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Is It Salvageable?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Cosmeticplagues, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. I was digging through my closet and found a dismantled strat that I haven't seen in AGES. All the pieces are there, so I figured I'd rebuild it to use as a beater. BUT, I ran into a little problem. Y'see, half of the nut and a chunk 'o' the fretboard is missing. :eek: Upon inspecting it, the memories started coming back to me...

    Once upon a time, when the guitar was still in one piece, the nut would keep slipping out of place. To remedy this, I popped it out of the slot, filled the slot with Loctite gel superglue, and stuck the nut back in place. Some time later, the guitar fell face-first and and a section of the nut (on the low E side) was chipped off. I thought, "Oh well, I'll just replace it." When the time came to remove it, I discovered that Loctite gel superglue is quite resilient. When I tried to remove the nut, it snapped in half and a chunk of the fretboard (on the high E side) decided to come with it.

    Here's the damage:


    Sorry about the crappy cell pics. :spit:

    This brings me to two questions:

    1. Does this look salvageable?

    2. If so, how would I go about removing the nut?

    Thanks in advance to anyone who can help! :D

    Oh, here's the guitar before I effed it up, JUS' FER FUNSIES.

  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Sure. I'm thinking a Dremel tool with a tiny bit on it to pretty much "dig" out the nut. In other words, kind of "sand it down 'til it disappears". (Those with more skills than I would probably use a disc and go at it sideways.) Just take it slow and you should be able to get it back down to a level seat for a new nut. The "chunk" doesn't seem to be out of the business end so you could repair that (or not) however you like. You're over thinking it.... I think.
  3. Thanks, two fingers. The slot still looks intact. I was just wondering if there was any way to remove the nut without causing further damage.
  4. eight0eight


    May 31, 2009
    Boston MA
    Here's a vid on removing this type of nut. Should work in your case.

    Not sure how much the missing wood will effect the sound overall. I'm interested if other people have recommendations on filling that area as I feel the sound would be effected if the nut isn't held solidly in place.
  5. What a coincidence, I was just watching that! Seems like that should do the trick. As for the missing wood, I'm not too worried about it, but if anyone has suggestions on filling it, I'd be glad to hear 'em.
  6. BAce


    Jul 31, 2012
    You might try heating it up a bit with a heat gun or hair dryer. Not too much, just enough to get the loctite a little "gummy". Then try to slide the nut remains (wow that sounds weird) out of the groove. I did a repair like this to an Ovation Ultrabass neck, and it has worked fine for several years. Albeit, mine wasn't missing as much wood as the neck you show in the picture. Once you get your busted nut out (another weird one) clean up your groove (there, that sounds better) and use a drop of CA glue to hold the new nut in place. That's one drop, not a lot.
    Then file the new nut for 4 big strings, not six skinny ones, change the bridge to a Kahler 4 stringer, remove those 6 silly little string winding thingies on the headstock, dowel those pesky holes, redrill for 4 proper man sized tuners, get some custom strings (.125 .095 .075 .060) and tune 'em EADG. Voila. 25.5 inch scale bass. The only one on your block.
  7. oleskool


    Sep 27, 2011
    Detroit, Mi.
    I'm no expert, but I would try to wick some acetone into the joint. Acetone should soften the glue.
  8. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    The proper repair for this damage is to take a chunk of a similar rosewood, break it down into splinters and start building up the rough edge to a semi flat with the splinters and wood glue or epoxy, then apply a small cap of said similar wood, to the flatted area to complete the build up, then sand back to proper shape.

    It's a lot more simple than it sounds.
  9. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Did you find the piece of rosewood that broke off? The best and easiest repair would be to glue the missing piece back in place.
  10. jeffreylee


    Jan 6, 2013
    The nut shouldn't be too hard to remove by previous suggestions of heat and/or solvents to soften the glue. If you want the fingerboard repair to look half decent I'd recommend chiseling a chunk across the entire width of the neck down to the level of the break and gluing in a piece of rosewood that is (hopefully) similar in color to the fretboard.
  11. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    This is why one only uses a tiny amount of glue to install a nut.

    I'd rout down the rosewood to a flat surface, glue a piece of rosewood there, and re-rout the nut groove. I made a router jig to do this, it's not for the faint of heart.
  12. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    Honestly, you don't even need a full-on nut slot like that. There are plenty of basses that put the nut right up at the end of the fretboard.

    Although it looks unsightly (which would be enough for me to go on re-building it), you'd be fine with just replacing the nut.
  13. pudge

    pudge Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Flaten that out and do something like this.
  14. I've been working on it, pudge. ;) After looking at my Les Paul, I decided to just simply flatten that whole section out and make a nut similar to the one you posted.

    Here's what I've got so far. I filed it down to where the nut met the fretboard. I may stop here for now until I get my paws on a nut blank.


    It's been cleaned up a bit more since those pictures, so the sliver of nut you see is gone now.

    Thanks to everyone who's given me tips and suggestions so far. I appreciate it! :D
  15. eight0eight


    May 31, 2009
    Boston MA
    I'd like to see how this comes together when you're finished. Just re-nutted (not sure if that's a word, but it sounds dirty) two acoustics and they came out great. I started with slotted blanks which made it even easier.
    Picked this up at Christmas and can't live without it now.
    It's been fun comparing all my instruments and tweaking setups. I've been able to get the regular guitar version to work on bass as well.
  16. BAce


    Jul 31, 2012
    The first pic you show of your repair progress shows a rounded bottom. You'll want to square that right off. Try a flat needle file.
  17. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    You're on the right track...I had the same thing happen to my Millennium 5. A chunk of the fingerboard on the headstock side broke off. Instead of attempting to re-glue / re-shape, I used a micro rasp and reduced that portion of the fingerboard til smooth and even. Fellow TBer walterw fabricated & installed a pseudo "end of fingerboard" bone nut. Unless pointed out, 9 out of 10 wouldn't even notice the mod / repair.