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Break angle --> nut slot wear?

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  • JB_From_Hell
    replied
    Didn’t read all the replies, so this may have been covered, but...

    Put a couple extra wraps on the G. My Tele had a weird sounding open G (no tree), and I went from 3 to 6 wraps and it’s cool now.

    Leave a comment:


  • alex1fly
    replied
    Originally posted by Top-L View Post

    I wasn't thinking its bad for strings, per se.

    The issue I see is that the sludge will inhibit the vibration of the string.

    If a nut slot is wide enough to take multiple gauges of strings, that suggests that there is "open air" between the string and the slot. (Until the string diameter gets large enough that it no longer fits in the slot, at which point it is resting on two points, boths sides of the nut channel.) Sludge like chap stick is just filling the gap between the string and the slot, which could impact how it vibrates.

    Sludge in the nut slot would be like lining the slots with felt or some other non solid material. This could have negative impact on vibration of the string.

    Additionally, sludge could migrate down the string (fingerboard side) which would definitely have an impact on its vibration. And its just messy and will get on your hands.

    This does not discuss the potential for chemical reaction or corrosion, but that is another discussion.


    So while there may be some nuts that you could use chap stick, there might be other situations where it is detrimental. In this case I don't think its safe to say its a good practice. It might work for some person, under some condition.
    This seems to be the culprit. Never used chapstick on a nut before. Pencil lead occasionally. So I got in there and cleaned out all the slots pretty thoroughly with a business card, guitar pick, and microfiber cloth. There was a lot of "gunk" in and on both sides of the nut. Lo and behold, good vibrations were restored.

    Makes some sense. Chapstick is pretty gnarly stuff. And one set of 10s sounded great (pre-chapstick), but the second set in the same size and brand had the muting problem (post-chapstick).

    In fact I rarely use anything in the nut slots. Pencil lead occasionally, but mostly because I "should". And then when I intially put the G string down into the B string's string tree, maybe it pulled the gunky part of the string back enough to let the fresh non-gunked string ring.

    Thanks for helping me solve a problem I created . No new string tree, no more chapstick - unless judiciously applied with a steady hand and a pre-meditated plan.

    Leave a comment:


  • nexion218
    replied
    I'd also say it's a case of poorly cut nut. Also, I wouldn't pull it under the B string's tree. Just think about the G and D tuning issues of some Gibsons due to the sideways pull on the strings!

    Leave a comment:


  • ICTGoober
    replied
    None of this is a substitute for a well cut nut.
    You'll get no argument from me on this statement - which should have been the very first response to OP (by anyone, not just Dave).

    Leave a comment:


  • Mincer
    replied
    Originally posted by ICTGoober View Post
    The trick to using ANY lubrication in a nut slot is use as little as possible. Put it on with the tip of a toothpick. In the 80's I used petroleum jelly mixed with graphite powder. The problem? The graphite powder spreads too much, and you can see the dark color. Once the graphite separates from the petroleum jelly it contaminates the whole area. I switched to Chapstick in the early 90's because it's thicker than petroleum jelly, and doesn't tend to melt all over the area. It works well when used with intelligence, and it's invisible.

    Dave - tell me. WTH do you think Chapstick is bad for strings, but some other product is cool. Got any hard data? Didn't think so.
    You didn't give me a chance to answer. It is bad because it is gummy and stuff sticks to it. The stuff I used is designed to repel dirt, and a lot more slippery than Chap Stick. And it is designed for one purpose, which it does well.

    None of this is a substitute for a well cut nut.

    Leave a comment:


  • Top-L
    replied
    Originally posted by ICTGoober View Post
    The trick to using ANY lubrication in a nut slot is use as little as possible. Put it on with the tip of a toothpick. In the 80's I used petroleum jelly mixed with graphite powder. The problem? The graphite powder spreads too much, and you can see the dark color. Once the graphite separates from the petroleum jelly it contaminates the whole area. I switched to Chapstick in the early 90's because it's thicker than petroleum jelly, and doesn't tend to melt all over the area. It works well when used with intelligence, and it's invisible.

    Dave - tell me. WTH do you think Chapstick is bad for strings, but some other product is cool. Got any hard data? Didn't think so.
    I wasn't thinking its bad for strings, per se.

    The issue I see is that the sludge will inhibit the vibration of the string.

    If a nut slot is wide enough to take multiple gauges of strings, that suggests that there is "open air" between the string and the slot. (Until the string diameter gets large enough that it no longer fits in the slot, at which point it is resting on two points, boths sides of the nut channel.) Sludge like chap stick is just filling the gap between the string and the slot, which could impact how it vibrates.

    Sludge in the nut slot would be like lining the slots with felt or some other non solid material. This could have negative impact on vibration of the string.

    Additionally, sludge could migrate down the string (fingerboard side) which would definitely have an impact on its vibration. And its just messy and will get on your hands.

    This does not discuss the potential for chemical reaction or corrosion, but that is another discussion.


    So while there may be some nuts that you could use chap stick, there might be other situations where it is detrimental. In this case I don't think its safe to say its a good practice. It might work for some person, under some condition.

