Guitars are gear too!

---The Thom Chandler Memorial Forum
Archived for your use & enjoyment.

Postby oddioguy » Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:24 pm

In all likelyhood, I will end up destroying the nut when I remove it to do the fret work. Sure, I could leave it alone, but:
a) it's easier with it out of the way
b) I'd rather replace it with a custom made nut anyway

This is a bit more advanced as it requires some dedicated tools, so...
Tools for making a new nut:
1) A new nut blank - I am using one from Graphtech
2) New string trees - Sure, nothing to do with the nut "per se", but if I'm going to use Graphtech nuts, I may as well use Graphtech string trees.
3) Dial caliper (not shown) - To lay out the string spacing. Don't rely on copying the factory nut.
4) Nut Files - Guaged to match the strings. Nothing worse than a loose slut...er....slot.
5) Miscellaneous files and sandpaper (not shown) - For shaping the new nut.
6) Rum & Coke - Highly recommended.

Image
Last edited by oddioguy on Sat Jan 13, 2007 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby oddioguy » Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:36 pm

String trees installed. If I was really anal about it, I would have cut the height of the right tree down so as to match the string break angle of the left tree. Fuck it...this job is a freebee. :-)

Image
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby oddioguy » Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:42 pm

Well, the old nut came out in one piece. This could be because:
a) It was not glued as well as previous ones were.
b) I may have used a hammer on a previous one.

Image
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby oddioguy » Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:49 pm

However....
A closer inspection revealed the true culprit: A nut slot that was not milled flat along the bottom. Glue never touched the bottom of the nut, and the nut only touched the neck at either side. This would affect tone, so more work for yours truly as I will have to rectify the situation.

Image
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby oddioguy » Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:39 pm

Having removed the strings, and therefore the pull that they in turn exerted on the neck, I am faced with the neck now having a slightly convex bow.
Because I do not have fancy neck tension jigs and such, my answer is to relax the truss rod until my straight edge indicates that the neck is a straight as I can make it. At this point, the 2nd fret revealed itself to be highest, while the 7th fret was lowest. This is the reason why I am here....to make them all exactly the same height.
There is a second issue, called "fall away", to be addressed above the 12th fret, but I will tackle that shortly.
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby oddioguy » Sun Jan 07, 2007 5:00 pm

I have started the levelling process.
Smooth strokes of the file in one direction is the key to good results. Very little pressure is needed. Let the file do the work.
Here you can see the centre on the 7th fret (at the tip of the file tang) is untouched. Perhaps marred during installation, it is the fret identified earlier as being the lowest.

Image

Here are the 6th and 7th for comparison. The 7th is barely touched on the outer edges, and not at all in the centre, while the 6th has had its crown completely removed.

Image
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby oddioguy » Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:11 pm

Levelling is done. Here you can see the flat wide tops of the frets left by the levelling file. These need to be re-crowned now.

Image
Last edited by oddioguy on Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby oddioguy » Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:12 pm

For the re-crowning process, the bulk of the work will be done by the crowning file...

Image
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby oddioguy » Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:16 pm

A strip of painters tape on each side of the fret to be worked on. I discovered that the cameras' auto-focus doesn't particularly like green when in macro mode. Don't know why. It was hard to get the focus to settle in for a decent pic.
Anywhooo...
The re-crowning is started here. The wide flat area on top of this fret, seen 2 posts previous, is significantly narrower with a few passes of the crowning file.

Image
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby oddioguy » Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:58 am

It's important to make the flattened area on top of the fret as narrow and centered as possible. Assuming that the frets were placed acurately, this helps the guitar play in tune when you are finished. A wide flat top on the frets moves the contact point between fret and string up the neck ever so slightly, making that particular note sound sharp. Again, this sharpness would be more pronounced the higher up the neck the flat fret occurs.
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby oddioguy » Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:03 am

I was going to post a pic of the frets after touching up with the 3 corner file, but the difference is negligable. The crowning file does 90% of the work, and most poeple would be satisfied with the results it produces. I have started the wet-sanding and will have a pic or two up shortly, along with a description of that process.
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby oddioguy » Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:57 am

Pretty slack in the ol' posting department lately. Just a lack of free time to get this stuff uploaded. But you're not here to read my bitching....

Here is a fret after the wet sanding process. I have been using 800 grit wet/dry aluminum oxide paper from 3M. This is the type you are more likely to find at an auto parts store.

