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Any easy fixes for a nut slot that is too low?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by pickles, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Right now I have one nut slot that is just a TINY bit too low, so I get some rattling on the open note. I've been shimming it with a single piece of paper, and that works great, but I want to go for something a little more permanent :rollno:

    I can get it fixed under warantee, but thats a hassle, and its so minor I thought I'd throw it out there to see if anyone has any ideas.
  2. What's it made of? I'd try to get the material they're made of insert them and carve them down to the radius of the string.
  3. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    You could try gel type Super Glue. Build it up a bit in layers. Carefully mask off the fingerboard; you don't want to glue the nut in. It works great for something like this.
  4. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Plastic of some sort. I was thinking about putting a dab of super glue in the bottom of the slot and letting it dry?
  5. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Yea, thats what I was thinking. "gel type" probably being a critical distinction.
  6. paulodumb


    Jan 16, 2006
    ypsilanti, mi
    Take the nut off and place it on the sticky side of a sticker or mailing label or something, and then cut around it and glue it back onto your bass. basically the same thing you're already doing, except with something that already has some adhesive on it, rather than just a piece of paper. it's worked for me in the past (disclaimer: i did this on an acoustic guitar, not a bass, but this was years ago and the guitar is still playing well).
  7. Giraffe

    Giraffe Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    San Diego, California
    The most reliable "quick fix" is some medium viscosity super glue. You can apply it to the bottom of the slot with a toothpick. The trick is to get a coat onto the bottom of the slot, right up to the fingerboard side of the nut, without slobbering over the edge onto the fingerboard itself. It helps to keep a single edged razor blade handy in case you ooze over the edge. Use the blade in a scraping motion, bottom (against the fingerboard) to top, to keep the speaking edge of the nut square. It is hard to get the glue into the slot without building up the sides of the slot a bit, and the bottom of the slot will need to be dressed when you are finished, so count on having to do that.

    This stuff builds up quickly, and you can solve must of these problems with one or maybe two applications of the CA. The trick to being happy with the results is doing a good job of re-cutting/cleaning up the slot after you have built up the bottom of the slot. A rough slot usually causes tuning problems. This stuff will last a long time, and it will not be visible, a big advantage over the shimming method for many folks.
  8. Groover


    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    I just did something like that last week. I taped the area around the nut, then put a drop of superglue in the string slot, and then filled it with Microballoons , topped it with another drop and let it dry. I read this somewhere that people use baking soda (powder) instead of the microballoons. I think they both serve the purpose, which is just to give the glue something to grab-onto and give it a solid fill.

    Anyway, once it dries, then you can file it down to where you need it to be. I actually did all 4 slots as they were all a little too low.

    Seems to be stable, but I don't play professionally. If I did, I'd probably put a new nut in just for piece of mind.
  9. [ouch! i just saw that the previous post did mention baking soda. sorry, but i'll leave the handy tape tip and all]

    The low tech solution: "baking soda"! When you can't rush out to the store for "microbaloons" :)

    I use a toothpick to drop a little baking soda onto the superglue when it is still fresh. If you can't remove the nut, then mask the thing off very well. If you are worried about tape marking/pulling the bass finish (and still decide not to pull the nut) then de-tack the masking tape by lightly applying it to your jeans. viola: low tack tape.

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