On to the nut! This part is one of the aspects of the project I enjoy most and am proudest of. The steps are straightforward. One of the things I like about the Allparts necks is that they don’t waste much of the fret length. This means I can space the strings a little wider, which I think generally makes playing easier. Stewmac sells great Fender-type nut blanks, and those are a big timesaver.
A little sanding is all I need to get a clean, snug fit in the nut slot. Once that’s done, I locate the slots for the E strings. Then my trusty Stewmac slot ruler comes into play, and shows me where to locate the slots for the other strings. The filing that follows, though, requires a lot of care. It’s easy to start the slot (I use an X-acto saw) a little to one side of your pencil mark by mistake. I re-measure often, having learned the hard way what a good idea that is. I generally wind up filing through a bit more material than I’d need to to if sanded the top of the nut down further, but I like having the adjustment room as I go.
Once the slots are cut, I fine-tune the slot depths to make the guitar feel easier to play, and then remove the nut for final shaping. More careful measurement gives me the exact length I need, and then I sand the ends, round the corners a bit, and get to polishing. I use the same buffer boards I use to keep my fingerpicking nails in shape. I “run the grits” and am amazed every time how beautifully bone polishes up. And now on to final assembly so I can string this guitar up and play it!