so I could plug them with dowels I'd cut with a plug cutter. Glued those in, sanded them down, then added some finish to seal it up. Not super beautiful, but functional.
- Filled the upper holes with smaller wood material, glued those in, then sanded them flush and mounted the new nut properly with the wood screws going in from the top.

It was a relative hack job, I suppose, but it worked. It was easier than trying to fully plug and restore the holes drilled from factory. And while maybe cutting a new nut, as well as a possible "backing piece" to cover the wider flat area could have been possible, he was replacing the locking nut with another locking nut, so I didn't explore that option myself.

Depending on what your desired results might be, you could possibly slightly widen the existing holes in the neck to where you could move the nut over and clamp it down in the center. If that doesn't quite cut it, the method above could be plan B.

Or, just get rid of the screws from the back and glue the locking nut down where it needs to go. It would be a really cheesy fix, but near free and possibly effective.
 

Fretting out

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Looks like the old style Where it mounts from the back (bolts through the neck)

If so maybe plug the holes and get a new one that mounts from the front with two small screws and it may line up?
 

Medeltids

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@rojo412 thanks for the suggestions. I may just put a regular bone nut in there and fill the flat “shelf” with a backing piece of rosewood.

I don’t think widening the holes would work. The nut is quite a ways off. Don’t want to get into the truss rod access route.

@Fretting out you are correct, this particular nut bolts from the back. I do like your suggestion - that is, fill the holes and get a nut that mounts from the top. Thanks!


Jeff
 




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