    Leave a comment:


  • ICTGoober
    replied
    The trick to using ANY lubrication in a nut slot is use as little as possible. Put it on with the tip of a toothpick. In the 80's I used petroleum jelly mixed with graphite powder. The problem? The graphite powder spreads too much, and you can see the dark color. Once the graphite separates from the petroleum jelly it contaminates the whole area. I switched to Chapstick in the early 90's because it's thicker than petroleum jelly, and doesn't tend to melt all over the area. It works well when used with intelligence, and it's invisible.

    Dave - tell me. WTH do you think Chapstick is bad for strings, but some other product is cool. Got any hard data? Didn't think so.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mincer
    replied
    I can't imagine Chap Stick being good for strings at all. I do use graphite or Big Ben's Nut Sauce, though.

    Leave a comment:


  • Top-L
    replied
    Originally posted by alex1fly View Post
    It's just a weird series of events. Factory strings were .09s, no problems. Put on a set of my favorite D'adarrio 10s for three weeks, no problem. Took those strings off to do a little PG work, put on a new set of the same D'adarrio 10s along with some graphite and chapstick in the nut slots, and the issue with the G string arose. So I'm thinking it's either not enough downward pressure (though it's the same amount of wraps, 2ish), too much gunk in the nut slot (though I've tried to clean it out with business cards, strings, and thin picks), or maybe the G string in the second pack is a larger gauge than what was in the first pack (shouldn't be, but this would also explain it). Visually there appears to be wiggle room in the G string slot. Might have try another G string in there just to see what happens, maybe add more wraps to the tuner.

    Any downsides to adding an additional string tree? Might not be the most graceful solution, but it appears that it would solve the problem.
    Ive not heard of putting that sludge in the slot. Just graphite.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bogner
    replied
    Don't use chap stick in nut slots. Big Bends nut sauce or pencil if you have to.

    Clean out the slot, take some very fine sand paper and very lightly sand each wall of the string in question. DO NOT GO DEEP ENOUGH TO TOUCH THE BASE OF THE NUT!!! Make a few passes on each side wall and pop the string in there and see if it changes anything. I bet it does.

    Leave a comment:


  • AlexR
    replied
    If you were expecting extensive movement of the string through the nut slot (due to a trem) then maybe a break angle would become somewhat relevant. You'd have to look at how many vintage trem equipped strats have had worn out nuts merely through use......or indeed any older guitar with a back angled headstocks have worn nuts merely due to use of the guitar.

    I don't think I've ever come across a situation where the nut has worn before the frets......this being the slightly more relevant issue of course - a re-fret being the time when you would need to do the nut as a matter of course anyhow.


    What you have a simply a case of a poorly cut slot which rolls off on the fretboard face rather than being a crisp angle

    Leave a comment:


  • jeremy
    replied
    id say no. doesnt hurt to put a few extra wraps to increase the angle and see what ya get

    Leave a comment:


  • alex1fly
    replied
    It's just a weird series of events. Factory strings were .09s, no problems. Put on a set of my favorite D'adarrio 10s for three weeks, no problem. Took those strings off to do a little PG work, put on a new set of the same D'adarrio 10s along with some graphite and chapstick in the nut slots, and the issue with the G string arose. So I'm thinking it's either not enough downward pressure (though it's the same amount of wraps, 2ish), too much gunk in the nut slot (though I've tried to clean it out with business cards, strings, and thin picks), or maybe the G string in the second pack is a larger gauge than what was in the first pack (shouldn't be, but this would also explain it). Visually there appears to be wiggle room in the G string slot. Might have try another G string in there just to see what happens, maybe add more wraps to the tuner.

    Any downsides to adding an additional string tree? Might not be the most graceful solution, but it appears that it would solve the problem.
    Last edited by alex1fly; 01-19-2021, 02:23 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • eclecticsynergy
    replied
    If you're happy with the slot height the way it is, go ahead and add another string tree or a three-string one.
    Some Strats have two of 'em - no reason not to do it for a Tele.

    Assuming the height is right, you've inspected the slot for problems, and the only issue is lack of downward pressure, there's no sense messing with a brand new nut.

    I don't see wear on the slot being any problem in the foreseeable future. Maybe over decades, but even that isn't sure.

    EDIT: Bogner raises a good point - could it simply be binding, and not sitting in the bottom of the slot?
    If you've changed to heavier strings, perhaps you just need to widen the G slot a bit.
    Last edited by eclecticsynergy; 01-19-2021, 01:56 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bogner
    replied
    Sounds like your nut slot isn't cut correctly to work with the gauge fo strings you are using. Anytime there is a choking or binding it is because the nut slot is too narrow. Nut sauce can help as can a sharp pencil in the groove as well to prevent binding of the string and help tuning issues. I don't know that a string tree will wear a nut out faster. Wear comes from friction and use. If it does increase the wear and tear, it would be so minimal it wouldn't matter. Since the guitar in question is a tele, it is very simple to purchase another nut and drop it in. Filing would be minimal. I recommend a Graph Tech XL nut. They are impregnated with teflon and are self lubricating and that solves a lot of problems. Simple 10 bucks or so fix and you are good to go.

    Leave a comment:

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