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Replacing locking nut with bone nut?

Postby jszy » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:06 am

Hi everyone,

My guitar has a double locking original floyd rose, and I'm going to replace that with a schaller vintage tremolo without fine tuners. Like Guthrie Govan's Charvel, I want to replace the locking nut by a bone nut...

This is kind of a DIY project so I'll get one of those pre-slotted nuts...

Is it as easy as unscrewing the locking nut and gluing the bone nut onto the guitar?
Is there any detail/danger that I should be aware of?...

(Unfortunately the ebanol nut (42mm) is not available anymore, it looks like...)

Thanks.
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Re: Replacing locking nut with bone nut?

Postby Wonks » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:47 am

Pretty much so. You just need to ensure that the end of the board and top of the headstock where the nut will sit are clean and at 90° to each other.

Measure the width if you haven't already done so, as you can get slight variations so sometimes a 43mm wide nut is better than a 42mm one, even if you have to file/sand the ends down. Also measure the height of the Floyd Rose nut to the bottom of the V-slots, then add a couple of mm on. Nuts come in different heights, so you want to make sure you get one that's just a bit taller than the Floyd so you can lower the slots to the right height.

Ebanol nuts are no longer made (it seems they didn't work that well) , but you may want to consider a Graphtec one instead. Personally I prefer a well cut and polished bone nut, but Graphtech offer a wide range of black lubricated nuts for smooth tuning and trem use, in the spirit of the Ebanol nut.

https://graphtech.com/pages/nuts

Obviously the Floyd Rose nut is a lot bigger than a standard nut, so you'll have some marks left. You'll also have a couple of screw holes, which you may want to fill with an epoxy glue to add a bit of strength back.

The new nut can either be stuck in place with some PVA glue, or a couple of small dabs of superglue. I find it best to have the strings on and loose, put the nut on then carefully replace the strings and tension them to hold the nut in place whilst the glue dries. Tap the nut on the front face so that it's pressed tightly against the end of the fretboard one the strings are tight and ensure that the nut is centred correctly and not proud on one side. Leave 24 hours before doing anything else.

This is then when you either need access to fret files, or get a luthier to cut the slots for you. You can of course, attempt to file the bottom of the nut before gluing to get the pre-cut slots the right height, but its tricky, repetitive work to keep putting the nut in place (without glueing) and tensioning the strings, then removing, filing/sanding the base and repeating.
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Re: Replacing locking nut with bone nut?

Postby jszy » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:40 am

Thank you so much for the information!
It does look like quite a lot of delicate work.... I'm probably not skillful enough to do this. For the sake of setting up the guitar well, I guess I'll seek help from guitar luthiers....

Did you know there used to be ebanol nuts with screw holes in it that can directly replace a floyd rose nut? :lol:
https://allparts2014.myshopify.com/prod ... -inch-43mm
I hope a manufacturer can make these again! For noobs like me!! :lol:
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Re: Replacing locking nut with bone nut?

Postby Wonks » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:48 am

Easy to fit, but that's a lot of string contact area, which goes against the low-friction idea.
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Re: Replacing locking nut with bone nut?

Postby Kwackman » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:48 am

Or...

Even cheap guitars these days are pretty good instruments.
You might find that for the same money you'll spend on your project, you can buy a guitar with the specs you want, (new or second hand) and keep your current guitar in it's original state.
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Re: Replacing locking nut with bone nut?

Postby jszy » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:51 am

Kwackman wrote:Or...

Even cheap guitars these days are pretty good instruments.
You might find that for the same money you'll spend on your project, you can buy a guitar with the specs you want, (new or second hand) and keep your current guitar in it's original state.

nah.... it's an ESP Horizon FR II.... it's the first "expensive" guitar that I bought
a lot of sentimental value :D

I'd rather make it a good guitar, than abandon it and get a new one...
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Re: Replacing locking nut with bone nut?

Postby jszy » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:53 am

don't get me wrong, the guitar itself is awesome, sounds great
it's just the whole floyd rose system that's driving me nuts :crazy:
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Re: Replacing locking nut with bone nut?

Postby Wonks » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:02 am

Can't you set it up to your tastes? Locking trems are always going to take longer to restring, but if the trem knife edges are in good shape, then there shouldn't really be issues.
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Re: Replacing locking nut with bone nut?

Postby Kwackman » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:03 am

jszy wrote:
Kwackman wrote:Even cheap guitars these days are pretty good instruments.

nah.... it's an ESP Horizon FR II.... it's the first "expensive" guitar that I bought
a lot of sentimental value :D ..

Sorry, I should never type before coffee!
I didn't mean to imply your ESP Horizon FR II was cheap, it's not!
I meant that you might be able to pick up a guitar styled similar to the Guthrie Govan's Charvel for a modest amount of money and keep your ESP as it is.

In case you weren't aware, it's mandatory for guitarists to buy more guitars, it's one of those laws of nature!

Good luck with whatever you do, and apologies if you thought I was calling your ESP cheap!
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Re: Replacing locking nut with bone nut?

Postby Wonks » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:10 am

In the Guthrie Govern style, the Harley Benton Fusion-II range are insanely good for the money. Could probably do with a pickup upgrade at some point, but still...

https://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton ... _maple.htm

But I digress.

What are the issues you are having, jszy?
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Re: Replacing locking nut with bone nut?

Postby jszy » Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:16 pm

Wonks wrote:Can't you set it up to your tastes? Locking trems are always going to take longer to restring, but if the trem knife edges are in good shape, then there shouldn't really be issues.

I might have turned the trem posts under tension several years ago... which might have damaged the knife edges....

also at the bridge, where you use the blocks to clamp down the strings, that part has failed several times... strings popped out because the friction is not enough ( i mean.... it's flat clamp on a cylindrical string....)
the schaller vintage trem seems to be more convenient and reliable

plus, the bridge has corroded a lot (probably coz of the humid climate here...), I think it's time get a new bridge :)
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Re: Replacing locking nut with bone nut?

Postby jszy » Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:19 pm

Kwackman wrote:Sorry, I should never type before coffee!
I didn't mean to imply your ESP Horizon FR II was cheap, it's not!
I meant that you might be able to pick up a guitar styled similar to the Guthrie Govan's Charvel for a modest amount of money and keep your ESP as it is.

In case you weren't aware, it's mandatory for guitarists to buy more guitars, it's one of those laws of nature!

Good luck with whatever you do, and apologies if you thought I was calling your ESP cheap!
oh no, it's fine hahhahahaa, I didn't get you wrong :lol:

yes, we have the urge to buy just one more guitar, all the time.........
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