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Unread 05-16-2006, 01:06 PM   #1
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Installing Earvana Nut: super glue?

I just received an Earvana compensated nut which I plan to install myself on my acoustic. The instructions say to use super glue to affix the nut to the guitar. Everything I have ever read about installing nuts says specifically not to use superglue but to use white glue or wood glue. Usually this is recommended because you might want to be able to get the nut off again at some point without damaging the wood. I suppose, since the Earvana nut has two pieces they consider this a more permanent installation. The top of the nut unscrews if I ever need to replace it because of worn slots. I just don't know because I hate to do things I can't undo.

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Unread 05-16-2006, 03:03 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by presbystrat
I just received an Earvana compensated nut which I plan to install myself on my acoustic. The instructions say to use super glue to affix the nut to the guitar. Everything I have ever read about installing nuts says specifically not to use superglue but to use white glue or wood glue. Usually this is recommended because you might want to be able to get the nut off again at some point without damaging the wood. I suppose, since the Earvana nut has two pieces they consider this a more permanent installation. The top of the nut unscrews if I ever need to replace it because of worn slots. I just don't know because I hate to do things I can't undo.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! NO SUPERGLUE!!!!!!! YOU'RE ASKIN' FOR A WORLD OF PAIN!!

If you don't get it absolutely right the first time, the nut is shot, you have to rip it out possibly taking some wood with it, and then take it to a Guitar Tech. Don't go there.

Now, if you took it to a Guitar Tech, he could use super glue. He'd be more adept at this.

But, that said, my guy also uses white glue as well. Now, I have the OEM version, but it's the same principle. Always leave yourself in a reversible position with this sort of thing.

That way, you get to experiment, and if you don't think you have it together, then it's reversible and you can take it to a Tech.

Now, that said, don't do it yourself. Take it to a Tech. This is tricky stuff, and if you've never done this before, you don't want to start here. Take it to a Tech. you'll be really happy you did.

Chesh
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Unread 05-16-2006, 03:22 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice Chesh. I will definitely use white glue then. As far as doing it myself, I have successfully installed a standard nut on my strat so I thought I would give it a go. The Earvana comes preslotted; I will have to make adjustments of course but at least I don't have to start the slots from scratch. That being said I might check to see if I can get a local tech to do it and find out how much it will cost. Last time I checked with the local music store the tech there told me he couldn't do a compensated nut. I didn't think installing the Earvana could be any more difficult than a standard nut, could it? Do I need a strobe tuner to do the intonation? If that is the case I will definitely need to take it to a tech.
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Unread 05-16-2006, 03:27 PM   #4
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Yep, chesh has it right. Put down the superglue and back away slowly...all you really need is a single drop of white glue (Elmer's works fine) to hold the nut in place while you string up the guitar. Glue the nut to the end of the fingerboard and not to the face of the headstock. This will make it much easier to remove if the need arises. Just lay a small piece of scrap wood on the fingerboard against the nut and rap the end of the scrap piece smartly with a small mallett and the nut will pop right off with no damage to the headstock.

I also second chech's reccomendation to take it to a tech if you're not ABSOLUTELY sure how to do the job. There's more to it than simply knocking the old nut off and gluing a new one on. The new nut might need to be adjusted for string height, the slots may need to be deepened and/or widened, etc. it's pretty delicate work and very easy to mess up.

Tom
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Unread 05-16-2006, 03:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tholmes
I also second Chesh's reccomendation to take it to a tech if you're not ABSOLUTELY sure how to do the job. There's more to it than simply knocking the old nut off and gluing a new one on. The new nut might need to be adjusted for string height, the slots may need to be deepened and/or widened, etc. it's pretty delicate work and very easy to mess up.
Well, not only that, it's an Earvana Nut. It also needs to be assembled and has moving parts. It is a pretty intensive process if you've never done it, or don't regularly work with guitars.
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Unread 05-16-2006, 03:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CheshireCat
Well, not only that, it's an Earvana Nut. It also needs to be assembled and has moving parts. It is a pretty intensive process if you've never done it, or don't regularly work with guitars.
I don't think the assembly is a big deal. After the base is installed the top is then screwed on top of that. It came assembled so I only need to unscrew the top, install the base and screw the top to the base again. Then I need to adjust the string height which I am familiar and successful with doing already. What I am not sure about yet is how to do the intonation. The instructions I downloaded from their website refer me to the directions that I am supposed to get with the nut. I never got the intonation instructions. I e-mailed them and they told me everything I need to know is contained in their instructions on their website.
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Unread 05-16-2006, 04:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by presbystrat
I don't think the assembly is a big deal. After the base is installed the top is then screwed on top of that. It came assembled so I only need to unscrew the top, install the base and screw the top to the base again. Then I need to adjust the string height which I am familiar and successful with doing already. What I am not sure about yet is how to do the intonation. The instructions I downloaded from their website refer me to the directions that I am supposed to get with the nut. I never got the intonation instructions. I e-mailed them and they told me everything I need to know is contained in their instructions on their website.
The tricky bit will be filing the base absolutely flat and contoured to the radius of the neck. That's the tricky bit.

Feel confident enough to take a file to your neck, knowing full well you may take some wood with it?
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Unread 05-16-2006, 04:24 PM   #8
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one note... you can dissolve super glue with rubbing alchohol if you ever find yourself at that crossroads. (or glue your fingers together) acetone does an even better job iirc.

