How to Replace the Nut on My Epiphone Guitar

Written by matt mckay
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How to Replace the Nut on My Epiphone Guitar
Replace a broken Epiphone guitar nut with a pre-made unit for a low-cost repair. (girl playing guitar image by pixelcarpenter from Fotolia.com)

Nut replacement on an Epiphone or other mass-produced guitar brand doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. Although some guitarists prefer custom-cut nuts made from special materials, these can be quite costly and require specialised tools and advanced guitar repair skills to install. Inexpensive pre-made nuts are available from most every retail music store, and can be installed by most guitarists with simple tools and minimal skills. Since Epiphone produces many different guitar models, bring the instrument or old nut into your local music store where it can be matched with a replacement for a perfect fit.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Wood block, approximately 3 inches by 3 inches
  • Small mallet or hammer
  • Sandpaper
  • Replacement nut
  • White glue
  • Rag

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Remove all strings from the guitar and place the instrument on a flat surface.

  2. 2

    Place a wood block on the fretboard and butt one side up against the front of the nut. The block must be at least slightly wider than the width of the nut.

  3. 3

    Tap the wood block lightly with a small hammer or mallet. The nut will pop out of place easily in most cases.

  4. 4

    Remove any visible glue residue with sandpaper. Sand only the dried glue in the nut-slot to avoid finish and wood damage to the surrounding areas.

  5. 5

    Dry-fit the replacement nut to ensure fit. The sides of the nut must be flush with both sides of the guitar neck.

  6. 6

    Place two or three drops of white glue in the nut slot and press the nut in place. Use a rag to clean any excess glue, and allow the glue to dry for several hours before restringing the guitar.

Tips and warnings

  • Inspect the nut before removal by viewing it from the side. If the nut is flush-mounted with the wood on the pegboard, it is a candidate for self-repair. If the nut is recessed-mounted in a wood channel, it is best to have a guitar repair technician replace the nut to prevent damage to the instrument.
  • Most mass-produced guitars and prefab nuts are made of plastic. You may opt for more expensive nuts made of brass, bone or graphite, but locating a direct replacement for your guitar may prove difficult. Nuts of this type are usually custom-made, or prefabricated for limited guitar models.
  • When sanding dried glue in the nut slot, place strips of masking tape at the edge of the fretboard and the rear of the nut slot to protect these areas.
  • Don't use epoxy or other strong adhesives to glue the nut in place. If the nut requires replacement in the future, it will be difficult or impossible to remove without causing wood damage.
  • Avoid filing the new nut to adjust string height. Nut filing requires special tools and expertise.
  • You may use a wood file instead of sandpaper to file dried glue in the nut slot, but don't file into the wood. Accidental wood filing in this area may cause the nut to seat too low or cause it to fit unevenly.

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