Metal Nut Materials

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Dream Weaver, Sep 22, 2009.


  1. Dream Weaver

    Dream Weaver

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    With metal nuts, does the type of metal have an impact?

    I have some thick flat stock aluminum, and was wondering if that would work well as a nut material.
     
  2. DSB1

    DSB1

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    Aluminum is fine. Don't major in the minors.
     
  3. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

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    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    Make sure that it is 6061 Aluminum! 5052 will have a horrible tone :bag:
     
  4. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

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    6061-T6 only, otherwise you risk mid-humposis. ;)
     
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  6. Dream Weaver

    Dream Weaver

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    =p

    I wasn't referring to tone...

    I've only ever seen Brass used, and since it is rather soft... I was curious if there was a reason for it. I figured aluminum is harder and more conductive so it should be fine, but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask and get a definitive answer. I was worried about wear and tear with the metal on metal contact with the strings. =/
     
  7. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

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    I'll tell you what.

    Honestly I've never heard a metal nut that I didn't absolutely HATE.

    Try Graphtech "TUSQ" (man-made Ivory)

    Way better than metal of any kind..
    I promise!
     
  8. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

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    FYI

    High strength aluminum alloys can be pretty strong, but basic aluminum is pretty soft and wear-prone, much moreso than brass. Brass is commonly used as a wear surface in engineering applications. Even high strength aluminum is avoided in wear sutuations unless the weight savings is of highest importance, and then only with a hard coating on it.

    Not saying you can't do an aluminum nut; guys here have done it and been happy with it. But it doesn't compare with brass as far as wear.
     
  9. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

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    It's funny how people are different. I've never heard a nut whose composition mattered to me tone-wise, mostly because I rarely use open strings.
     
  10. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

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    Just IMO..:cool:
     
  11. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

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  12. RedemptionBass

    RedemptionBass

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    Danelectro has always used aluminum nuts.

    I have used them several times in the past with great success.

    Give it a try and see what you think.
     
  13. Dream Weaver

    Dream Weaver

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    I'll give it a shot. Tons of 80/20 laying around the shop. Nothing to lose but a piece of scrap and some elbow grease I guess. =p
     
  14. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

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    80/20 t-slot extrusion is 6105-T5, which is a pretty strong alloy and temper. Their angle stock is 6061-T6, also good stuff.
     
  15. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

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    I'll have to admit..The Danos do sound good with aluminum...never tried it.
    Tried everything els.
     
  16. Beej

    Beej

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    I dunno what my nuts are made of, but after being booted in them by my wife a year ago, I'm pretty sure they ain't brass...
     
  17. Greenman

    Greenman

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    Buffed up nice I think an aluminum nut would look killer. I plan on an aluminum string spacer for my zero fret neck.
     
  18. bigntasty

    bigntasty

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    I'm not a guitar tech, but brass is about 3x the density of aluminum. Since you see more plated brass bridges being used than aluminum, I guess my thought is that the choice is related to tone. I know Warwick used to use brass nuts, too. That's my uneducated 2 cents worth.
     
  19. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Gold Supporting Member

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    I use aluminum nuts on my Resolectro Resophonic basses (just like Uncle Nate!)and I am very pleased with the results.
    Moonshine (www.moonshineguitars.com) :bassist:
     

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