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Graphite for bridge?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by byrdzeye, Jan 29, 2014.


  1. byrdzeye

    byrdzeye

    Mar 28, 2013
    Toronto, ON
    Hi, UB'rs,

    The G string on my SB88 is "popping" between flat and sharp when I try to tune it, and I'm thinking that it is hanging up a bit on the bridge. What kind of graphite should I be using to make is slide easier, and should I also be putting some on the nut? I am currently using Helicore Lights on it (came with bass). Thanks.

    John
     
  2. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Be sure the nut slot is the correct width.

    Check for burrs at nut slot and bridge saddle.

    Sometimes the popping you hear is the string "settling in" on the tuner peg.
     
  3. byrdzeye

    byrdzeye

    Mar 28, 2013
    Toronto, ON
    Thanks, John,

    Things seem fine at the tuner peg, but I will check that as well. So this means that I will have to widen the slots on the nut? If I don't like the strings, would I then have to replace the nut to go back to a lighter gauge string?


    John
     
  4. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    #2 pencil. The bridge slots need to be wide enough and rounded down on each side so the string doesn't catch. I've never had to change nut or bridge for thinner strings.
     
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  6. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006

    Be sure not to file the nut too deep.

    I've never needed graphite or lubricant--- owned my first bass-- a Univox, Hiflyer, 42 years ago--- and about 20 basses since then
     
  7. If you really want to go nuts, put a drop of superglue in the slot and sprinkle powdered graphite into the glue before it sets. After the glue cures, apply more graphite onto the glue.
     
  8. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    John, we're talking double bass here...
     
  9. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    But I think the mechanical principals and the same laws of physics apply.

    Cheers!
     
  10. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Disclosures:
    Repair guy, Lisle Violin Shop
    Try working some oil into your tuning machine as well. 3 in 1 oil works fine. Get it into the bushings that your worm gear rides in and get some between the worm wheel and the surface it's rubbing against.
     
  11. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    I've never put graphite on my bass guitars because the bridge is fixed, metal, and there's nothing for the string to snag on. On DB, it's wood, not fixed, very tall and strings can catch when tuning up, putting the bridge out of wack. I have also broken a string or two that caught and didn't release. That's the reason to use graphite as a lubricant on a wooden bridge and nut.
     
  12. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    I guess I've been lucky or the shops that have set up my DB's have done a good job. My Azola EUB with a wooden bridge has been great for 12 years.
     
  13. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    My mistake. It wasn't apparent to me that you were a double bassist. Sorry. That being said, the luthiers that have worked on my basses use graphite on the bridge/nut slots.
     
  14. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Just cause I own one, doesn't mean I can play it.

    LOL