Image

All the file marks have been removed by this process, but the fret is yet to be polished.
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby oddioguy » Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:00 am

Polishing is done with 0000 steel wool. It goes fairly quickly, and if you have done a thorough job with the sandpaper previously, you will end up with a nice shiny finished fret. If you did not do a thorough sanding job, the polishing stage will show up any remaining file marks.
Last edited by oddioguy on Sun Apr 15, 2007 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby oddioguy » Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:07 am

Time to make the new nut.
Using the old nut as a general guide, I trimmed the ne nut to length.

Image

From there I layed out the string spacing with a digital caliper. Traditionally, sting spacing is layed out equidistant from center to center. Recently there has been a trend toward keeping the spacing equal between the EDGES of the strings, thus keeping the SPACES the same size even as the strings get larger from high to low. I still prefer the old way as I have been using it since I started playing 37 years ago. Old dog syndrome I guess...
Here is the new nut marked for string slots, with 3 of them started...

Image
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby oddioguy » Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:13 am

At this point I did two things....
1) I guestimated, shimmed, and reattached the neck
2) I restrung the guitar to get a feel for slot depth on the new nut.

I prefer to file the nut slots with the nut in place so that I can achieve the correct angles. Slots should be filed on the same plane as the sting will follow.

Image
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby oddioguy » Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:15 am

It's pretty obvious that I have a lot more filing to do. Strings are almost a full .125" off the 1st fret...

Image
Last edited by oddioguy on Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby oddioguy » Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:18 am

The result....
Strings are now nominally .015" off the first fret. I will probably lower them still further to .010".
But...as you can see, I am back to the original lament about the slots being too deep. That will be corrected shortly.

Image
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby oddioguy » Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:22 am

Since I had only guesstimated at the amount of shimming required when I reattached the neck, I am now paying the price. Although string height at the 22nd fret is great....

Image

...there is not enough angle yet to allow me to raise the saddles and eliminate those annoying adjustment screws....

Image
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby Alain Benoit » Wed May 09, 2007 11:58 am

Is it ready yet?
www.fluidaudiogroup.com

"No one has time to do it right, but we all seem to have time to do it twice."
User avatar
Alain Benoit
Self Biased Resistor
 
Posts: 1321
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:21 am
Location: Canada

Postby oddioguy » Wed May 09, 2007 12:29 pm

U1176 wrote:Is it ready yet?

I guess I got a bit side-tracked.
*gee, that's never happened before* Image

I'll finish it this weekend. Just needs more neck shimming, and a bit of set up.
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby oddioguy » Mon May 14, 2007 5:50 am

...and I am done!

New nut....
Image

Re-shimmed neck...
Image

Image

Re-set the relief on the neck, and everything feels good.

Although it still could benefit from good tuners, we now have a $150.00 Chinese Stratstyle guitar that plays like a $1000.00 instrument.
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby oddioguy » Fri May 25, 2007 12:32 pm

oddioguy wrote:Oh yeah....and here's a teaser for this spring.
I have an Ovation Celebrity which is going to have its plywood top replaced with a solid spruce top.
I am aiming at March for this particular project.

Once again, "The best laid plans...."
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby Jef » Mon May 28, 2007 10:16 am

oddioguy wrote:I have an Ovation Celebrity which is going to have its plywood top replaced with a solid spruce top.


Why?
"I did what any good producer would do. I rolled a fatty." - Mixerman -
User avatar
Jef
Gold Member
 
Posts: 584
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:00 am

Postby oddioguy » Mon May 28, 2007 11:07 am

Jef wrote:
oddioguy wrote:I have an Ovation Celebrity which is going to have its plywood top replaced with a solid spruce top.


Why?

Plywood top blows. No sensitivity, unresponsive, lacks tone. The list could go on, but those are the main reasons.
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby Jef » Tue May 29, 2007 8:14 am

no... I mean why on an Ovation (plastic) guitar? Would it make that much of a difference when the acoustic tone of the instrument isn't all that important. From my experience with those type of instruments, they don't sound all that good when unplugged. All their tone comes from being plugged in. Wouldn't it stand to reason that to improve on the tone of it, you would look into the electronics end of it?
"I did what any good producer would do. I rolled a fatty." - Mixerman -
User avatar
Jef
Gold Member
 
Posts: 584
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:00 am

PreviousNext

Return to The Original Gear: Maintenance, Repair and Modification

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron