Nut Slotting Gauge

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Dan Erlewine uses the Nut Slotting Gauge: the most accurate measure of nut slot depth.

Video Transcription

Dan Erlewine: The Nut Slotting Gauge is the most accurate way to measure the string height over the first fret. There's no misreading the action by eyeballing it or shoving a feeler gauge under there. Eyeballing, it's fine if you're working on your own guitar. But when you're working for paying customers, how do you talk to them about action? It's not good enough to say, "That's pretty low." You need specifics. You want to say, "Okay, right now your strings measure 22 thousandth all the way across the first fret. That's a medium action and you want it lower. We can go there. Let's drop them all by six thousandths; that would give you 16 thousandths across the board." See, this way you and your customer both have a measurement to agree on and to refer to later when the guitar gets picked up or when the customer brings in the next guitar. I'll show you how it works.

How the Nut Slotting Gauge works

The gauge sits over the strings and over the first fret, and if you so much as move the string, the little plunger that runs the dial is going to go up and down. That's how you get the reading. We use it by pressing the string down on both sides of the fret. Here I'm reading 18 thousandths of an inch. That's a medium action and it could go lower, and the gauge will tell me how much lower I'm going when I go back in and file that nut slot. That's why we use this tool is to lower the strings without going too far at the nut. If you're into accuracy and measuring like I am and all the people that I respect in this business, you're going to love this tool.



Dan Erlewine

Guitar Repairman and Builder

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