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Anybody Relaced their Nut(s)?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Bruce Lindfield, May 10, 2000.


  1. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Oops - that should say "Replaced the Nut on your bass?"

    I've never had to do this and a friend asked for advice on how to do it. He's only got a cheap bass and the local shop want to charge quite a lot for labour to do it (probably more than the bass is worth itself!)although the part in itself is very cheap (£1).

    Anybody done this and got any tips or know of a guide somewhere on the internet, telling you how to go about doing this?

    [This message has been edited by Bruce Lindfield (edited May 10, 2000).]
     
  2. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks!

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    Bruce--
    It's not that hard a job, unless they have to cut the slots on the nut. I've had it done on my Carvin.(My kids knocked it over when I wasn't home!!). I bought another nut from Carvin that was precut so I knew that I would get the same action, spacing, etc. that I had before. I had to replace the nut on my acoustic guitar( same problem with the same kids, I leave my instruments in their cases from now on!!) and it's not really beent the same. The high strings not resonate as true as they used to. So I would be wary of anyone replacing a nut, unless you have an exact duplicate of the original part.

    Chris A.
     
  3. BassCrazed

    BassCrazed

    Feb 1, 2000
    I had mine replaced on my bass (Squier) and the guy did a great job. It only cost about 25 bucks and he filed a brand new nut to fix the problem. Maybe I should of asked for a good quality nut but how many times can it break?
     
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I was really looking for somebody who had done it themself - so it looks as if nobody has? Prices over here in the UK for everything are higher and the friend in question live a fair way from any major city and feels that for what it's going to cost for the repair, he might as well buy a new bass.
     
  5. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I made a nut for my WestOne The Rail myself. You can get nut 'blanks' from people like WD Music Products for few bucks. I used a round file to make the slots, basing the bottom of the slot distance to the neck on my other basses. I cut the nut into a rough shape, slightly larger than needed, then sanded it down to get a good, tight fit. I glued it in using SuperGlue, and it works great now. Total cost, a few bucks and two hours of my time.

    P.S. I'm a lousy handyman, most I normally do is change a bulb, which I will also stop doing as soon as Microsoft declares Darkness© a new standard [​IMG]
     
  6. Knock the old nut out gently, and stick the new one in its place. What's the bass, BTW? Is the nut at the end of the fingerboard or ON the end (like a Fender)? The replacement you get needs to be bought accordingly. Nuts come in all shapes an sizes. You will need rat tail files to open the slots to the required depth. They are unlikely to be perfect.

    If the problem is just that the nut is too low, you can shim it with hard wood veneer. Stick the veneer to the nut, trim it, and then to the neck. Use superglue. It is not a major job.

    Your friend can always buy 2 or three nuts in case he messes up the first time.

    Andy
     
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Thansk for the replies on this - I forwarded them on to the friend and this is his reply :

    Thanks Bruce, this is very helpful. I've decided to try the DIY approach, as my old bass is only worth £50 or so. I can get blank nuts for £1-99 and have bought a needle file (£1). The only bit that worries me is chiselling out the old nut (it's set in the neck a la Fender). I'll let you know how it goes.

    Regards,
    - Grant
     
  8. If he has the Fender style nut, take a bit of care. You'll break the nut before you break the wood, but still...

    I have never replaced that kind of nut, but I have seen it done. What the guy did was grasp it with a pair of pincers and gently waggle it back and forth till it loosened slightly, and then used a scalpel to lever it off.

    andy
     
  9. Thinking about it, I can see the danger of scalpelling without wiggling! Take extra care! I would imagine the nut MUST be loose before removal.

    Andy
     
  10. Doug

    Doug

    Apr 5, 2000
    Buffalo, N.Y.
    As far as material goes, what are some of you replacing the nuts with, Graphite, plastic, or brass? Does brass make any difference in sustain? Is there a noticable difference between the three? I have a plastic nut and always wondered if it would be worth replacing with a graphite or brass.
     
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    There was a fashion for brass nuts in the 80s and I remember talking about this to the one person in my home town who I really trusted on setup - his shop has since had to close down - very sad! Anyway this guy said that he thought they were a waste of time and there was nothing wrong with using plastic. I have noticed that quite a few "high end" basses I have tried or owned in the past say that they have a "bone" nut - I always wondered which small animal had given up part of its body to provide me with a musical instrument. [​IMG] Does anybody know where they get the bone from?
     
