Bone Nuts - WHAT ANIMAL??!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by mattmalley, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. mattmalley

    mattmalley Don't wear your bass higher than your pancreas

    Oct 31, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    I can't seem to find this answer anywhere. Even when googling and finding an article titled, "All About Bone Nuts" - talks all about bone nuts EXCEPT what animal's bone is used! Help! Are they human bones? Dog? Horse? Really! What gives??
  2. jeffmensch

    jeffmensch Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2012
    Orillia, Ontario
  3. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY

    The most delicious of all luthiery materials.
    RSBBass and Aberdumbie like this.
  4. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    And what about corn nuts? I didn't know corn had ... ahhhhh never mind.
  5. Aberdumbie


    Jan 22, 2016
    South Carolina
    Ok, ok..... I'll resist the urge to say something cute here...... I may be all wrong here. But something in a distant brain cell tells me that whale's were the critters of choice for bone nuts.
  6. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    Baleen, AKA whalebone was commonly used in corsets back in the day, but it's not actual bone. It's made up of keratin, the same thing our fingernails are made of.

    A wizened old hillbilly once told me for a banjo to be proper required a nut made from the thigh bone of a bear. I asked if it made that much difference in the sound and he said no, but it insured fewer banjos got made.

    As far as bone used for instrument nuts these days, using the SWAG method i'm thinking cow bone for no other reason than price/availability.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
  7. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician - Retired
    The common stuff is cow bone. It has to be properly cut and dried though, so there's not much point hanging on to those t-bone leftovers.
  8. Human is not advised.
  9. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician - Retired
    Perhaps we should ask the question concerning what difference would come from the use of different animals' bones. Would hippo bone sound more meaty? Is Giraffe bone better for longer necked instruments? Would hamster bones sound cuter? What's the best bone for metal?
  10. Badwater

    Badwater Guest

    Jan 12, 2017
    Electric eel bone composite nuts are great for electric guitars. But is Tusq brand nuts made from tusk?
  11. hondo4life

    hondo4life Guest

    Feb 29, 2016
    I hear human horn is desirable on some planets.
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  12. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    Hi Matt,

    As mentioned, cow bones are what is used; given how common cows are used as food this makes good use of other "byproducts" of them. There are other manmade materials available that are excellent as a replacement for cow bone nuts that are not of animal origin you might consider. :thumbsup:


    Edit: spelling
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
  13. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Central Texas
    Are vegans conflicted about using bone nuts?
    bolophonic and comatosedragon like this.
  14. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009

    and yeah, i'm pretty sure it's plain ol' cow bone.

    (unless the blanks are from china, they might be made from "executed political prisoner", who knows :eek:)
    Ant Illington and fhm555 like this.
  15. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    Cow there is plenty of it and the bones are big enough to make many nuts from one bone.
  16. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    It would probably be a to find out. :D
    nbsipics likes this.
  17. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Thark and Banth.jpg I have it on good authority that Banth bone makes excellent nuts. Sadly, there are very high shipping costs, and import restrictions...:rolleyes:
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
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  18. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I am not a vegan, but I actually prefer Graphtech to actual bone. They are self lubricated and you don't have a piece of an animal carcass on your bass.
  19. jchrisk1


    Nov 15, 2009
    Northern MI
    I once bought a bone blank to make a new nut for one of my basses. To make quick work of the initial shaping of it, I used a bench grinder. Pee...eww! Smelled like burnt hair!
  20. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician - Retired
    You don't mind tree carcasses?
    Aberdumbie likes this.