How To Slot A Guitar Nut

Many guitarists will eventually want to either modify their current guitar, or build a new one, and one of the things you should know is how to slot a guitar nut. Changing out a worn or broken nut is a great way to better the tone of your guitar, but is a process that takes a lot of precision and patience.

What you will need:

  • Super glue
  • Nut file
  • Ruler (or other measurement instrument)
  • Razor blade
  • Vice grips
  • Nut
  • Small rag
  1. You want to start the process by cleaning out the slot where the nut will be. Since most are put on the guitar using super glue, there is a good chance some will be stuck to the slot, so the best thing to do is to pick it up with your fingers or the box cutter. Take care when doing this not to stab the wood of the slot, the neck, headstock, or any other sensitive area.
  2. Next, you will want to measure the height of the first fret using the ruler. Take note of this height because it is how you will determine the height of the nut.
  3. Now, file down the nut until it is about .03”-.05” higher than the height you took note of earlier. It will benefit you to but the nut in the vice grips to give you easy access to use the file and the ruler. Make sure not to tighten the vice grips around the nut to much, it could possible warp it or break it.
  4. Next, measure the width of the neck. Use the ruler for this step.
  5. Now, file the width of the nut down until it is the same width of the neck. It is important to keep in mind that it is better for the nut to be a little bit bigger than the neck than smaller, to prevent future tone issues because the string slots are too small.
  6. Finally, glue the nut into the slot. Make sure that the nut is in flush with the guitar neck and head stock. Wipe off any excess glue with the rag to keep your guitar looking clean!
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