That said, Id use elmers. But just in case you ever need to know how to get something free from super glue...
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Unread 05-16-2006, 04:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CheshireCat
The tricky bit will be filing the base absolutely flat and contoured to the radius of the neck. That's the tricky bit.

Feel confident enough to take a file to your neck, knowing full well you may take some wood with it?
Oh, okay, I hadn't thought of that. Thanks. I didn't think my neck had any curvature to it. If it needs to be contoured to fit the base, I will take it to a tech. My strat neck had a completely flat nut groove so I didn't need to contour the bottom of the nut.
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Unread 05-16-2006, 04:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by presbystrat
Oh, okay, I hadn't thought of that. Thanks. I didn't think my neck had any curvature to it. If it needs to be contoured to fit the base, I will take it to a tech. My strat neck had a completely flat nut groove so I didn't need to contour the bottom of the nut.
No, that's not the point (and "flat" wasn't the right word).

The base needs to be radiused to the fretboard (not the other way around), and completely flush relative to the radius (vs. flat bottomed to be properly seated in the slot).

Look at the instructions again. First the base goes in, and then you file it down so that it is completely flush with the fretboard. IOW, you are basically creating a section of the fretboard where there are holes to take the screws from the top piece. It's not like installing a nut blank which will naturally rise above the fretboard, and then you slot it and file down the nut for the purpose of taking off excess nut material.

This puppy gets filed down all the way.

So, iow, in the process of filing down the base piece, you could end up eating into the fretboard itself, which will prove to be a problem.

Make sense?

Chesh
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Unread 05-16-2006, 04:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillSPrestonEsq
one note... you can dissolve super glue with rubbing alchohol if you ever find yourself at that crossroads. (or glue your fingers together) acetone does an even better job iirc.

That said, Id use elmers. But just in case you ever need to know how to get something free from super glue...
+1.
as one who is really into model aircraft and such, many a time has that freed my fingers or a misplaced part.
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Unread 05-16-2006, 07:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CheshireCat
No, that's not the point (and "flat" wasn't the right word).

The base needs to be radiused to the fretboard (not the other way around), and completely flush relative to the radius (vs. flat bottomed to be properly seated in the slot).

Look at the instructions again. First the base goes in, and then you file it down so that it is completely flush with the fretboard. IOW, you are basically creating a section of the fretboard where there are holes to take the screws from the top piece. It's not like installing a nut blank which will naturally rise above the fretboard, and then you slot it and file down the nut for the purpose of taking off excess nut material.

This puppy gets filed down all the way.

So, iow, in the process of filing down the base piece, you could end up eating into the fretboard itself, which will prove to be a problem.

Make sense?

Chesh
I looked at the instructions again and I think I understand now. I can see that trying to get the top of the base flush with the fretboard could be tricky even if there is no radius to the groove. If the groove has any radius then it will be really tricky. The instructions say to file the bottom of the base never the top so I don't think filing into the fretboard would be the problem. Never the less, I may be over my head. I understand what I need to do but I may lack the skill and practice to do a very good job of it. I guess I will be taking the guitar to a tech next week. Thank you for saving me some heartache.
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Unread 05-16-2006, 07:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by presbystrat
I looked at the instructions again and I think I understand now. I can see that trying to get the top of the base flush with the fretboard could be tricky even if there is no radius to the groove. If the groove has any radius then it will be really tricky. The instructions say to file the bottom of the base never the top so I don't think filing into the fretboard would be the problem. Never the less, I may be over my head. I understand what I need to do but I may lack the skill and practice to do a very good job of it. I guess I will be taking the guitar to a tech next week. Thank you for saving me some heartache.
Actually, I'm revising me stance. Go for it. Have fun. Just experiment on a dummy blank first.

I just reviewed the installation instructions, or thought I was, but it turns out they revised the instructions. I like the revisions.

The key thing is that you get good at shaping the nut base. If you do, then you're gold.

So, go ahead and experiement with it, get good, learn something, and then proceed very slowly with the actual Earvana nut base.

Chesh
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Unread 05-16-2006, 07:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CheshireCat
Actually, I'm revising me stance. Go for it. Have fun. Just experiment on a dummy blank first.

I just reviewed the installation instructions, or thought I was, but it turns out they revised the instructions. I like the revisions.

The key thing is that you get good at shaping the nut base. If you do, then you're gold.

So, go ahead and experiement with it, get good, learn something, and then proceed very slowly with the actual Earvana nut base.

Chesh
Well I may still take it to a tech but if I do proceed with it on my own, I am now more aware of the issues involved and will proceed slowly with much caution. Thank you.
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Unread 05-23-2006, 07:49 AM   #15
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I've got the new nut installed and everything went fairly well. I still need to do a little more filing on the nut and do some fine adjustment of the intonation. The intonation has definitely improved though not quite as dramatic as the charts show on the Earvana website; I'm not sure that is possible with an acoustic (I think you really need adjustable saddles to get it perfect). I notice the most difference when using the capo on the first three frets. The main drawback that I notice so far is that there is a slight dampening effect on the strings. Other people have mentioned this in their reviews on Harmony Central (mostly with acoustics). I don't know if this is due to the type of material used or if it is due to the longer width of the nut. I'm still trying to make up my mind whether it is worth the trade off. I will see after I fine tune the setup. Good thing I used white glue instead of superglue
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