Making a new nut
The nut, or top nut, is vital to the playability of any guitar. Most factory guitars haven't had the proper attention put in to the nut, so the strings sit too high, making open chords difficult and giving intonation problems. When the nut has been cut too low, or using inappropriate tools, all sorts of buzzes and rattles start to occur on the open strings. Time for a new nut...
2 Removing the old nut
So the old nut has to come out. Hmm, too much glue, so it broke. Never mind, it was cheap plastic, and the black didn't fit with the 60s vintage vibe anyway.
11 Smoothing the slots
One last step - smooth the slots with about 1000 grit wet and dry, again to get rid of string hang-ups that will cause tuning problems and string breaks. Rubbing in graphite from a soft pencil is NOT required!
1 Checking the nut action
This is a nice Telecaster copy, but some of the nut slots have been cut too low, and open strings are giving that sitar-type sound. I check the nut slot height by fretting between the second and third fret, then seeing how close the string is to the first fret. If it is touching it, the slot is too low, and if there is a big gap it makes it difficult to play, especially with open chords and barres up to about the third fret.