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Converting From Righty To Lefty


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I bought an old 1960's airline guitar off Ebay the other day, a sweet deal, and I have only one problem: It is right handed. As a lefty, I am going to have to convert this bad boy. I know I am going to need to switch the bridge, which shouldn't be a problem. The problem is the nut. Can I just hit it loose then turn it around? Or do I have do buy a whole new nut?

Here's the exact guitar.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Vint-1950s-60s-Airline...id=p3286.c0.m14

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it wont fit well backwards.

the slots are angled backwards, if you spin it round they will be angled forwards and create buzz ruin intonation.

nuts only cost a couple dollars.

what do you plan on doing to the bridge? its not intonated (angled) so depending on the action it may not need anything done to it.

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Either. Where abouts in the world are you? (EDIT: I see you're in NZ. There may be a few people around here that can help you if you're after someone)

In all honesty, and don't think I'm taking the p**s here, it sounds like you're not as experenced in guitar twidling as a lot of those on the boards (which is no bad thing, stay around here for a bit and you will be soon). So if you're happy dishing out a couple of extra quid, then I'd take it to someone to do. This would be absolute bread and butter work to a luthier and wouldnt cost too much at all. They'd also be able to do give the guitar a once over and depending on the state that it's in, make it far nicer to play than us mear mortals :D

If you want to do it yourself then have a look over at Stewart MacDonald (google it). It's a good resource for looking at parts and will give you a good idea for sizes. You get the choice of slotted and non-slotted options so that depends on if you want to do the slots yourself or not.

BTW - If you are going to take off the nut then have a look around the sides and see if there is any finish over it. When I've done it in the past, I've scored round the nut with a scalpel so that it doesn't pull a load of finish off at the same time.

Edited by ToneMonkey
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Oh yeah, I read at the side of borge's post by accident. Sorry, been in the pub most of the afternoon watching the football :D

Since you're in NY, then have a look at that Stew Mac link and see if you fancy making it. Even if it all goes horribly tits up, it'll only set you back a couple of dollars. If you get a pre-slotted one, you can sand it down to make it fit perfectly.

There should be a fair few luthiers and guitar fiddlers in NY. Have a hunt round and check on these boards, I'm sure someone could help you better than I can from Blighty.

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are there preslotted nuts that are properly slotted? not just tiny slots to give an indication of position?

anyways, you can get torch tip cleaners as a cheap nut file replacement (any place with welding supplies should have them) or use a dremel to grind some teeth ito a set of feeler gauges (all automotive stores should have them)

having a well cut nut is a very important part of making a guitar play in tune and easy to play, you may want to take it to a luthier (theres bound to be plenty good ones in NY) to get it right.

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Yeah, I'm landing on the "take it to a luthier" side of the fence. Especially with an old guitar. Besides, getting them to do the nut for you will probably cost about the same as getting yourself set up to make one.

Alternatively, you could always learn to play the guitar the right way round :D

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Just buy a lefthanded nut, they cost £1 here in the UK so we talking of $2-3. the bridge looks straight so that will be ok.

Just score around the old nut to break the seal as allready mentioned, generally these things come out with a little tap, if you can change strings then you can change a nut

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Just buy a lefthanded nut, they cost £1 here in the UK so we talking of $2-3. the bridge looks straight so that will be ok.

Just score around the old nut to break the seal as allready mentioned, generally these things come out with a little tap, if you can change strings then you can change a nut. If your in New York there must be loads of guitar/music shops that sell these

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