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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member latestarter's Avatar
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    String Spread "mod" for a narrow nut

    Well, not really a mod, but just a way of improving a situation.

    I've mentioned it before so I thought I'd take a quick shot and show what I mean. This is a 66/67 ES-335. Narrow nut. The guitar sounds great but I wanted a bit more room to move at the head stock end.

    Using my technique below I have the nut string spread at 36mm centre to centre E strings. My R9 is 36.5mm. I have no falling off the ends of the frets or the like. It feels great to play and I have used a tall-ish wire (StewMac 100/50).

    1. Prep the fret board properly. Because we want to use as much width as we can you'll want to level out the nibs of any are left.
    2. Do your standard fret slot clean and prep work.
    3. Do a standard fret over binding (undercut) refret.
    4. Cut the ends off the frets but do not angle inwards....just go flush.
    5. Carefully with your single cut file level the edges almost vertically at the bottom end and eventually angle the file up as you head towards the pickup end of things.
    6. You should end up with only a slightly angled end for the first 5-7 frets. Because some binding is very worn, this can be challenging. I would do each fret end piece by peice if that was the case. This guitar didn't have too much wear so it was relatively easy.

    Hopefully this all makes sense...to me it's a great way to enjoy these later 60's ES's and SG's. I do recommend using string size 10 and up for this sort of set up...keeps things a bit tighter.



    Otherwise known as Grant.

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member latestarter's Avatar
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    Re: String Spread "mod" for a narrow nut

    The nut has be cut right too, with slightly more vertical shoulders.
    Otherwise known as Grant.

  3. #3

    Re: String Spread "mod" for a narrow nut

    Grant ..I’m considering having this done to my ‘69 SG standard ..can you please repost the pix.
    btw..anyone else done this mod ?

  4. #4

    Re: String Spread "mod" for a narrow nut

    Wish I could see the pics.

  5. #5

    Re: String Spread "mod" for a narrow nut

    bump

  6. #6

    Re: String Spread "mod" for a narrow nut

    Quote Originally Posted by zacknorton View Post
    Wish I could see the pics.
    .

  7. #7

    Re: String Spread "mod" for a narrow nut

    A luthier I used to know modified a 70's L-5CES (IIRC) for a friend of mine to incorporate an original wider nut by removing frets, putting on wider binding and then shaping the binding to blend with the existing neck carve, but finish up top with slightly more overall width to the fingerboard, then refret. The luthier was Guiliano Balestra.
    "There's only two things wrong with you, and that's your face." - Greg Koch

  8. #8

    Re: String Spread "mod" for a narrow nut

    That’s a brilliant idea.

  9. #9

    Re: String Spread "mod" for a narrow nut

    Quote Originally Posted by Minibucker View Post
    A luthier I used to know modified a 70's L-5CES (IIRC) for a friend of mine to incorporate an original wider nut by removing frets, putting on wider binding and then shaping the binding to blend with the existing neck carve, but finish up top with slightly more overall width to the fingerboard, then refret. The luthier was Guiliano Balestra.
    did the rear of the nut protrude

  10. #10

    Re: String Spread "mod" for a narrow nut

    Quote Originally Posted by garywright View Post
    did the rear of the nut protrude
    As far as I can remember he was able to blend everything so nothing felt out of place or the ends the nut sticking out. Maybe he also redid the binding on the headstock to meet up. It may have been a '69, whatever model had a rounded cutaway and narrower nut. It formerly belonged to Eric Gale.

    Quote Originally Posted by zacknorton View Post
    That’s a brilliant idea.
    This luthier (whose son I was friends with, and got to know him, wonderful guy, RIP) was able to do some magic on arch tops especially, he did the restoration on this guitar, which was brought to him in pieces......







    Edit: Yeah, so the L-5CES was probably a 1969, like on this page. Was similar sunburst and had 1-9/16" nut width, modified to 1-11/16"....

    https://www.jeguitars.com/pre-owned/...d%2Fguitars%2F
    Last edited by Minibucker; 06-06-20 at 11:22 AM.
    "There's only two things wrong with you, and that's your face." - Greg Koch

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