Nut file size

thegaijin

Tele-Holic
Joined
Oct 2, 2012
Posts
528
Location
Tokyo
Hi. Hope everyone is well.
A quick question. Would these nut files be suitable for the string gauges below? They sell a smaller set for 10’s too but these are the closest I can find for 11’s or 12’s

File Thickness: 0.012, 0.016, 0.024, 0.032, 0.042, 0.053

String gauges: 0.011. 0.015. 0.022. 0.030. 0.040. 0.050

91F84CCE-8B68-448B-954F-8B95A36CB382.jpeg
 

Peegoo

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Posts
13,410
Location
Beast of Bourbon
Hi. Hope everyone is well.
A quick question. Would these nut files be suitable for the string gauges below?

Those will work perfectly, and are versatile; they can cover a range of string gauges.

As you gain practice with them, you'll learn how to tilt the file sideways to open up the slot a few thou' more for a larger string than the file is gauged for.
 

Cjteleforum

Tele-Meister
Joined
Sep 8, 2021
Posts
127
Location
USA
I have an 8 file set from that company, and made nuts for a couple of guitars for the first time. They work great. I wonder if the arrows indicate that you are only supposed to file in one direction.
 

thegaijin

Tele-Holic
Joined
Oct 2, 2012
Posts
528
Location
Tokyo
Great. Thanks. I just want to shave the tiniest bit off the bottom of the nut slots. Cheaper to get a luthier to do it, but where’s the fun in that :)
 

thegaijin

Tele-Holic
Joined
Oct 2, 2012
Posts
528
Location
Tokyo
Yes, I think it’s to indicate where to hold and which direction to file, although not sure if it means you can file in one direction only. They say on their website that the design is to differentiate their files from cheap knock-offs that were being sold using their name.
Looks like they sell pretty much any size you’d ever need.

 
Last edited:

Cjteleforum

Tele-Meister
Joined
Sep 8, 2021
Posts
127
Location
USA
I also use .011" gauge strings, and the closest in my file set is a .013". I still had to "rock" it a bit to get the string not to bind. You know when the slot is wide enough by pressing the string down behind the nut and seeing if it returns to pitch. I found this video helpful. He's working on a Martin but it still applys.
 

thegaijin

Tele-Holic
Joined
Oct 2, 2012
Posts
528
Location
Tokyo
Thanks for the link. I have noticed since switching to heavier strings that my guitars don’t stay in tune like they used to. I’m not sure if this is due to the crazy humidity where I live or due to the nut slots not being cut to size. All my necks came from Warmoth and all are slightly different depths. At any rate I’ll go at them when the files arrive in a few days. Will let you know how it goes.

One thing I was curious about, and I’m sure I can find the answer in the links and various posts here, but after filing does everyone sandpaper to smooth inside the nut slots?
 

BobWithOneO

TDPRI Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2021
Posts
62
Age
44
Location
Best Carolina
I have the Music Nomad 16pc complete set.

I have cut 50+ nuts in the past year with them and they work great, in a variety of materials. I keep them clean with a brass brush.
 

Boreas

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Posts
9,154
Age
67
Location
Adirondack Coast, NY
Thanks for the link. I have noticed since switching to heavier strings that my guitars don’t stay in tune like they used to. I’m not sure if this is due to the crazy humidity where I live or due to the nut slots not being cut to size. All my necks came from Warmoth and all are slightly different depths. At any rate I’ll go at them when the files arrive in a few days. Will let you know how it goes.

One thing I was curious about, and I’m sure I can find the answer in the links and various posts here, but after filing does everyone sandpaper to smooth inside the nut slots?
I use abrasive cord in several diameters.
 

thegaijin

Tele-Holic
Joined
Oct 2, 2012
Posts
528
Location
Tokyo
Well. Pleased to report that these files worked really well. The high E was touch and go. It was warbling, but I re-did it and after cleaning up and lubing it, it sounds fine. Now that all my nuts are sorted, not sure I’ll ever use these again, but a man can never hoard too many tools. :)

My next job on one nut will be to file down the top. I think it’s way too high. Will do that the next time I change strings. What would you guys use to do this job, Dremel or File?

721FCFB9-2FAC-49AB-A2F1-B41E83D1CEFD.jpeg
C8B4D15A-260E-4FA7-A18B-B3A8A625DB3A.jpeg
62776155-9BF2-4EC9-9542-3D7D48C6B278.jpeg
C31E4A4A-52F3-453D-8974-29CBED627795.jpeg
 
Last edited:

KokoTele

Doctor of Teleocity
Vendor Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Posts
14,798
Age
47
Location
albany, ny [not chicago]
I have an 8 file set from that company, and made nuts for a couple of guitars for the first time. They work great. I wonder if the arrows indicate that you are only supposed to file in one direction.

All files are made to cut only in one direction. They will still remove some material drawing backwards, but it dulls the file a bit faster.
 

thegaijin

Tele-Holic
Joined
Oct 2, 2012
Posts
528
Location
Tokyo
Pants!

I shoulda left well enough alone. I attacked the high e string too hard and now the string touches the fret when pressed down on the 3rd fret. I was trying to widen it a little bit more but I think when I was clean-up sanding, I took some off the bottom.

It sounds “warbly” if i pluck hard, but open chords and normal plucking actually still sound ok so I’ll just leave it.

Just a bit bummed. Oh well, you live, you learn.

I’m forcing myself off my teles for a whole month to give my strat some love. See how it sounds in August :)
 

Freeman Keller

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Posts
9,341
Age
77
Location
Washington
Pants!

I shoulda left well enough alone. I attacked the high e string too hard and now the string touches the fret when pressed down on the 3rd fret. I was trying to widen it a little bit more but I think when I was clean-up sanding, I took some off the bottom.

It sounds “warbly” if i pluck hard, but open chords and normal plucking actually still sound ok so I’ll just leave it.

Just a bit bummed. Oh well, you live, you learn.

I’m forcing myself off my teles for a whole month to give my strat some love. See how it sounds in August :)

Its easy to do and one of the reason commercial guitars almost always have nut action that is a little bit high. I use two tests as I'm filing nut slots - I measure the actual gap between the bottom of the string and the first fret and have target values that I know will work, and I know that if I fret the string at the third fret it will also be "fretted" behind my finger at the second. I want some clearance, even if its a couple of thousands at the first fret.

I've also learned to approach my targets slowly, to stop and play the guitar, and to stop when its good enough.

ps - I've made new nuts too......
 

swarfrat

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jun 20, 2010
Posts
223
Location
US
The files do only cut in one direction. Common wisdom is that going backwards dulls the file. This may or may not be correct and it may depend highly on the material. It can certainly clog the teeth. File steel against bone is likely safe until the cows come home. (Err.. I guess they're not coming home if we're making nuts with their bones). Some machine shop channel set up a test filing steel. Filing tool steel did slightly dull the teeth after an exhaustive test, but they wear out forwards too.
 




Top