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Aw, my nut!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by carl-anton, Jun 26, 2001.

  1. My nut just broke right were the g-string passes it... - He He, that's not true, I just had to finish the joke - It broke were the B-string passes it. I don't know how, but the outer end just fell off while changing strings. Its on my StingRay5 and its a plastic nut (cheap, huh?). I went on and fittet the new strings to the bass, and theres no problem with it for now, since I can't force the b-string out of the nut at all. Do you know any side-effects that I havent thought of? And, what nut material do you prefer, If I could get it changed. And, is it a complicated operation that I should only trust the best luthier I can find to do?

    Thanks a nut!

    (oh boy, I'm so funny - Mayby I should go out, try my luck)
  2. It's not hard to do and is the perfect "first-timer" project if you've ever had an interest in working on your own gear.

    You can buy nut blanks for people like Stewart MacDonald www.stewmac.com or scrounge your own materials. I like brass nuts, but have graphite and aluminum on my instruments. The aluminum is easy to come by and is easy to work with files to shape. Brass is harder but looks great and is very dense. Bone is hard but sorta brittle and has a nice vintage look. Corian (yep, countertop) is used, especially the ivory colored stuff, and is easy to work and, looks like old ivory. Graphite is slippery and black but is easy to carve. Ivoroid is a synthetic ivory with actual "graining" like the real stuff - looks great. Lots to choose from here.

    Get a set of jewelers files. These can be cheap imports or a more expensive variety - it really doesn't matter. The set will come with enough shapes to make carving and finishing a blank quite easy. Choose your blank material and use the old nut for a pattern. Go slow and take your time till you get the blank to fit your neck, install it, and then cut the string slots.

    When all is said and done you might save about $30 for the work but the experience is the real value here. At worst you'll get a functional piece if not a truly pretty one. It will depend on your attention to detail.
  3. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    IMO, have a luthier do it, and go brass.

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