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I just re-fretted a neck and ended up needing to sand the fretboard down quite a bit (before installing the new frets of course). There was a decent amount of chipping that occured during fret removal and since it is a maple board, I thought it would look best if I just sanded out the divits (I didn't have all of the chips to replace them anyway).

It's in great shape now but the one thing that really isn't right is the nut height. Since I had to sand the fretboard so much, the locking nut is elevating the strings too much. There's less than 1/32 left of fretboard beneath it so it looks like I'll need to cut into the neck a bit also.

I think I need to drop it at least 1/32 maybe just under 1/16". I was thinking of building a router jig and clamp the neck on it.

I've also considered just using a real sharp chisel.

Any suggestions? Has anyone done something like this before?

I don't want to get rid of the locking nut - I just need to lower it a bit.



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Hey Dave, is the lock nut made in such a way that you could simply grind down the flat bottom part that rests on the neck above the fret board. The locking nut for a Floyd Rose trem I have on an old guitar is flat and about about 3/16" thick. So I would think that you could easily grind off 1/16" or so by palcing it flat against a grind stone and that should make sure that you grind it flat also.

Don't know if that would work for you, but it is the first thing that came to my mind.

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I have done some metal grinding of bridge parts and have found that unless you have done it quite a bit it is very difficult to get the exact shape you want without spending a lot of time, but that's just been my experience...though it appears we have shared that reality.

Yeah, I would say make a router jig and lower it down into the neck wood. 1/16" should NOT make a difference in stability. In fact that's how I seat my nut on new instruments and to make sure it is perpendicular to the middle line of the neck. It just takes some careful setup and making sure everything's clamped and is NOT going to move. I don't have to tell you what happens when something moves. :D

Edited by sirkentesquire
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In Dan Erlewine book *GuitarPlayer Repair Guide*, he shows a way to transform a neck with a standard nut to a locking nut, but its a fender neck so the headstock isnt angle, which i presume yours is.

hes using a wood block to raise the dremel with router attachment to the level of about the fretboard and use another one on the fretboard itself to act as a stopper and side alignement for the dremel.

Maybe you could try with a angle block on the headstockso the dremel would lay horizontal.

What i would try personally is buying a ground stock (rectified piece of metal) piece of about an ½ inch square and tape sand paper on one face with double faced tape and sand very carefully where the nut is seating on the neck until you have reached the proper height for your lock nut making sure im always parallel.


Edited by swirlslave
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I suggest you do file the nut down a bit.

You need a bench grinder to do it propertly, unless you are good with files, if you go the file way, set the nut on a vise with the part that you are going to file protruding out, the hardened vise wont let you go further than what you are removing, file pushing away from you not back and forth this clogs up the file teeth.

If this is not enough I would remove a bit of wood from the fretboard, maybe until you come close to the neck wood.

To do the neck I use a squared file with the side that touches the neck taped up so it wont damage the fretboard and throw the scale off.

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I just want to close this up with what I used as a solution. I tried a sholder plane, chisel, file, ... Nothing was working all that well. I decided to use a router jig and just carefully line the bit up with the 0 fret location.

Since it was a Fender style neck, this was pretty easy (since the headstock and heel help keep the neck flat and stable). For an angled back, I probably would have stayed with the hand tools (and would probably still be filing away :D ).

I know that sometimes people will do a search (sometimes that happens, doesn't it?) so I just wanted to include how I ended up doing it.

Thanks again for the suggestions.

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