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Nut thickness slot to big

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Blaoskaak, Jan 15, 2021.

  1. Blaoskaak

    Blaoskaak TDPRI Member

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    Hi,

    I am building a neck and i accidently saw the slot width 4mm. Is the fretboard now ruined or can i place a 4mm nut?


    Edit: i only saw the side of the nut. So i still have to remove the inside. Can i fill the saw cut with something and then make a new saw cut

    The neck is maple.

    Thanks,
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
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  2. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    I would think you would be OK if you have enough bridge saddle adjustment to make intonation work. The distance from the 12th fret to the nut needs to be the same as the 12th fret to the saddle. So if your original intent was to have a 25.5 scale length, you may end up with more of a 25.25 scale length.
     
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  3. ale.istotle

    ale.istotle Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Sorry to hear of your building challenge. Anyone who has tried to build has had to correct an error or two.
    If you cut too wide on the headstock side you can fit in a wider nut no problem. If you cut too wide on the fingerboard side it will impact the intonation so you'll need to piece in some maple.
    What is the distance from the 12th fret to the nut slot?
    Pictures with a ruler may be helpful.
     
  4. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    A really simple but effective fix is to glue a, oversized strip of wood veneer into the back of the nut slot to reduce the nut slot's width.

    Getting a perfect fit isn't critical because once the glue sets, you trim/sand the ends and top of the veneer to match the wood on the fretboard.
     
  5. Blaoskaak

    Blaoskaak TDPRI Member

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    Thanks everyone for the reply's.

    The slot is too wide on the headstock side, so i'll be fine then?
     
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  6. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    You can buy a thicker nut, or put a shim/filler in there.
     
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  7. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    If you were shooting for 3.1mm and sawed to 4.0mm, unless your saddles do not adjust fore/aft, you should have plenty of play in the saddles. That is if I understand you correctly.

    Also, most replacement nuts are too thick intentionally. You may not even have to cut one from a thicker blank.
     
  8. Blaoskaak

    Blaoskaak TDPRI Member

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    Ok great! Thanks everyone! The depth i saw 2.5mm is that deep enough? Can't find it on the internet.
     
  9. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I think if you can make a neck you can make a thicker nut.
     
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  10. Blaoskaak

    Blaoskaak TDPRI Member

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    Ok great! Thanks everyone! The depth i saw 2.5mm is that deep enough? Can't find it on the internet.
     
  11. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    A good rule of thumb would be as deep as it is wide, but in your case I would probably stop where you are or go to 3mm deep. Too deep and they can be hard to remove. Is it flat or radiused? What you DON'T want is for it to have any tendency to rock.
     
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  12. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would think that if you've just sawed one of the two slots and you haven't chiseled out the material in the middle that you could create a slurry out of glue and wood dust to fill the slot and start over another day. I don't think the slot will be affected by lateral forces once its dried (it's on the headstock side, right?) and I'd imagine it will finish out just fine or at least be in a discreet place.

    Of course you can make a nut for that width too, but then you will always require a special nut for your guitar. Maybe it's not a problem.
     
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  13. ale.istotle

    ale.istotle Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I just measured mine - 3mm from base of the nut to the face of the fretboard.
     
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  14. Blaoskaak

    Blaoskaak TDPRI Member

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    Allright! Thank you. The nut is radiused.


    Yes, you are right. I sawed the 2 slots and the one on the headstock side is too wide. I haven't shiseled it out jet.

    If filling with glue and sawdust is an option i'll do that. It doens't feel right to set in a thicker one. The right with is 3mm right? Does the glue with saw dust doesn't affect tone?


    And when i mix the sawdust with the glue, what are the proportions? I never done it before. I don't want that the mixed glue and wood fall out when i re-saw the slot:p

    Thanks! You helped me alot.

    Edit: can i fill a 0.5mm slot?
     
  15. ale.istotle

    ale.istotle Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    You should be able to fill it. Regarding the width, measure your nut blank or compare it with the slots as you have cut them to see how much difference there is. I just measure mine - think it's tusq - it's 3.65mm so you may not have much gap as your neck is currently cut.

    If you do fill - I haven't done it myself, but I think others fill the slot with sawdust then soak it with very thin cyanoacrylate glue (super glue), then scrape or sand the top. You should also tape the ends of the slots so the glue stays in.
     
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  16. Blaoskaak

    Blaoskaak TDPRI Member

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    Ok thanks for the explanation. I'll think about what i'll do. 0.4 bigger isn't a huge diffrence too.
     
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  17. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    You certainly can use a thicker nut. You're not going to alter anything as long as the nut slots are properly cut.

    Some may argue that a slightly thicker nut will affect tuning stability due to increased friction created by a greater length of string contact in the nut slot. In reality, however, the extended string contact means less downforce than what you'd have with a 'normal' thinner nut; the force is spread out. It's a wash, really. I've done this on several builds that have Fender-style necks and they all work perfectly well.

    Consider how just about every acoustic guitar has a fat nut. Other electric makers like Gibson and PRS use acoustic-style nuts too.
     
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  18. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    I don't like to go too deep because that's right at one of the most fragile places in a neck ... even a Fender. The cool thing about nuts is that the strings hold it down tight, so you can string the guitar before you glue the nut and take measurements before committing to adhesives.
     
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  19. Blaoskaak

    Blaoskaak TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for your input! I can always create a little facette on the side of the headstock to make the contact smaller. That should work too.

    Thanks didn't knew that. This is my first build. Learning things everyday!
     
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  20. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    If you go this route, make sure you tamp the sawdust into the crack as to avoid any gaps or voids. Then saturate with THIN CA. Don't do this too slowly or the CA may not get to the bottom of the slot before it cures.

    Keep in mind, CA can be thinned/released with acetone (nail polish remover) if you get it slopped over everything. But best to avoid that in the first place. Watch out for the fumes - it may smoke a little... Don't want that in your eyes, so wear protection and preferably do it in an area with decent ventilation.
     
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