Fix Your Gui­tar

Go­ing nuts: learn how to make your own and what goes into it with our DIY guide

Total Guitar - - CONTENTS - Words: Jack El­lis

Nuts are not as sim­ple as they ap­pear: each one should be made be­spoke for the gui­tar. A bad or worn-out nut can give you an ar­ray of symp­toms: poor tun­ing, ac­tion and in­to­na­tion. Some­times, it’s been bad since the day it was made!

Bone is a tra­di­tional ma­te­rial that ma­chines well and has the great ad­van­tage of be­ing por­ous, mean­ing tun­ing lu­bri­cant is ab­sorbed per­ma­nently. It’s also the right amount of tough and it won’t wear out pre­ma­turely from tun­ing and do­ing tremolo dive bombs.

You’ll need some spe­cial­ist files for this job – there’s no way around it – but most of the other tools are com­mon­place. We reg­u­larly use the Ste­wart Mac­don­ald dou­ble-edged gauged nut files. Re­mem­ber, hav­ing the right tools isn’t ev­ery­thing: they still re­quire skil­ful use.

We’ve not yet found a pre-made nut that’s ready to fit with no ad­just­ment. Spend time mak­ing yours and you’ll see the ben­e­fits of this small, in­con­spic­u­ous part!

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