How bad did I screw this up?

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Bigmuff, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. Bigmuff

    Bigmuff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,803
    Likes Received:
    1,106
    Location:
    Seattle Area
    This is my 'project' SG. It needed a new nut, as the previous owner had somehow gouged it badly, and the open D string was sitting on the first fret. With some difficulty I removed the old one. I've never done this before, so it was a bit sloppy. Took some finish off with it, despite carefully trimming around the nut with a razor. I installed a tusq nut on there, and now it looks like this (grainy cell phone pic):

    [​IMG]

    Too hideous to look at or decent for a first attempt? :ugh:

    I still feel I'm getting a bit of string binding on the new nut. I haven't yet decided if I need to widen the grooves, or if it's because I'm currently tuned to drop C and the strings don't have much tension on them (10s).

    Thoughts? Advice?
     
  2. BlackSG91

    BlackSG91 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Messages:
    5,313
    Likes Received:
    4,062
    Location:
    Inside Ming Ming's Magic Stink Box
    I've put a new black TUSQ nut on my black '06 Epiphone LP Standard. It sure was a quite an improvement in sound and it also spread out the string spacing better.;) You can use wood filler to fill in that spot, let it dry and file it to shape. Then you can touch it up with some paint. Get some small special files like I have and you can take away any burs on the nut.;)
     
  3. dreyn77

    dreyn77 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2012
    Messages:
    12,559
    Likes Received:
    2,859
    No no don't listen to this guy! I'VE put a black TUSQ not on MY black 06 Epiphone LP standard.
    NO i didn't!
    Yes you did!
    NO I DIDN't!
    yes you did!

    anyway, follow what black SG said!

    It looks shocking! if its cracked, superglue then filler then paint then let dry one month then ultra fine sand. 1000, 2000, 3000 grit with wooden block behind sandpaper.
    bone is the best nut because you can put a hot iron on it and heat it up and the glue comes off and the paint is less likely to crack/chip.
     
    BlackSG91 likes this.
  4. MaxFrames

    MaxFrames Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,176
    Likes Received:
    672
    Er... the closeup picture actually gave me the heebie jeebies, to be honest.
    But, if this is just an experiment, I guess the next one will be better?
     
    MonstersOfTheMidway likes this.
  5. Bigmuff

    Bigmuff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,803
    Likes Received:
    1,106
    Location:
    Seattle Area
    Thanks for the honesty. It IS pretty ugly. But it's just superficial. I think some wood filler would make it less obvious. It was $10 to do it myself and maybe learn something, or $60 to have a professional do it and learn nothing.
     
    alhayesmusic likes this.
  6. 33KHD

    33KHD Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,369
    Likes Received:
    1,167
    Location:
    Ontario
    I was in the same boat with an Epi LP.

    I must have gotten lucky....it didn't turn out quite the way yours did. You said it was a project so consider it "experience"!
     
  7. scat7s

    scat7s New Member VIP Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Messages:
    13,867
    Likes Received:
    7,291
    next time, a sharp blow with a steel punch or even a screwdriver blade will pop the nut out in one clean piece most of the time. hit it right on the side like you have shown in the pic. prying it out is unnecessary.

    ps who cares what it looks like. functionality is all that matters ultimately.
     
  8. 33KHD

    33KHD Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,369
    Likes Received:
    1,167
    Location:
    Ontario
    To try and be helpful...

    I used a hobby size X-acto knife. Maybe the pointed, smaller blade is the trick for getting in tight to make the score.
     
  9. Bigmuff

    Bigmuff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,803
    Likes Received:
    1,106
    Location:
    Seattle Area

    This is exactly what I did. The bastard wouldn't budge. I had to hit it upwards of a dozen times. I slipped once and hit the edge of the fretboard with the screwdriver. That's what made that ugly gouge.
     
    scat7s likes this.
  10. scat7s

    scat7s New Member VIP Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Messages:
    13,867
    Likes Received:
    7,291
    try a punch next time. hit it from one side, then the other until she breaks loose.
     
  11. Cadblaster

    Cadblaster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2012
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    252
    Sacrifice the Nut !
    I find it a lot easier to cut the nut up with a dremel cut-off wheel or notch it with a saw before trying to remove it. Comes out a lot easier and less damage.
     
  12. Bigmuff

    Bigmuff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,803
    Likes Received:
    1,106
    Location:
    Seattle Area
    Here's my attempt at fixing it. Less hideous, I think. Though definitely not quite pro level...

    Wood filler and... nail polish. Carefully applied.

    [​IMG]
     
    4STICKS, DirtySteve, LAARS and 4 others like this.
  13. scat7s

    scat7s New Member VIP Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Messages:
    13,867
    Likes Received:
    7,291
    looks fine muff.
     
  14. S.A.T.O.

    S.A.T.O. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    1,424
    Likes Received:
    972
    Looks a lot better
     
  15. Bigsnaketex

    Bigsnaketex New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2014
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    South Mississippi
    When filling gouges, the best procedure is to mix CA (super glue) with wood dust. Take a piece of wood roughly the same shade and sand it until you get a nice pile of sanding snow, mix it with the CA and fill in the gouge. . . .let it dry for a day and then sand away.

    And in future nut removals, just score it like you did and take a punch and place it on the outside of the big E string and whack it one good time - it helps to have one person holding the guitar while you fiddle with the punch on the nut.

    Working on your own guitars is an essential skill if you're gonna be a playa!!
     
  16. dreyn77

    dreyn77 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2012
    Messages:
    12,559
    Likes Received:
    2,859
    If you're a furniture restorer your screwdrive is acuritely sharpened to precisely fit into a particular screw slot.

    a tap with a hammer on a very sharp thin chisel would have not only cut the super thick epiphone finish but lifted the nut in one motion.
    2 upright cuts on the side of the nut first also.
     
  17. BlackSG91

    BlackSG91 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Messages:
    5,313
    Likes Received:
    4,062
    Location:
    Inside Ming Ming's Magic Stink Box
    It looks pretty good right now...it's not perfect, but much better than before. Besides it's in a conspicuous place where no one hardly looks compared to the top of the guitar or more visible areas. For any future nut replacements, take your time and plan ahead what you are going to do, then everything will work out fine & dandy.;)
     
  18. blackone

    blackone Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,525
    Likes Received:
    831
    Depending on the finish you can't just knock em out. It works with nitro, but sometimes not with other plastic type finishes.looks good now though, I would have left it if it plays nice, but good good you, now build yourself a guitar
     
  19. jvm210guy

    jvm210guy New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    3,818
    Likes Received:
    1,677
    Location:
    Chicago, home of the blues...
    I'd rather pay 60 dollars and learn nothing. Mind you, I don't care if my guitars get roughed up, but I won't purposely wreck my gear either.

    I guess my point is, a good/reputable tech will do it cleaner and also properly set the nut for intonation and spacing.

    What did you learn though?
     
  20. Bigmuff

    Bigmuff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,803
    Likes Received:
    1,106
    Location:
    Seattle Area
    The guitar is not 'wrecked'. It looks fine, plays fine, and the intonation is as perfect as I've ever gotten it. The nut was pre-cut, and the spacing is good. All I really did was sand the bottom to get it the height right. No problems there.


    I learned that Gibson puts on a bit too much glue to hold the nut on, and then gets the finish all over it. If it wasn't for that, this would have been as easy as changing a light bulb.

    I learned I need a few additional tools.

    I learned that I can do this myself.

    The experience alone is worth $50 to me, perfect or not.
     
    4STICKS and DirtySteve like this.

Share This Page