how to replace a nut on a p bass?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by groovking, Jun 22, 2003.

  1. i just never did one, whats the technique?
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Be very careful when you do this, as I have had to have 4 stitches in my thumb from an accident. I use an x-acto knife to berak the glue from underneath the nut. I also run it along both sides of the nut. Then i use a small jewlers screwdriver to pry it up. It should come right out.
  3. If you've never done one, the best thing is to get a pre-cut nut for the installation. That will eliminate the need for measuring and starting the spacing correctly.

    Removal is fairly easy. The plastic nuts don't often come out whole so don't freak if it breaks. You usually can lift them out by grasping with pliers - remember not to twist because that just splinters the nut. Any remaining pieces of nut in the bottom of the slot will need to be removed too. A new nut will be put in with a removable glue like Titebond or Probond. Don't use epoxy or CA cuz that will be permanent and could cause chipping if it needs removal later. If you can keep your old nut intact it would be helpful to establish the string spacing on the new one. Just mark off the centers of the slots. Slots are made with small files available from luthier supplies ( ) or small, cheap, Chinese files available just about anywhere ( ). Go slow, creating a "V" shape for the slot. This shape assures that the string will seat without rattle. Cut only as deep as your old nut. If you don't, you'll have to incorporate some trial and error filing adjustments into the setup you'll have to do after you've completed the installation.

    Hope this helps.
  4. miccheck1516

    miccheck1516 Guest

    Feb 15, 2003
    mabye ill refrain from making a comment about nuts on p-basses
  5. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    also, fender has pre cut p-bass nutz, if you need one.
  6. Osama_Spears

    Osama_Spears Guest

    Jan 7, 2003
    I'd be to scared to do it myself.

    Depending on what nut you're talking about...

    Either goto a Certified Doctor.


    A Guitar Center Tech. :)

  7. thanks everyone for the excellent info. this is one of those essex p basses , the $99.00 model. nice bass, i do like it and ive got tons of basses. it just seemed the nut was not cut deep enough on the e string ........and i overdid it with my file............oops thanks all
  8. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Old thread, but ...

    I have filed many nuts - usually bone or plastic.
    But I'm about to do my first whole nut replacement.
    I'd like to try a graphite nut, starting with a pre-slotted one.

    Can graphite be filed as easily as bone or plastic?
    Did I just ask a stupid question :) - is graphite really hard and not easily fileable?
  9. 62bass

    62bass Guest

    Apr 3, 2005
    The graphite files just as easily as plastic. You shouldn't have any problem.
  10. joegeezer

    joegeezer Guest

    Mar 9, 2005
    Northern Wisconsin
    Avatar Club#12 Eden Club Lucky# 13--USA Peavey Club#37 Carvin Club#5
    Look up in the Stewart McDonald How to's , how to replace a nut. I just finished mine today. Best if you can glue the nut in at nite, and don't fool with it till morning. I use a digital caliper, to measure your fret height. Mine was .037. Then I used a thick .070 feeler gauge. Hold it on the neck with a rubber band. File the nut slots down so you are just touching the feeler gauge. That leaves about .035 above the fret. Worked perfect. Do a final nut shaping, to round the sharp edges, and you are there. Then do your final bridge and neck adjustments, to get your final string height, down the fretboard. I like to leave at least .035 above the first fret. Some may like a little lower, but if your neck is not quite straight, that should leave you enough height to stay away from buzzes. If you find it a little high, you can always carefully take a liitle more out. Just remember to stay high the first time, cause you can't put it back, once it's gone. Good Luck!
  11. joegeezer

    joegeezer Guest

    Mar 9, 2005
    Northern Wisconsin
    Avatar Club#12 Eden Club Lucky# 13--USA Peavey Club#37 Carvin Club#5
    I used a Graphite Tremnut, from Graphtech. Pre-slotted one, but be carefull, cause I found that I had to take it down low enough so that I almost filed their pre-slots away. If you find your that low, just start filing the slots some, so that they are still there, when you get the nut low enough, for the job. The Graphite Tremnut, was very easy to file. Cuts down quite easy with a standard mill file to height, and my StewMac nut files, took the slots down quite easy also. Be sure to file the slots .005 to .010 bigger than the string size, but no more than .010. And you'll find that Life is Good!!