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problem fitting locking nut

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i have a cheap second hand neck, 22 fret maple. that i want to fit a locking nut too. i have removed the regular nut and removed some excess wood to try and get a level surface to shim and mount my locking nut. i am having a problem getting a level surface. i watched a video on youtube where a guy uses a router with template cutter to level the surface. i am a little worried as i dont want to remove too much. the shim (bit of wood) is 5mm thick so enough to take down with a router after i glue it in place. 

any suggestions as to how i can get the router in place with out screwing it up? or advice in general about this



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Whilst it's definitely an answer Norm, I have to temper this advice with the usual "what works for you may not work for others". Using CA glue to secure a locking nut or any other component on a guitar is deeply invasive, and complicates future repair and maintenance. As such, I could never advocate this approach. It simply isn't correct.

Using a saw to establish the main part of the shelf gets step one done; removal of excess material. The finer work in dialling in the shelf can be taken to machinist's files. The sort that are maybe 15-20mm wide, 4-5mm thick or so. Checking for squareness is important. Files are slow enough that it's pretty hard to remove too much material between checks, however rounding can easily occur. If you're handy with a sharp (razor sharp) chisel, paring is excellent as the back of the chisel helps maintain flat planes and check for high spots.

If you do go down the route of using files, it's worthwhile grinding one edge smooth and "safe". That way once you've established the vertical wall of the shelf, this safe edge can ride against it without undercutting it.

The other option - dependent on your headstock type - is to fit a locking nut behind the existing nut, Kahler style. Also worthwhile are locking tuners that reduce the number of string wraps around your tuner posts, eliminating/reducing tuning slip from free string length. Lubricating the existing nut slots with graphite (soft pencil lead) reduces friction and binding.

There's a number of options based on your original requirements. I'd be deeply wary of going straight to immediate surgery or using anything that you can't undo. The final instrument will reflect decisions made in this regard, definitely.

Do you have photos of the neck, as this should help figure out what is the best way forward?

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I'd also add that using CA as a method of securing a locknut is a poor substitute to installing it as it was intended (ie, with the screws or bolts it was designed for). Expecting CA to hold a metal item to wood that is exposed to significant stress under normal conditions is asking for the nut to come loose. I wouldn't imagine a CA'ed locknut to withstand being divebombed without the tension of the strings behind the nut pulling it free. Even breaking a string might be enough to dislodge it.

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