#1
Okay, so when I was doing some bends behind the nut, a bit broke off of it at the low E string. As such I had to cut another small channel which is much closer to the A string than is comfortable.

I've attempted several times to install a new nut (used a knife to pry out the old one) by gluing it in but every time I do so, the strings are so far down into the nut they bypass it entirely and the first fret becomes my new nut.

While this does have some benefits (strings are extraordinarily bendy and action is very low without fret buzz) the downsides are greater than the upsides (one has to play everything a fret higher, save for open strings) so in a sense it's like E flat only that the strings themselves are in E.

Is there more to it than just gluing in where the old nut was? Am I using the wrong adhesive? (I'm currently using some kind of epoxy resin type thing) These nuts are only a temporary solution - they're made of plastic. I intend to get a bone one in the future but in the mean time my Epiphone is unplayable (well, properly, anyway...)
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What the hell is a G&L.



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Gay & Lesbian I think, the box smelled funny
Greg what did you send me??
#2
Stew-Mac emailed me this awhile ago.

Hm... this isn't going to work...
Here's the text...

Why you might need a new nut
Cracked nut. Poor string spacing. Hollow plastic nut sapping tone. Nut slots are too low, causing fret buzz on open strings. If you’re nervous about replacing the string nut, you’ve got company: customers ask me questions about this all the time. Trust me, making a nut is no big deal.
Click to send this Trade Secret!



Gauged Saws

Removing the old nut

Sawing to remove the old nut
Step 1: Remove the old nut
Okay, let’s get the hardest part over with: if you’ve got a stubborn nut, it’s easy to chip out wood or damage the finish when removing it. Usually you can simply score the lacquer around the nut with an X-Acto knife, then give the nut a very light tap with a hammer to loosen it. Once in a while the lacquer’s way too thick for this, making it necessary to saw through the nut itself to collapse it to avoid any damage.

Cleaning the nut slot
Step 2: Clean the slot
Once you have removed the old nut, clean any old glue or gunk from the slot. Micro chisels are good for this. You want a clean slot so your new nut will seat properly.


Micro Chisels

Leveling the nut slot
If the bottom of the clean slot is uneven, I’ll level it with a nut seating file.

Step 3: Fit the blank
Now let’s fit the nut blank to the slot. You’ll sand it to the right thickness, and it’s important to maintain a square bottom and leading edge for a proper fit against the bottom of the slot and the fretboard. A small belt sander is great for this, but you can get there just fine with some Stikit paper face up on your bench. That’s how I’m thickness sanding here — notice the way I’m using a small square to help me keep every edge true.

The nut blank will be lots taller than needed, so we’ll file it down. Here’s a neat trick I learned from Frank Ford: I’ve sanded a pencil until it’s a half-pencil. By sliding it on the fret tops, the pencil exactly marks the fret heights on the nut.



Essential Nut Making Tool Kit



Mr. Actual Peanut
Filing the nut blank
Use shaping files to bring the height down to just above your pencil line while roughing in the shape of the nut. (Use your old nut as a model.) Leave yourself a little extra height to allow room for correction as you fine-tune the slot positions. You can always file a little deeper, so creep up slowly on your slot depth.

Sanding the nut blank

Using your belt sander speeds things up.




String Spacing Rule




Double-edge Nut Files

Measuring the string spacing

Starting the nut slots

Setting the string spacing

Step 4: File the slots
For good string positioning, mark the location of the two E strings from your old nut on a piece of tape. Match these positions to marks on the string spacing rule, and it will locate the rest of the string slots for you.

Mark the string locations on your nut blank and place it in the slot, held in place with your two E strings.

Cut shallow starter slots to mark each string location. I start with the high E and work my way across the nut. Before cutting the B slot, I’ll double check with the string spacing rule. Cool and careful does it, and I’ve soon got six slots started.

It’s a good idea to choose slotting files in sizes to match your string gauge, or just slightly larger. I cut my own string slots a couple thousandths of an inch oversize, to keep the strings from binding in their slots while I’m tuning or bending strings. Don’t go much beyond this, though; you don’t want sloppy slots.

If you don't have a file to match the string diameter, use a smaller file and rock it side to side to open the slot to the desired size. (For example, a .035" file will cut a .036" slot by moving it around a bit.)

Now your starter slots are cut, and it’s time to lower them. How low should you go? Slot depth is a matter of preference. A player with a light touch can get away with low action at the nut (.010" or lower). I play with a pretty heavy hand, so I like my string action around .017" to .020" at the nut.

Bent string feeler gauge
You can measure the string height above the first fret by making a feeler gauge out of a guitar string. Bend a dogleg in a string of the thickness you like, and drag that between your strings and the first fret. When you’ve reached a snug fit, it’s time to stop filing.

String slotting gauge
If the job requires the ultimate in accuracy, I’ll use this new nut slotting gauge to check each string height, bringing the slot down to its precise position.


Nut Slotting Gauge

Scribing the end of the nut

Shaping the nut
Step 5: Shape and buff
When the nut slots are where you want ’em, strum the guitar for awhile. Wait long enough to make sure it’s playing the way you want it to. Then it’s time to finish the nut. Use a pencil or knife point to mark the width, then trim it to size with a gauged saw.

Use your shaping files to trim off the excess height.

After the final shaping and trimming, use polishing papers to buff the nut to the desired polish.


Nut and Saddle Shaping Files

Polishing the nut

Finished string nut

Step 6: Glue it in
Use just a little bit of Titebond glue to hold the nut in place. This will hold the nut, but it’ll still be easy to remove sometime down the road. String the guitar up to pitch to hold the nut in place while the glue dries. Let it sit several hours to allow for a good cure.

For in-depth nut making details, check out Dan Erlewine’s DVD Nutmaking, Step By Step.

There you go, now you can get back to playing your guitar!

Direct Copy and Paste, sorry for the oddness
#3
Lemme get out my guitar repair book...

Ok. Nut repair. There are twelve steps.

1. Remove the old nut.
2. Clean nut slot of glue and residue and square it up.
3. Choose new nut material and rough-in a blank to fit the cleaned slot.
4. Lay out string spacing.
5. Rough-in approximate string slots.
6. Trim off excess nut material from top as slots get deeper.
7. Lower and shape string slots, moving strings side to side, if needed.
8. Trim off excess nut material, rough edges, and overhang.
9. Final sand and contour the nut's shape.
10. Polish with a soft rag and rubbing compounds (especially the bottoms of the string slots).
11. Final check the string height and shape, and string to pitch.
12. Glue in nut (with strings on, for clamp pressure).

Lemme know if you have any questions. Jus pm me.