Nut Material....

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by ROBM700, Dec 24, 2013.


  1. ROBM700

    ROBM700

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Question 1). Any advantage/disadvantage to machining a nut out of a hardwood of some kind?

    Question 2). Is there a good resource you can point me to regarding nut materials and their sonic differences?

    Thanks much!
  2. NAVET

    NAVET

    Joined:
    May 14, 2013
    Maybe not the most complete source of information but it should get you started.
    Here
  3. Batmensch

    Batmensch Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Location:
    Chester, Pa.,USA
    One question - Does anyone still use bone for a nut material?
  4. pfox14

    pfox14

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Of course, bone is still the best material to make nuts from
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  6. Chainsaw Willie

    Chainsaw Willie

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Location:
    Redmond, Washington
    I've done a few guitars in bone. The only downside is when you are filing it there is a strong smell like a dentist drilling in a tooth.
  7. TomCHunley

    TomCHunley

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
    Location:
    Bowling Green, KY
    Disclosures:
    I practice a lot but still suck.
  8. JellinWellen

    JellinWellen

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    Get a metal nut, you want your open strings to sound like your fretted ones.
  9. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Location:
    Norman, OK
    I like TUSQ, which is a PTFE impregnated graphite material.

    It is slick so the strings don't bind, it's hard so it doesn't bend and crack unduly, and it's easy to sand, shape, file, and polish.

    It is, in my opinion, superior to bone in every way. It sure doesn't smell as awful when sanded.
  10. Spent

    Spent Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    +1
    I have two basses with brass nuts (no way to write that without sounding like a double entendre) and the open strings do sound closer to fretted than any of my other basses.
  11. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    My luthier made a nut out of ebony for my T-bird, because I wanted it to match the rest of my hardware(black), and he didn't have anything else that color on hand... It was actually an experiment, because neither of us knew how the string grooves would wear - but it's been fine so far...


    - georgestrings
  12. ack

    ack Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere near Raleigh
    Peavey uses Graphlon for nuts on a few of their MIA basses. I'm pretty sure that Graphlon is a blend of GRAPHite and Ballistic NyLON.
  13. JLS

    JLS Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Location:
    Emeryville, Ca
    Disclosures:
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    I like black Corian.

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  14. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    A handful of builders will use "stabilized" hardwood for nuts. Carl Thompson and Cliff Bordwell are the first to come to mind. The product is actually resin-infused...they use the same thing for fingerboards. Looks neat but I see no clear-cut advantages or disadvantages.

    If you want to live dangerously, put some feelers out for used / broken ivory. Carves well, takes a polish, and looks great on just about any instrument.

    Riis

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