Floyd Rose Nut Shelf Cutting Jig - anyone built one?

Discussion in 'Guitar Building' started by Cagey, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. Cagey

    Cagey New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2016
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Southeast Michigan
    I've had some requests lately for lowering existing Floyd Rose locking nuts, and feel like building a jig to do that (unless someone has a better idea). Ideally, it would be adjustable to do LSR nuts as well. What do you guys use for that sort of thing?
     
  2. otterhound

    otterhound New Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Messages:
    649
    Likes Received:
    149
    Welcome .
    Never used one and doubt that I ever will .
    Best wishes on a solution .
     
  3. CatonGuitars

    CatonGuitars Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Chicago IL
    I just pull the nut off and use my standard nut seating files. I dont build anything with locking nuts and when doing setups its such a minor issue that ive never thought about making a jig for it. Imo things like that need a steady hand and a good eye and im usually taking very little material off. I would be afraid to set up a jig and let it do the work that i should be paying attention to. If you are building it would make sence to have a jig that could accurately repeat that cut. But I would still take 5 minutes to dial it in by hand. The LSR nuts use little metal shims.
     
  4. Cagey

    Cagey New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2016
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Southeast Michigan
    I'm not a fan of locking nuts either, and rarely deal with them. But, lately the calls keep coming for the things so I need to figure out a way to handle the work or turn it down.
     
  5. Duplex Dave

    Duplex Dave Active Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    West
    What about a nice sharp chisel?
    Are you lowering the nut because the frets have been dressed several times? Maybe steer in the direction of a re-fret?
    If you do need to lower the shelf we're only talking .010"-.015", .020" would seem like a lot.
    Making a jig to be that accurate would be incredibly involving.
    It would be easier to make a cradle to hold the neck frets down and run it over a table saw blade like making a dado cut. Sneaking up to the front edge of the FB or stopping short and doing the rest by hand.
    I would opt for the nice sharp chisel...Dave
     
  6. Cagey

    Cagey New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2016
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Southeast Michigan
    In the case at hand, I haven't seen the installation yet so I don't know how much movement is needed.

    For as accurate as I'd like the shelf floor to be, I don't know if I'd trust myself with a chisel or a file.

    A cutting jig appeals to me because it's repeatable, and I want to be able to cut for retrofits for both Floyds and LSRs.
     
  7. Michael_P

    Michael_P Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2014
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Austin
    repeatable?

    only in the sense of left and right, etc...you still have to set the router correctly (if I'm understanding your plan). with extreme care you can get a Porter Cable 310 to dial in with about .003" of accuracy...I'm not familiar with various other current router options...point being a router will get your very close, but a file or sanding block will get your 'there'...jigs/templates are great for many things, and roughing in a locking nut is certainly one of them, but knowledge and proficiency with hand tools will get it exact
     
  8. CatonGuitars

    CatonGuitars Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Chicago IL
    I 100% agree. Once the slot is there the final dialing in needs to be done by hand. Imo using a router or other jig to get to final depth could easily end on disaster and may be over thinking it. When taking off less than .020" you just cant beat a steady hand and a sharp tool. This process takes so little time i would think that even the most well thought out and well built jig will still take more time to setup and dial in then it would to just fit it by hand.
     
  9. TKOjams

    TKOjams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,259
    Likes Received:
    572
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I would file down the bottom of the nut long before I would ever take anything off of the neck...the nut's cheaper to replace should something go wrong. ;)
     
    Duplex Dave likes this.
  10. Duplex Dave

    Duplex Dave Active Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    West
    Damn it Ken!!! I've even done that before!!! (it's been a long, long time since I've had lock nuts on the bench with any kind of regularity)
    Yes, just take the nut to the 6"x48" sander and drop it a few 1000's.
    Or sell him a re-fret with some of the latest and greatest fret wire on the market. (insert your opinion here)
     
  11. CatonGuitars

    CatonGuitars Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Chicago IL
    No offence intended but I have to disagree. IMO a luthier that has a shop and charges for repairs, should be able to take a few 1000s off of a nut slot without an issue. If it takes modifying the hardware, on an instrument that was properly designed to use that hardware, something is wrong. I just cant see the point in risking having to replace a part when a good steady hand and a clean file can do this job in seconds. This is one of the simplest tasks a shop can do and If a person goes to file or chisel a shelf for a locking nut and ruins the neck, I'm sorry but that person just shouldn't work on other peoples instruments.
     
  12. TKOjams

    TKOjams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,259
    Likes Received:
    572
    Location:
    Connecticut
    no prob, but if the guitar needs frets... what do you do after when it finally gets a fret job and now the nut it too low? I'll stick with filing the nut and replacing later rather than gluing wood back in the slot or adding shims, but that's how I roll. :dude:

    Peace,
    Ken
     
  13. CatonGuitars

    CatonGuitars Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Chicago IL
    Adding shims or gluing in wood should not be needed after a re-fret if the nut was installed properly when the fret job was good. If the nut needed lowering to the point that it would need raising that after a fret job, then it is due for a fret job to begin with.

    We are normally only talking about a few 1000s of an inch here. So lets say that the fret job is in good shape but the nut is too high. So, lower the nut by taking material off the nut shelf. Now you have a properly installed nut with a good fret job. After the frets wear out and its time for a fret job, you pull the frets and re-level the board. When re-leveling the fingerboard you remove material, and then install new frets. If you've done a good fret job the new frets should be as tall as the original frets before they wore out (when the nut was properly installed to begin with). BUT you took material off of the fingerboard. If anything the nut should now be a few 1000ths too high again. I lost track of how many fret jobs I've done a long time ago and I can say that not once have I had a locking nut be too low after a fret job.
     
  14. TKOjams

    TKOjams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,259
    Likes Received:
    572
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Let's just agree to disagree.:D
    Be well.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice