That may well be the case, RobertW . I have no nut files (an $85 investment), but even if I did, I would be scared of making the nut slots deeper and messing up my setup. As it is, my setup is perfect for me (relief, string height, intonation). It is just that the tuners are difficult to tune. Not impossible, just difficult.
I'm using (and will probably continue to use) light gauge strings. So if I bought a nut file set, should I buy medium gauge nut files?
first step is to get a pencil...and lube the nut slots with it
I'm probably ignorant, RobertW , but I don't see any way to get the pencil lead into the slots. Do you scrape it off the pencil with a knife?
I've always just scribbled in the slot with a sharp pencil. That gets the graphite in there.
-1962 Martin D-21 -1950 Gibson LG1 -1958 Goya M-26 -1974 Yamaha FG75 high strung -A number of banjos, mandolins, Autoharps, ukuleles, dulcimers, mouth harps, a Tele clone and various other stuff. -I own a fiddle, but only play it when Maggie and the cats are all out of the house.
Derick , Nice vid Derick ,. Pencil graphite would work as well but would be a little trickier to apply. If you don't have any good grease around, and don't wanna bother going to get some, and you happen to be a pretty good cook, or maybe your spouse is......then check the kitchen for some virgin olive oil. You can use that and it should last at least as long as grease if not longer.
Some trivia and fun fact:
Virgin olive oil consists of 40% (give or take) oleic acid. This is not actually an "acid" but a type of fat or oil that sticks around a looooong time.......hard to completely remove without a good solvent cleaner (like paint thinner, ammonia based cleaners like windex, lacquer thinner etc.). That oleic acid residue will stick around and lubricate that part for a long time. Just a quick "hack" fyi.
We used to use oleic acid in our shop, but it was medical grade and we had to order it from a special place in the U.S. cuz we couldn't get it in Canada. My boss, who was a bit of a genius, discovered this thing about virgin olive oil when we ran out of oleic acid once. We just could not operate the efficient way we did without this stuff. So we ran to the local grocery store and got some.....and it worked!
Oleic acid was a "secret" ingredient of ours in our "secret" formula for lube/coolant that we used for being the only shop in Canada (that I knew of at the time anyways) that could engrave stainless steel efficiently and have it come out with 0 refinishing required because we did it without leaving any burr; smooth as a baby's bottom right off the machine when the engraving was done. This could not be achieved with any other shop/manufacturing coolant and the key ingredient to this whole process was oleic acid.
Anyhoo, this little bit of knowledge has helped me in other scenarios so I just thought I'd share it.
Last Edit: Jun 1, 2019 5:25:57 GMT -5 by TonyKgull
===================================== One Alvarez in the hand is worth two Taylors and a Martin in the guitar store!
He's using what is sold in the United States as "White Lithium Grease," may be called something else in other areas, I don't really know. In applications where I have used it (trailer hitch crank, door lock on my truck, etc.) it lasts about a year, but that is heavy use outdoor applications. I suspect it would last longer on a guitar. Fair warning: it makes quite a mess the way I usually use it, so be careful where you spray it. But I love the product, it works well as a lubricant.
Update: I borrowed a friend's set of nut files and ever so slightly widened the slots on the nut while trying not to deepen them at all. I think it took me about 4 hours total because I was very, very careful.
The results? Well, the tuners do seem somewhat looser at near-pitch. It is an improvement. But I still suspect that this guitar, being only $400 brand new, just doesn't have good componentry on it. That's understandable. They're not going to put Grovers or Waverlys on a $400 guitar. If I end up keeping it, I might, at some point, upgrade the tuners. I'm undecided for now. Thanks, everyone, for your input.
- Seagull S6 Coastline Folk Cedar - Seagull Performer Folk Flamed Maple HG Q1T
The new "Vespa" Seagull tuners are very good. They're 18:1 ratio on the bass side and 26:1 (!) on the trebble, so sometimes it feels as though the higher stings are slipping. It takes a little getting used to, but the fine tuning is super-fine.