A gorgeous black brand new Les Paul Standard was bought in to be set up. The owner was very aware that there was a serious problem with the instrument; the strings refused to stay in the nut slots under even gentle string bending & the G wouldn’t remain in position at all. When examined it was apparent that the nut was already too low to allow it to accept deeper slots & that it would have to be replaced.
After setting the neck relief & the twelfth fret action, the first step is to remove the original nut. The lacquer overlapping the nut material is carefully separated at the joining edges and then the nut can be gently tapped free.
The slot is then carefully cleared of residual glue & lacquer to provide a fresh setting for the new nut.
A bone nut blank is selected that is as close to the required sizes as possible. The faces of the blank that bear against the bottom of the slot & the end of the fingerboard must be made perfectly flat. The thickness is then adjusted to enable the nut to fit snugly into its slot without requiring force to seat it.
The nut blank is then cut & filed to match the fingerboard width.
The top surface is roughly shaped to give a curve matching the fingerboard camber. This is not the final form of the top; it just makes it easier to file the slots. The slot positions are very carefully marked & an initial groove for each string is filed into the bone. These are cut at a similar angle to the headstock, just deep enough to securely locate each string. The guitar can now be strung up & tuned. The first fret action at this point remains very high. This allows fine tuning of the string spacing if necessary. It’s also important to note that you can always take some off, but you can’t put it back!
Each slot is then individually deepened until the required action is achieved.
The final shaping of the nut can then be completed. My preference is to angle the top slightly & blend in a radius on the leading edge. The end corners are also curved to soften the sharp edges. The nut is finally sanded & smoothed, taking care not to alter the areas that control the fit in the neck slot.
String pressure is enough to keep a well fitted nut in place but they are usually insured against slippage by a couple of spots of glue.
Finally reassembled & fitted with new strings, the guitar now plays as beautifully as it sounds.
A bone nut cut by hand with precision can enhance your tone & improve sustain, not to mention improve your tuning stability!
Call Richard on 01789 26 33 33 to book your guitar in to our workshop.
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Richards Guitars, 5 Tiddington Road, Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 7AE
01789 26 33 33
Richards Guitars, 5 Tiddington Road, Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 7AE. Tel: 01789 263333
We welcome players from all over the World to consult with Richard directly via live help, allowing Richard to help you find the right guitar and ensure it is set up to your personal playing specification.
For FREE we provide...
fanatical quality control
personalised setup service by our highly experienced guitar tech who has worked with Richard for over 15 years
Richard play tests your guitar pre delivery to ensure it meets the specification
6 and 12 month check/reset
Online support most hours via chat (provided by Richard who has specialised in guitar consultancy for 21 years)
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To ensure anyone can benefit from this highly personalized service we subsidize the delivery costs from our pocket - not yours, resulting in the following delivery charges*
Any delivery to Western Europe £15.
Eastern Europe £25
Every guitar is packed personally by Richard. We purchase especially strengthened outer cartons and pack each guitar in a way that guarantees the guitar will come out the box as it went in - perfect.
If you bought your guitar from an alternate source it would cost you at least £50 to have it play to the standard that we set our guitars AS standard.
Why would you want to buy from a faceless online store if you can buy from someone who values every customer and their personal needs?
I do hope we can help you further as we provide the service you wish you could find locally!