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Splintazert

Brass nut files - recommendations?

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Hi Scott. The ones I have are the feeler gauge type that have a sawtooth added to one side. They won't touch brass so I'm thinking of investing in a set of better quality files. The Stewmac ones don't seem to support all string sizes (eg a 0.013" B string) but would work with the set of Ernie Ball 9-42 strings I am intending to fit:

http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Types_of_Tools/Files/Double-edge_Nut_Files.html

Works out to about £77 inc. delivery for 3 files that do 6 sizes (they are double-sided). Any better quality files out there that people would recommend?

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This is the set I have although I'd swear I only paid around $75.00 for them.....probably 8 years ago.

http://www.lmii.com/products/tools-services/fretting-tools/nut-saddle-files/1105-nut-files-set-of-8/flypage-noimage

I've had a couple guys I respect tell me these are the best you can get. They cut through brass just fine.

SR

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Yikes! $140 with shipping. Might have to source them nearer to home but thanks for the info. It's good to know you recommend them. I'm still open to suggestions, especially if the company is UK based.

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Try looking into buying a set of welding tip cleaners. Those sticks don't produce the best slots but they work well for establishing them, at which point some "proper" nut files dial in the details. Brass is grabby (as you probably know) and junks up in files like anything.

The alternative - which is easier for bassists like myself - is to use the cutoffs from an old set of roundwound steel bass strings. Epoxy them to a stick of wood and you've made a cheap file. Not as easy for non-wound strings on a guitar nut of course, however you can perhaps cut down (no joke intended) on the expense by re-using what is available and only buying what is necessary.

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Interesting, thanks Prostheta. I have seen posts about welding tip cleaners before. It seems that the sizes are hit and miss depending on the set purchased. I just think I'd prefer to get something accurately sized to keep for future guitar building jobs, something that works on materials tougher than bone such as brass and the like. I'm not averse to spending £70 or so, maybe a bit more for the right set.

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Like I said; using them for roughing in a slot and then opening it out only as much as necessary with the real deal. That's the best bet. I'm unsure as to whether there is any such thing as a set designed for brass, since it's very much a niche material. At least, moreso than plastic, bone, etc. Some quality files can probably manage brass admirably, however the filings are the problem as brass likes to stick to things.

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