hard material to withstand string friction?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by vin97, Aug 30, 2016.


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  1. vin97

    vin97

    Mar 7, 2016
    Germany
    Hi!


    Looking for the material with the best lubricating properties.
    Tone/sound and cost is irrelevant.



    Regards
    Vin
     
  2. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    What are you trying to do with it that it needs 'lubricating' properties?
     
  3. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    If you're talking making nuts out of them, you can make all of them equally slippery by putting some graphite powder in the slots when you change strings or every 6 months, whichever comes first, so it really doesn't matter.
     
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  4. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    Well, I would go with the choice that keeps you out of prison.
     
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  5. Have you considered a zerofret? No friction at all.
     
  6. vin97

    vin97

    Mar 7, 2016
    Germany
    It's not for a nut but I guess the requirements are the same: I need to rotate the saddles. Metal on metal is probably far from optimal, so I am looking for an alternate (self lubricating) material to minimize friction.


    Hold on, is ivory completely illegal nowadays?
    I thought there are a few legal sources.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
  7. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    While this is perfectly true, to answer your question - the Tusq nut will be the slipperiest. I think you can even get a "self lubricating" one, in fact. The main thing to be concerned about with any nut, is not having the slots so narrow that they bind the strings up. :)
     
  8. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    Ivory is very illegal.

    AFAIK the only sources are from 'estate" ivory and that will vary from state to state in the US. No clue what the situation is in Germany.

    Regardless, probably not what you are looking for anyway.
     
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  9. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Walrus ivory is still legal to trade with some restrictions, so is whale ivory. Your problem comes when the instrument is seized and you have to prove it isn't elephant ivory. Stay away from ivory.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
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  10. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    besides, having installed a few (provided) ivory nuts and saddles, it's no better than bone anyway, in fact it's slightly softer.

    i'll not be messing with it again.
     
  11. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    uh, what?

    the requirements may not be remotely the same! you should clue us in as to exactly the plan here, you'll get more useful answers.
     
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  12. vin97

    vin97

    Mar 7, 2016
    Germany
    Ok that's settled then.
    ...Coming back to the original question, I think Tusq XL is probably the best material for my purpose, unless somebody knows something that may be better suited.

    Friction (the material grabbing the string and messing intonation up) should not be a problem, my primary concern at this point is wear so I am asking everybody with experience on this: How long does it take roundwounds to create a visible groove in Tusq XL nuts?
     
  13. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Unless you're using a tremolo, a long, long, time. Even using a tremolo a long time (like decades.)
     
  14. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    no, because you're not telling us what this purpose actually is.
    in the nuts, it takes a while, especially if the string angle is fairly shallow. it still wears away faster than bone.

    in saddles, pretty much right away.

    that's my complaint against the graphite/tusq kind of stuff; the material may be self-lubricating, but it's soft enough for string windings to create ridges in the slots.
     
  15. vin97

    vin97

    Mar 7, 2016
    Germany
    Ok, so I have to be able to quickly (instantly basically, like a Hipshot detuner) rotate the (circular/cylindrical) saddle under the string by ~6°.
    As I wrote in that other thread, I want to build variable jawari saddles to fine-tune the overtones.
    6° (at ~8mm circumference) is a tiny movement but a tiny deformation of the jawari surface might already be enough to screw everything up.

    ...I guess I will just use some hard metal and lubricate it with a pencil since wear is the first priority.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
  16. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    If expense is not an issue take a look at some of the different glass compounds available. Glass generally is harder than steel so wear would be concentrated on the strings rather than the saddles. I don't know if it will have the required strength though.
     
  17. vin97

    vin97

    Mar 7, 2016
    Germany
    Sounds interesting. Could you point me to one of those glass compounds? I have no clue what you mean specifically :D
     
  18. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    so you're looking to have saddles you can swivel in to get that what my clueless western ear calls the "sitar sound"?

    i'd think that hard white nylon material would do OK, since the critical magic buzz is happening over a wider flat area where the string by definition isn't putting much pressure on the saddle material.

    would metal sound too harsh for this application?
     
  19. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Something along the lines of palladium glass (a glass that contains palladium.)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
  20. vin97

    vin97

    Mar 7, 2016
    Germany
    @walterw basically, yes.

    i would prefer a very hard (metal) surface so that the string cannot eat into it and lose energy (which seems to happen with tusq) that could otherwise help produce more overtones. a harder surface should allow a smaller angle because the string should reflect off the surface instead of being dampened. wasn't able to test this yet, could also sound like crap.

    i got an experimental tusq saddle from günter eyb a few days ago, the string groove was premachined (i couldn't test any quick rotations to figure out that kind of wear anyway).
    while the highlighted marks you see in the closeup of the surface (created by the g and e string) could indicate a loss of overtones, they are probably not dramatic in terms of wear. i am more worried about the "string resting point" (don't know the correct word, intonation point??) wearing down due to friction (when 'toggling' between different angles).
     

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    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
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