Two tips for filing string slots at the nut

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Issue 233 January 01, 2015

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.

About the guitar in this video: This old May Bell guitar has a “mother of toilet seat” pickguard and fingerboard. This model was made by Regal in 1935 and distributed by Slingerland. In the case with it was a metal raised nut to be placed over the string nut, presumably for playing Hawaiian lap-steel style.

In this Trade Secrets video:
  • Problem 1: the strings are too high
  • Problem 2: the string slots aren’t filed properly
  • Setting the “take off point” for each string
  • Removing the nut for filing

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