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I think I broke my nut

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bassplayajew, Jun 23, 2002.

  1. bassplayajew


    Mar 14, 2002
    Bethesda, MD
    earlier I was tweaking my truss rod, when BAM. Somehow the nut popped off...after frantically panicking (not a good feeling), I squirted the bottom of the nut and top of the nut slot with super glue and stuck it back on there. I can see little openings along the sides...I don't know if I did the right thing or not. Are these tiny gaps going to be a problem? If so, how do I fix it?
  2. did you break the nut where it holds the string or the truss rod nut????

    if it was the truss rod nut.. your probably screwed...

    if it was the one that holds the strings...then go get a replacement one from your local store!
  3. bassplayajew


    Mar 14, 2002
    Bethesda, MD
    the nut that holds the strings...its not really broken, it just popped out of the nut slot (in one piece). Should I still get a new nut?
  4. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    It sounds like you didn't clean all of the old glue residue out of the nut slot.

    The nut is usually glued in solidly enough to keep it from popping out but not so solidly that the nut wont come out for replacement. I use just one tiny drop of Titebond II in the center of the nut.

    If it works OK I wouldn't worry about it.

    Just for the record, super glue isn't the glue of choice for a nut. You'll understand why if you ever have to remove it.

    Not good but not a disaster. :)

  5. bassplayajew


    Mar 14, 2002
    Bethesda, MD
    I'm sort of a perfectionist so I really can't just leave my bass as having any sort of flaw. pkr2, you mentioned cleaning out the old glue residue. Should I pop it back out and do it again, the right way? I'm not sure what you mean by super glue being a bad adhesive or whatever, when it popped out of the slot originally, there was still wood stuck to it. So if I were to go about gently removing it, should I heat a very thin and narrow strip of metal, slid it between the nut and the nut slot for a minute and just pull it out? Would that work?
  6. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    You may not be able to get it back out without destroying the nut. I would advise you to have a replacement nut before removing the old one.

    Super glue is kind of like epoxy. It makes such a strong bond that disassembly become very difficult.

    If you have a bone nut the hot knife possibly could work. If the nut is plastic the hot knife may mar the plastic.

    I would advise you to have a replacement nut before removing the old one.

    The wood that was stuck to the old nut is a good indication that the manufacturer made a bad choice on the original glue. If you didn't clean the adhering wood off before you glued it back on, that is where you went wrong. The mating surfaces must be clean and flat.

  7. bassplayajew


    Mar 14, 2002
    Bethesda, MD
    so pkr2, basically i screwed myself by fixing the nut myself, right?? If yanked the nut out again, I'd have to clean off two layers of old glue, glue back the old chip of wood attached to the nut, and glue back the wood that will chip out when i pull the nut out again? That brings a whole new set of questions...
    1) What's the least damaging way to do this?
    2) What type of wood glue should I use?
    3) How do I clean out the old glue?
    4) How do I detatch the wood from the nut?
    5) How and what type of glue should I use to glue the nut back into the slot?
    Thank you so much for your time and for sharing your knowledge on the subject. This bass is my baby, I don't want to hurt it or let anyone else hurt it. I'm sure you understand. Thanks in advance for your response.
  8. stingray96191


    Jul 27, 2001
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Unofficially Endorsing Ernie Ball Music Man Guitars
    You really shouldn't need any glue at all, but since ita alredy glued in there, i would just leave it. Trying to fix it from this situation can only make the problem worse unless you are a skilled luthier. I don't think its ognna get any better for you, so you may just have to accept that inperfection.
  9. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    You didn't exactly go wrong by making the repair yourself so much as doing the repair improperly.

    1- The least damaging way is to mill the old nut out very carefullywith a dremel tool on a router base. Probably beyond the scope of a DIY repair.
    2-I prefer Titebond II. Other woodworking glues may also work.
    3- I use a scraper to remove dried glue.
    4- A peice of sandpaper on a flat peice of window glass. Very small peices of wood can probably be removed with a sharp knife. just be careful not to cut the nut itself.
    5- again, Titebond II.

    In the interest of not doing further damage, I strongly suggest that an experienced repairman make the repairs. The biggest risk in removing the nut now is in damaging the wood any further. It is very easy to pull up an ugly splinter which would be hard to repair. You also need to keep in mind that the nut is probably glued to the end of the fingerboard. You can very easily damage the fingerboard if you get too heavy handed in removing the nut.

    Again, if it works ok I wouldn't worry about it. In the event that the nut ever needs changing, the problem can be addressed then.

    By the way, trying to glue the peices of wood back in will be an exercize in futility. Just use a good filler such as Bondo to fill the divots where the splinters came out.

    Wish I could be more help

  10. air_leech


    Sep 1, 2000
    I dont want to add insult to an injury or whatever you say in such a case but if you were a real perfectionist you wouldnt have glued the nut back without sanding off the dried glue resiude.

    the nut would transfer the string vibrations much better if you used the least adhering glue.

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