The left side of the pocket is cut flat while the right side has a bump to the far right. I measured from the bottom of the pocket to the top of the fingerboard and the right side sits 1/64" to 2/64" higher. Should I fix this before installing a new nut?

nut pocket

  • Is that left and right as in the picture?
    – Tim
    Dec 30 '18 at 17:29
  • Yes, and the bump is the lighter colored wood on the far right side.
    – Brady Dean
    Dec 30 '18 at 17:31

As a layman i'd guess the uneven pocket is either a slight factory flaw or a conscious compensation for the overall intonation, given that the intonation was adequate with your previous nut.

Compare the original nut to a new one to determine if the latter had been compensated for with some kind of indentation, or the likes (implying factory flaw). If so, you could then even out the nut pocket to fit the new replacement nut (I'm assuming you want to replace the nut).

If you still feel uncertain, probably double check with someone who really knows guitar tech (i'm stating the obvious, i know).

  • I went ahead and filed out the bump, and then realized I bought the wrong size nut.. oops.
    – Brady Dean
    Dec 30 '18 at 20:55
  • 1
    And don't glue it in before being happy with its height - and bear in mind the glue may make it sit slightly higher.
    – Tim
    Dec 31 '18 at 9:39
  • I have a new nut being shipped right now, I'll keep that in mind.
    – Brady Dean
    Jan 1 '19 at 4:58

In many types of repair, sage advice from professionals is to work on the least expensive part. In my opinion, that applies here too. My advice would be to install the replacement nut and slot it according to its installed height. (A pencil lead laid across the last couple frets can trace a "limit" line for you on the face of the nut.) Your replacement nut will certainly have more than 2/64" excess material -- probably much more.

Seriously, though, if you screw up the nut, you're out $20 or so before you get to try again. Alternatively, if you screw up the neck, it is considerably more. Work on the cheapest part.

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