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zero fret


(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 6353
Topic starter  

I picked up a Harmony parlor. I plan to make it a small lap slider; I have the nut extention.
however, I have never had a guitar with a zero fret. where should the nut extension go?

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


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(@steinar-gregertsen)
Honorable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 503
 

You may have a little problem there, the zero fret is what counts so that's where the extension nut must be for the intonation to be correct. And that won't be easy.... :?

Steinar

"Play to express, not to impress"
Website - YouTube


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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 6353
Topic starter  

S. you are right, it is next to impossible. I strung it up with fresh strings.
the action is high enough that with a glass slide I am having no problems.
I am thinking of tuning to high or low bass A.
the scale is very short. I think some heavy strings will accentuate the bass.

still have not decided.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


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(@demoetc)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2168
 

I wonder if you could get a piece of 3/32" U-channel brass stock from a hobby shop - just about the width of the fret - cut the length to match the width of the neck at that point, and then solder a matching length of 3/32" brass rod on the top of the brass channel. From the edge it would look like a circle sitting on top of an upside-down U.

If the rod is centered accurately on the channel, and the channel is placed right over the fret, the top curve of the rod should match the curve of the fret below it.

Or if you had some major metal files, you could make something that looked like a banjo bridge but out of 1/4" (or narrower) solid brass square rod; with a cutout on the bottom to form two little feet, each foot with a half-round filed notch to fit over the zero fret. Then instead of ramping the nut so the edge facing the bridge is the intonation point, you could ramp both sides so the point of intonation is in the center.

It's kind of a lot of work but it would be a hobbyist type thing if you had a vise and some files :)


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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 6353
Topic starter  

demo....since I build lap steels and my father was a jeweler I have plenty of files and tools for the job. yours is a neat idea
and easily accomplished.
as it is the guitar has high enough action for a glass slide. the short size is handy to throw in a canoe or backpack.
the guitar sucks tone wise. there is no bracing inside and it is very boomy. when I palm mute the surface wood it sounds better; tighter and more focused.
when I press on the top wood while sounding a note I get a detune thing.
haha a passive whammy.
so for 24 dollars I got a POS. still, it has a voice and I need voices of different kinds for a recording project.
thanks for your time and thoughts.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


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(@doseme)
New Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 4
 

maybe a dumb question but what's a zero fret??


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(@steinar-gregertsen)
Honorable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 503
 


On an instrument with a "zero fret", the traditional slotted nut still controls the strings spacing but the zero fret (which is actually fret wire) now controls the height of the strings above the frets. The strings will lay directly on the zero fret and string height will be adjusted by filing or replacing the zero fret instead of cutting the slots in the nut deeper.

On instruments with zero frets the scale length is measured from the zero fret to the saddle as opposed to the nut to saddle.

"Play to express, not to impress"
Website - YouTube


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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

Well, if you're making a lap slider intonation's not really a big issue as long as the bridge is straight and the nut is straight and the strings all intonate together. The frets are merely suggestions of where the steel should go, more or less, and you will determine its final resting place by ear. Once you put on a nut extension, the frets are useless. That's why you can't use one for bottleneck sliding, you need to be able to fret, so you need normal or near normal string height and decent intonation.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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