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Notching a Jazz Bass nut

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Lo-E, Apr 9, 2014.


  1. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'm cutting a nut for a new bound J-style neck and I'm contemplating notching the edges so they extend over the binding to allow myself just a slightly wider string spacing.

    The only downside I can think of (other than it looking a little odd) is that there might not be enough material between the string slot and the notch on the E string side to keep it from cracking.

    Has anyone here tried this? If so, how'd it work out?
     
  2. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Location:
    NY & MA
    You could use a brass nut... that would put the odds of not cracking in your favor. Sure, you might get slightly wider string spacing but consider if the strings will be a tad too close to the edge of the freeboard... might be challenging to play without having strings slide off the edge.
     
  3. hotbass57

    hotbass57

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Location:
    Fairfield,Ohio
    +1 with Gypsy and the strings slipping off.
     
  4. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Never been a big fan of brass nuts, but it's not a bad idea. If the bone nut cracks I could always keep that idea in my back pocket.

    Being too close to the edge would not be a problem as I'd only be slotting the nut where the strings would be on an unbound board. I'm just looking to make up for the 1/16th or so of wasted space on each edge of the board. I'm not looking to go wider than a normal, unbound Jazz. I know I wouldn't be gaining much, but every little bit helps. I generally prefer wider necks.

    Keep the thoughts coming! I'd especially like to hear from anyone who's actually tried this. Surely somebody must have....?
     
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  6. bThumper38

    bThumper38 brian ebert

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Cascade Mts. Washington
    I've got a P-bass brass nut on my jazz bass, with bound edges, I had to widdle away at it before I got the size and depth right, but I like it A lot;)
     
  7. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    bThumper38, if that nut were made of bone, do you think there's enough material on the edges to hold together without cracking? It's encouraging to hear that the concept works.
     
  8. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Well, it took me a good long while to get around to it, but I went ahead and tried it and it worked fine with a bone nut. Extending the nut over the binding - about 1/16" on each side - enabled me to increase the overall string spacing by almost 1/8". A big improvement for me. These clumsy fingers need all the room they can get!
     
    AGH likes this.
  9. Jefff

    Jefff Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Location:
    Chicago
    Never discount what a 1 16/th of an inch can do. I mess around on the mandolin and the difference between a 1 1/8th and a 3/19th nut is HUGE.

    I'd go brass and give it a whirl.
     
  10. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Already finished. Went with bone. Worked out great.
     

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