i am finishing a build and the nut is tough to use.  Can I use a zero fret and screws for string alignment?

ihave included a couple pics.

thanks for your advice


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Is this legit?  (Pic)


Short answer is: Yes you can.

I've use a zero fret with string alignment screws on several builds.

Fender has used String Guides for years

Thanks Tom

From what I'm seeing, your zero fret, isn't in the same location, as the other one was. Is that correct? If so, then it will never be in tune.

Good catch Keith.

If that trough was originally for a 1/4" screw to act as a nut, then the new zero fret is off by a fair amount. If the guitar is a slider with no frets, this can be dealt with. If it is fretted, then it could be a problem preventing proper intonation.

You were right, I’m off a 1/4”, but I have that much adjustability.  Thank you Tom

Keith, Tom,

i adjusted the hardtail bridge to 25.5”.  To test it I put on a digital tuner.  My open strings are G D G, I believe I read that at the 12th fret I should get G D G again, one octave higher, is that correct?  

Im new and a bit under-educated.  I come to this art form without music theory, wood working or electronic skills.  But I read and experiment.

thanky ou both for your help on this path.  It is an awesome experience

If you get notes exactly one octave higher than the open note when you fret (or slide) the 12th fret position, then you are golden. Test each string individually. It is common to have to put the bridge at an angle to get all three strings perfectly intonated.

Great help thanks for the heads up, I was off till I adjusted the bridge.

great point, I corrected with the adjustable hardtail bride. 25.5 scale.

Go look at Zero Fret Guitars doing a Google search...they still use a Nut for String Spacing and the String Trees are not used to align strings but to put enough of a break angle on the string to stop from rattling around causing a " Sitar" like sounds. I had to install one on my Fender Stratocaster because it kept making that sound on the G string.  With out that nut your strings might move around on you.

Seems like a bolt-nut would be proper fit for that dilemma. 

Whats wrong with the nut installation? If its the glue not bonding, I recommend epoxy glue.

I believe up in the Appalachian mountains, they use a single fret as the nut on a fretless soundboard. So yes, its possible. However, a zero fret is just a fret at the foot of the nut. Always thought it was a luthier deco than an essential element. But thats me. Like I said before, you should place a fat bolt as your nut there.


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