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Gibson Les Paul New Nut

July 2010

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1. The Factory Nut on this Gibson Les Paul is worn out. I’ll fabricate a new one from bone. 2. Scoring the Lacquer around the perimeter of the nut will prevent chipping when I lightly tap the nut with a block of wood and mallet.
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3. Large Diaganol Cutters gently extract the nut. 4. Removing the Glue from the nut seat with a sharp chisel.
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5. Flattening the Nut with 80 grit sandpaper on a flat marble slab. This will be the face I glue to the end-grain of the fretboard. 6. Squaring the Blank by holding the flattened face against a square block of steel as I sand the bottom of the nut blank.
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7. Thickness-Sanding the nut with the Luthier’s Friend Sanding Station is a quick affair. I’ll sand out the thickness-sander marks with some 80 grit sandpaper on the marble slab. 8. Finish Sanding the headstock face of the nut with 2000 grit sandpaper gets rid of the 80 grit marks and fine-tunes the fit of the nut against the end-grain of the face-plate.
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9. Flattening the Nut-Seat and squaring it to the end of the fret- board is pretty quick and easy with some 320 grit self-adhesive sand- paper attached to the bottom of the nut. 10. Scribing the contour of the neck onto the pro- truding nut blank.
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11. Shaping the Side of the nut on the disc-sander. Tilting the bed of the disc-sander to 6 degrees allows for more control. 12. Finish Sanding the end of the nut with 2000 grit sandpaper gets rid of the disc-sander marks and fine tunes the fit.
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13. Scribing the Fret Contour onto the fretboard face of the nut. The pencil is cut in half and sanded flat. It is referencing the first two frets as I scribe. 14. Disc-Sanding the top of the nut with the bed angled at 6 degrees. I’ll leave the nut a little proud of the line on the bass-side and just start to sand into the line on the treble-side.
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15. Profiling the Top of the Nut with 80 grit self-adhesive sandpaper attached to a paint stirring stick. I’ll leave a little plateau of grinder marks. 16. Final Shaping the top of the nut with 180 grit sandpaper wrapped around a cork- lined sanding block. I’ll finish-sand the nut with 2000 grit sandpaper to get rid of the 180 marks.
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17. Rounding Over the top corners of the nut with 2000 grit sandpaper. 18. Polishing the Nut with a small buffing wheel set. Next, I’ll glue the nut in with a couple of drops of tite-bond.
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19. Laying Out the Nut Slots with a string spacing rule after I’ve notched the locations of the E-strings. 20 Slotting the Nut with nut slotting files.
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21. Flossing the Nut with abrasive chord cleans up the nut slots for improved tuning stability. 22. Graphite is a good dry-lubricant for nut slots. This also helps with tuning stability.
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23. A New Bone Nut.