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Carpenters Glue for bone nut?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Ben Esparza, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. I need to glue a bone nut on to an all maple Telecaster neck. I don't want to use Super Glue because I had to do some major surgery to the old nut to remove it...it was Super Glue'd on.

    Will yellow carpenter's glue suffice?
  2. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Super glue is your best bet. Just a tiny drop in the middle of the nut is all you need.
  3. Even white glue will suffice, and just a few small drops at that.

    I try not to lock the nut into place and make it hard to remove when necessary. Too tight of a bond, you'll take wood out with it when the time comes.

    And remember: You also have the downward force of the strings; when combined with even a light bonding agent, it works just fine.

    I've been using three tiny drops of white glue for 38 years, not once has a nut slipped or come loose, and it's very easy to tap them out and chip off the glue if necessary.
  4. exltd001


    Sep 12, 2012

    Carpenters Glue (aka. Elmers Glue) is great for wood. But it is not hard. Superglue is quite hard as plastic. They use it to coat Fretless bass fretboards.
  5. exltd001


    Sep 12, 2012
    White glue is Elmers glue and it is not hard enough to take any much wear. us just a dab of superglue an it will be as hard as the nut elmers glue will wear off after a few string changes.
  6. SamanthaCay


    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    On fender style nuts I like to have a snug fit, not so snug that it breaks the nut or surrounding wood but snug enough that it holds it in place without the need for glue.
  7. Wrong.

    38 years using white glue, what you describe has never happened to any of my guitars or basses.

    What "wear" is the glue going to experience? It's underneath the nut!

    "Hardness" of the glue is insignificant. The glue spreads so thin with pressure as to not be a factor aside from the bond.

    If you want to run the risk of pulling up wood when you go to remove the nut, use super glue or the strongest bond you want.

    If you want a shot at a clean removal of the nut, super glue is a bad choice (as the OP already states he has experienced in his first post):

  8. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    +1 more to superglue; it dries hard and brittle, good for tone transmission and (done right) easy to pop back out again. it also allows you to hold the nut in place for the few seconds needed for it to dry, rather than worry about imperfect clamping with white glue (sometimes you have to hold it against two surfaces at the same time, which a simple clamp or string pressure won't really do).

    you only need a couple drops.
  9. Okay, people can't or won't read...I'm done.

    For those who give a damn: The OP has had bad experience with super glue. So have I. He is looking for an alternative to super glue. If you come on this thread and say "use super glue" you are not helping.
  10. exltd001


    Sep 12, 2012
    Sorry I thought you were repairing the nut it self. if you just want to keep it in the slot, elmers glue, white glue carpenters glue perfectly good. Then if you wanted to take the nut out you can, but beause of downward pressure will stay perfectly fine.
    Sorry my mistake.
  11. Thank you. No worries.
  12. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Why are you getting upset? There are different ways to reach the same destination. You prefer white glue, and I, and others prefer CA glue, and that's ok. I just explained that if you don't go crazy, and put just a tiny drop the nut will pop out of the slot just fine.

    As for the CA providing better tone transfer, sorry I ain't buying it.
  13. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    yeah OK, the "tone transfer" thing is mostly theoretical, but the quick setting and easy removal when done right is not.

    also +1, just because the right answer isn't one you want to hear doesn't mean it's not the right answer ;)
  14. Well, the OP already stated that "super glue" is NOT the answer he wants to hear. HE already had a bad experience with it. I merely echoed the potential pitfalls of using super glue.

    So I think it's safe to say, from his perspective, there IS a right and wrong answer. And it would appear, from HIS perspective, "super glue" is the WRONG answer.

    Or whatever you want to think, because that's all that really matters. Right?
  15. I'm not upset.

    The more pressing question is, why, when the OP clearly stated that he is not interested in a solution that involves super glue, why do posters feel compelled to offer the solution or advice of "super glue"?

  16. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Because, by the way the OP described it, it sounded like someone either flooded the nut channel with super glue when they glued in the nut, or they used something that bonds stronger like epoxy and he is confusing the two (which would be easy to do.)

    If you use CA glue correctly there is no problem at all removing the nut. I didn't want him to be turned off by a simple, quick solution because of someone else doing it incorrectly.
  17. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    ^ Yeah, I gotta agree. We're all saying CA glue, because it's the usual way to go. The OP may have had a bad experience, but we actually don't know for sure. What I do know is, I will continue to use a single drop of CA glue to hold my nuts as I've done it for years along with many other repair professionals and luthiers. A single tap removes it. If the slot is flooded with glue, white or super, it's going to be a pain to remove regardless. I'd probably not use three drops of white glue, it's likely overkill and certainly just as prone to tearing up wood as CA glue.

    There are a lot of ways to skin the cat. The OP said he didn't like CA glue, and then described a scenario that does not sound at all like the use of CA glue. I think a few discussion points are worth exploring in that situation so that others don't go 38 years without exploration of other techniques...
  18. mrbell321


    Mar 26, 2012
    N. Colorado
    I'm curious, and not yet having installed a nut: why glue it in at all? Assuming the tuners and bridge are aligned, the strings should hold the nut in place.
    I know the bridge bar on some acoustic guitars isn't glued in(maybe it should have been or the glue broke down).
  19. sowilson


    Jul 5, 2013
    Bingo, we have a winner. Fit the nut to the slot properly and no glue is needed. If you must glue forget the superglue and use shellac which dries as quickly as superglue, is an easy bond to break, and very simple to remove traces of.
  20. Three tiny drops, no problemo. It spreads paper thin. Guaranteed based on first-hand experience removing dozens of nuts glued in with three tiny drops of white glue. White glue does not tear up wood. It is very easy to break the bond and remove with zero damage to the surrounding wood.

    One or two drops might also work just as well. I just wanted to spread the glue evenly, and three tiny dots of white glue is not overkill.

    A rather misguided and unfortunate assumption. I have had many experiences with super glued nuts. Mostly bad ones. And my experience would also indicate that you don't need to "flood the slot" with super glue to end up pulling out wood when removing the nut, an assertion which is also a huge assumption since OP never confirmed anything of the sort.

    That being said, explore away. OP DID say he was wary of super glue due to a bad experience--and he was seeking advice on alternatives as a result. But keep puttin' it out there if it makes you feel good.