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The day has come to replace my old modified jewelers files I use for nut slotting with a better quality gauged set.

I am a hobbyist who is now retired and plan to do more set up work on my own guitars.  I may do as many as 25 to 40 guitars over the next  2 years.    

On my list are the regulars. Stew Mac, Allparts, Warmoth, LMI, Grobert and Hosco.

Any insight from members who use these products would be helpful in helping me decide which one to purchase.

Went through the search function on "nut files" and reviewed 16 pages of old posts, and  saw some opinions, but would like an up to date discussion to help me ponder this purchase.

I'm leaning toward a 10 set Hosco that I have seen.  Just not a lot of reviews on them. 

Thanks in advance.

John 

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I'm using the Uo-Chikyu 5001 files from Japarts http://www.japarts.ca/Uo-Chikyu/Uo-Chikyu-Products-Nut-Files.asp

They're double-sided so you get 2 working surfaces. 

Hi John,

All the usual recommended double sided sets will do the job and you really do get what you paid for with top quality files such as the Uo Chinkyu sets that Mark uses.   My obervation is that the advice given by the manufacturer is just as important as the brand choice:   keep them clean, use a cutting lubricant (where appropriate) and make up a holder for the thin (9/10/11 thou) file to keep the blade stiff and straight under pressure (this last advice is important as the skinny files will chip out or break all too easy). 

Also get used to using different parts of the file regularly to even out the wear along the full length of the blade as constant use "in the middle"  thins the blade in that local area, blunts it prematurely and causes it to hang up/bind when attempting to move to a new cutting surface.

Enjoy 2016, Rusty.  

Thanks Mark and Russell for your insights.

I was contacted by a local who has a set of the Uo-Chikyu files and he's going to let me stop by and do a hands on trial tonight.  He really likes his set. 

If I like them I'm now leaning to a set of T25458's. Sizes  0.010", 0.013", 0.017", 0.024", 0.032", 0.036", 0.046" and 0.056".

I'll keep you updated.  

I like the individual Hosco files sold by Philadelphia Luthier Supplies. You'll need additional files for a bass.

Thank you Mark, Russell and Robbie for your insights.

After bringing over 3 of my project guitars and using the Uo-Chikyu files another local enthusiast invited me to try I sent off for the 8 piece set, T25458's. Sizes  0.010", 0.013", 0.017", 0.024", 0.032", 0.036", 0.046" and 0.056".

He showed me his ground rules for using them and roughed in the first guitar.  Then I roughed in the next two.  He fine tuned the first guitar and I followed on the last two.

He hasn't ever used a lubricant or a holder for the thin .010 file.  Never even thought of it, but is now curious as I am, and would like some recommendations also.

So what lubricants do you guys use and can you post up a few pictures of file holders you have made.

Thanks again for all your time and effort in responding and furthering my knowledge base.

 

Not trying to shill for these folks, but I bought a little stick of this stuff a couple of years ago and it looks like it'll last me forever!  

It's inexpensive and works real well.. .http://www.riogrande.com/Product/stick-burlife-lubricant/117003

Yep, I have a similar 2x lifetimes of this sort of stuff:  I use it for drilling and tapping, button dies and files.

No file holders here. I try to pull the thin ones and let them do the work.

I keep a lump of beeswax on my bench that I draw my files through after cleaning. The bone dust doesn't pack into the file as bad. Works great on plane bottoms too. I've also used mutton tallow which works but the beeswax is better in my experience.

Ive been using white chalk lately. Also considered trying a soft graphite stick. Waxy products seem to gum fine files up. Whats this blue stuff like?

You mean the "Bur Life"?  It's waxy but seems to clean-out easily...  I like it and it lasts forever. 

I have the 8-piece set of Uo-Chikyu files.  While $100 might seem like a lot, they are worth every penny.  The 8-piece set covers both acoustic and electric guitar and the first couple of strings on a bass.  For the heavier bass string slots I use a round file that comes in those hobby file sets you can pick up for under $10.

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