  12. OhJustMe

    OhJustMe

    May 15, 2000
    Hmmmm (Evil Grin)
    IMHO the bone nuts just are a somewhat
    nostalgic thing that makes us think of the
    old intstruments..and the way they were made.. somewhat of a mental Spiff to the owner that he has somthing better than what it really is.. after all the modern materals are actully better than bone- more precise and consistant..
    i had a guitar that i put a bone or ivory
    bridge on - no improvemant in sound actully prolly worse..
    hope it helps
     
  13. gweimer

    gweimer

    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I just did my G&L when I got it. I asked a friend, and what he told me worked like a charm. Take a small razor knife (like an X-Acto) and make a small score on either end of the nut where it's joined to the neck. Make a similar score along the face of the nut. Gently pry the nut from either end; it should come out easily, and without breaking. Obviously, if you're not doing a direct replacement, there could be some filing involved, but my change worked perfectly. Good Luck.
     
  14. I've done nuts on a Fender and a Kramer clone. I came up with a signature design and hand carved each one. Both were white maple necks but the idea would work on any type. I use needle files and a Dremel moto-tool to carve, sand, and slot them. The shape I make is a larger nut shaped like an "L" on its side. The small leg fills the old slot as the rest of the nut extends toward the headstock. Use epoxy to fix it in place. This makes a very stable unit and has more surface area in touch with the wood to increase sustain and gain some tone.

    [This message has been edited by Hambone (edited May 25, 2000).]
     
  15. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Hambone,

    Great idea on the nut shape. Thats one I've got to try. I respectfully would suggest tite-bond or something similar to glue the nut in. Epoxy holds great but repair people hate it cause it makes a joint so strong you often cant get it to seperate without damaging something. once everything is up to tension the nut will hold itself in place so a real strong adhesive isn't all that necessary.

    Frog
     
  16. I did mine today. So far, so good, but I'm not all the way home, yet. This is a new MIM fretless Jazz mailordered from MF. The factory nut was a mess with the slots cut way too deep. When I replaced the factory flatwounds with light roundwounds, the new skinny strings were that much deeper into the nut. I got a blank nut from the local Fender shop and held it up aginst the nut on my bass. I copied the location of the string grooves onto the blank with a pen. I used little round files to make the grooves and held it up to the bass many times to make sure I was going right. I used a screw driver and small hammer to tap the old nut out from the side. Apparently it wasn't glued since it came out no problem. I used the little hammer to tap in the new unfinished nut and I did not use glue. I filed a little more and then put on the strings and tuned the bass. It was all buzzy sounding and I said, "What da f**k?" Why would high action be buzzy? I took it the the Fender shop and the lady said it looked right and to file some more to lower the strings. She didn't have time to listen to the bass, but when she played it unplugged, she said it sounded OK. She did give me an obvious tip that I had not thought of. When I go to file the grooves some more, I can loosen one string at a time and move it out of the way to file. I don't need to keep taking the strings completely off (Duh!). That will save a bunch of time. I'm hoping that tommorow, I'll file the grooves a little deeper, lower the saddles a bit, work out the intonation thing and have myself a new bass what got some good action. I hope!
     
  17. Well, today is now tommorow and I think I've done a successful nut-ectomy on my bass. Following the tech lady's suggestion of just loosening one string at a time and filing, I got the grooves to what I believe to be a good depth. I tweaked the truss rod and got a very slight bit of neck relief and tuned the sumbitch up. It was buzzy around the 12th fret and up, but raising the saddles a hair took away the buzz. I am now going around in circles trying to get the intonation right, but I beleive I understand the process and just need to keep at it until it's right. The action is still a little higher than I want, but I'm going to live with it for a while and try to learn even more about all this. Thanks, fellow Bassmen, I could not have done any of this without your advice. I feel pretty good about what I've learned on this discussion board.
     
  18. Rumblin' Man

    Rumblin' Man Banned

    Apr 27, 2000
    Route 66
    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rick Martin:
    I tweaked the truss rod and got a very slight bit of neck relief and tuned the sumbitch up. It was buzzy around the 12th fret and up, but raising the saddles a hair took away the buzz.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Buzzing above the 12th fret indicates that there may be too much relief.

     
  19. as I found out today...having a very worn down nut (or in his case, a filed down nut) can also contribute to buzzing above the 12th fret. at least that's what the guy who is working on my bass told me. I guess I'm about due to get the nut on my Precision changed.

    jeremy
     
  20. Rumblin' Man

    Rumblin' Man Banned

    Apr 27, 2000
    Route 66
    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by facet squared:
    as I found out today...having a very worn down nut (or in his case, a filed down nut) can also contribute to buzzing above the 12th fret. at least that's what the guy who is working on my bass told me. I guess I'm about due to get the nut on my Precision changed.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    A common way to correct buzzing between the 1st and 7th fret caused by a worn (or otherwise too low nut grooves) is to increase the relief which in turn can cause buzzing above the 12th fret. It can become a real balancing act. Replacing the nut should allow for the relief to be adjusted properly to allieviate the buzzing above the 12th fret.



    [This message has been edited by Rumblin' Man (edited August 03, 2000).]