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A one stop source for all bass hardware??

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by count_funkula, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. Do you guys have a single source where you get all your hardware? I'm tired of buying a couple of things from StewMac, a couple from allparts, some from Warmoth, etc....
    The shipping costs are adding up!

    Also where can I get some large nut blanks? They seem to be very hard to find. I just ordered some from allparts but their selection is limited. I want some 1/4" thick and at least 1 7/8" wide.
  2. STOP ordering nut blanks! Nut blanks are all around you - all you've got to do is pick them up. I regularly pick up aluminum, brass, corian, phenolic, and acrylic to make my nuts. I can have one for a Fender style instrument carved and installed from a raw piece of material in about 20 minutes.

    One of my favorite guitar material related stores is Goodwill. One of my local ones organizes things pretty well. I always hit the wood section for exotics - bought cocobolo, ebony, and cherry there. The brass section for brass nut material. I'm working on a solid brass sailboat I bought for $3. It weighed bout 3 lbs of solid brass. That's a lotta nuts! The corian can be had from the local cabinet guys. They usually throw away the drop from a sink installation. Aluminum from sign companies or just chopping up simple angle. Phenolic is rarer but you can get 1/8" sheets from Grainger or MCS for pennies and they'll make hundreds of hard, slick, black nuts. And I don't stop there. Everywhere I go, I've got my eye out for raw materials. I figure that I've got enough nut material to never have to buy again unless someone wants graphite but the phenolic is nearly identical in looks and performance.
  3. Good idea Hambone! I don't know why I haven't thought to do that before. Where else can I get corian? Would Home Depot carry it?
  4. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    wood from goodwill? are you talkin about choppin up furniture and knick knacks or does your goodwill actually have lumber layin around :eyebrow: :confused:
  5. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    "wood from goodwill? are you talkin about choppin up furniture and knick knacks or does your goodwill actually have lumber layin around "

    :hyper: :hyper: Yes let us know
  6. hehehe, yep they carry every color and style made and it comes in convenient nut size pieces - the samples they have attached in the kitchen department - don't let 'em catch you! :eek:

    Seriously, you could get chip samples from them or purchase backsplash pieces. But I think the cabinet guys would be a better choice. If you were to tell them - or even better, show them - your work, and ask nicely, they'd give you the little bit that you would need and probably plenty more. Craftsmen will stick together. You could also raid a dumbster or two - a pastime I'm not too proud to take part in on a regular basis - just as long as my wife isn't present
  7. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Corian is a good suggestion; my landlord ripped out a white corian countertop and threw the broken pieces in the driveway. Me and my guitarmaking neighbor scrounged a couple of pieces that will last us forever. Any home-renovation guys will probably have some sitting in the trash can if you ask nicely.

    As for your hardware, I'm afraid you're not going to really get one-stop shopping, especially if you're particular about what brands you want. I get my truss rods and fretwire from Stew Mac, bridges from Hipshot, and pretty mcuh everything else from AllParts. AllParts is the closest you get to one-stop shopping, but they don't do truss rods and they also don't sell the A bridge Their price on the B bridge is not as good as what I get direct.

    Then I have to get my Neutrik jacks someplace else and my strings from DR. Bartolini, Highlander, and Aguilar all direct. UPS is making a killing off of me!
  8. Knick Knacks, bric-a-brac, whatever

    A ton of this stuff is imported from Asia so you'll find more than your share of teak but keep your eyes open. With the influx of folks from the south, there are more and more South American items coming in. That's how I got the cocobolo bookends. Each yielded a pair of 6" x 8" x 1" chunks that I made some knobs from and experimented with. The rest awaits some intarsia I want to try. Once I got an ebony whale sculpture. It was over a foot long and probably weighed a couple of pounds. It was just as black as the ace of spades. Great for nuts and inlay.

    The furniture is a little harder to make fruitful but on more than one occasion I've passed on pianos for $100 or less that would have yielded some great pieces. Probably no ivory as they weren't that old but some ebony certainly. Tables and bookcases have to be extremely old before you see some really good woods. They were laminating veneers on furniture for a long time - probably over 100 years so seeing what your getting under the top is difficult. Ya just gotta keep trying.

    One other thing I do is peruse the jewelry counter. I look for inlay items - MOP, abalone, coral, and freshwater pearls. You would be surprised how much of the expensive inlay materials have been right there in the form of jewelry. And it's pretty inexpensive too. I got a 12" strand of freshwater pearls for $5 - perfect for crushing and filling with.

    Sorry to lead you guys into thinking that there were great slabs of virgin mahogany and stuff there.
  9. JTGale


    Oct 26, 2004
    Hummelstown, PA
    GASP ... I thought I was the only one who plumbed the depths of the metal green boxes ... :eek: ;)