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How many Seagull owners do their own setup work?

I finally broke down and bought some nut files for my SWS Mini-Jumbo.  I'm amazed at how simple it was lowering the string height.  I also sanded down my saddle a few months back; another fairly simple task.  I did go a bit overboard with filing on a 2nd guitar (electric - not my Seagull), and I had to do the superglue/baking soda repair to build the slot back up a little.  So if you do this, go really slow.

Nut files seem a little pricey for something you use so rarely, but once I had a couple of guitars that both needed some nut slot filing, I figured I could buy a set of files for the price of paying for a shop to do the work on both.

With all the information available online, it seems like you can do most setup work yourself.  The only tools I've really needed to buy are the nut files and a feeler gauge.  I'm very happy with the way the guitar plays now, and the only work I had done at a shop was the strap button install.  I probably could have done that myself, but I didn't want to deal with the stress of drilling into the neck bolt.

As a side note - I want to make a plug for the shop that sold me the nut files (japarts.ca).  I had the opportunity to stop by their shop and I got a great tour of a working lutherie by Yusuke Kawakami, who makes some really nice custom guitars. I even got a little demo and training of how to file the slots, how deep I could go without buzzing, etc.

Tags: DIY, files, nut, setup

Views: 212

Replies to This Discussion

I admire your courage!  I've lowered the saddle height on a couple of my guitars, but so far have not been able to bring myself to mess with the nut.  On the other hand, I happily drilled into thr heel of my Seagull Artist the other night in order to install a strap button ... go figure!

This is a case where you can reduce your risk for a small price. Buy a preslotted Tusq nut to mess with. If you make a mistake, you can just swap the original out. Mine wasn't even glued in. I could just pull it off after loosening the strings.

I highly recommend getting real nut files to do it. I wasn't happy with my first attempt using torch tip cleaners, but it's a breeze with the files.
This is a good point. The action on my old 6 is pretty good, but it could e better. I have thought about purchasing a new nut and bridge and doing the set up myself. This way if I totally blow it, I can at least have it right back to what it currently is. If I get it right, the satisfaction of doing the job myself will make it that much sweeter!

I have trimmed all my guitars, both the saddle and nut. I have a set of nut files (not the most expensive ones). One helpful tool is a set of calipers (don't know if this is right english word, I mean a set of different thickness blades with which you adjust the ignition in older cars). You put a capo on the 1:st fret and with your finger push one of the strings between 2:nd and 3rd fret. Choose a caliper which doesn't move freely under the string between 1st and 2nd fret and use it to protect the nut from overfiling.

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