Learn About Guitar Nut + Saddle Setup + Repair

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Fix a broken nut with baking soda? Trade Secrets! Issue 197 August 15, 2013
Fix a broken nut with baking soda?
"Can a broken nut can be fixed with baking soda and super glue?" Lou, a singer here in Athens, Ohio, brought this question to Dan Erlewine (along with the broken nut on his Yamaha guitar). As it turns out, the answer is yes and no...
Fixing fret buzz: raising the saddles Trade Secrets! Issue 221 July 17, 2014
Fixing fret buzz: raising the saddles
A P-Bass with fret buzz: Dan Erlewine fixes his brother’s bass, and answers the question, “To get rid of this fret buzz, should I adjust the saddles or the truss rod?”
Graph Tech Instructions Product Instructions I-GRAPHTECH
Graph Tech Instructions
Manufacturer's instructions for nut and saddle installation.
How to fit a preshaped nut on a guitar Trade Secrets! Issue 178 November 22, 2012
How to fit a preshaped nut on a guitar
Tips for fitting a shaped and slotted nut. Dan Erlewine tries a preshaped nut in his own Fender Strat: it's so easy "it's almost like cheating!"
How To Install the ZerO Glide Video
How To Install the ZerO Glide
How to install the ZerO Glide Nut in your instrument.
How to make a string nut for the first time Trade Secrets! Issue 63 June 12, 2008
How to make a string nut for the first time
Why you might need a new nut: Cracked nut. Poor string spacing. Hollow plastic nut sapping tone. Nut slots are too low, causing fret buzz on open strings. If you're nervous about replacing the string nut you've got company, and this week Erick Coleman shows that making a nut is no big deal.
Making a Nut, Step-by-Step Product Instructions A-NUTS
Making a Nut, Step-by-Step
Dan Erlewine, of Stewart-MacDonald's R&D Team, walks you through making and installing a new nut.
My guitar's too vintage for club gigs, so I created a backup Trade Secrets! Issue 149 September 29, 2011
My guitar's too vintage for club gigs, so I created a backup
Erick Coleman's 1967 Melody Maker is getting too old and pricey for knockaround club gigs. With some simple mods to an affordable new Gibson, he's made himself a good backup guitar.
Nut Making and Setup Product Instructions I-5350
Nut Making and Setup
How to replace a nut and setup your guitar, with setup specs from different players and factories.
Nut Slotting Gauge Instructions Product Instructions I-2003
Nut Slotting Gauge Instructions
How to determine nut slot depth with the Nut Slotting Gauge.
Plastic nuts are high-speed and low-cost! Trade Secrets! Issue 35 June 21, 2007
Plastic nuts are high-speed and low-cost!
Dan Erlewine races the clock to show that plastic nut installations are quick and profitable!
Putting the new Nut Slotting Gauge to work on a "burn victim" guitar Trade Secrets! Issue 86 April 30, 2009
Putting the new Nut Slotting Gauge to work on a "burn victim" guitar
Dan Erlewine shows a before and after of a 1958 Gibson that's (barely) survived a house fire. It needs a new nut, and he's using the Nut Slotting Gauge to get it right the first time.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Shaping a nut to fit a Fender radiused slot
Online video available
Trade Secrets! Issue 267 July 28, 2016
Shaping a nut to fit a Fender radiused slot
Most Fender nuts have a curve on the bottom, so shaping them for a perfect fit is tricky. It can be the toughest part of making a new nut. Erick Coleman shows you some troubles to avoid, and a neat trick for good results.
Slotted Bone Nuts Sizing Sheet Product Instructions A-SLOTTEDBONENUTS
Slotted Bone Nuts Sizing Sheet
Find the right nut size for your guitar.
String Spacing Rule Instructions Product Instructions I-0673
String Spacing Rule Instructions
The String Spacing Rule locates string positions so that heavier strings get the wider spacing they need.
The best nut-making material: Bone for Tone! Trade Secrets! Issue 42 August 23, 2007
The best nut-making material: Bone for Tone!
Customers ask, "What material makes the best string nut?" Erick Coleman's says it's Bone for Tone.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, The ZerO Glide Replacement Nut System
Online video available
Video
The ZerO Glide Replacement Nut System
Improve your instrument's playability and sound with a ZerO Glide replacement nut. Your open strings will have a stronger, more resonant tone and you'll notice improved tuning stability.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Two tips for filing string slots at the nut
Online video available
Trade Secrets! Issue 233 January 01, 2015
Two tips for filing string slots at the nut
High action and a badly shaped nut: That’s the situation with the nut on this old May Bell guitar. Dan Erlewine lowers the nut slots while also “back filing” the nut so the strings angle down properly to the tuners.
Using Feeler Gauges to Control Nut Slot Depth Product Instructions I-1811
Using Feeler Gauges to Control Nut Slot Depth
How to use feeler gauges to control nut slot depth.
Using the String Spacing Rule for guitars and mandolins Trade Secrets! Issue 28 May 03, 2007
Using the String Spacing Rule for guitars and mandolins
Erick Coleman uses Kevin Ryan's proportional string spacing rule for more jobs than Kevin ever expected: 12-strings, mandolins, bridge saddles... Plus: an explanation of the difference between equal spacing and proportional spacing.