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Notching a Jazz Bass nut

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Lo-E, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'm cutting a nut for a new bound J-style neck and I'm contemplating notching the edges so they extend over the binding to allow myself just a slightly wider string spacing.

    The only downside I can think of (other than it looking a little odd) is that there might not be enough material between the string slot and the notch on the E string side to keep it from cracking.

    Has anyone here tried this? If so, how'd it work out?
  2. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    You could use a brass nut... that would put the odds of not cracking in your favor. Sure, you might get slightly wider string spacing but consider if the strings will be a tad too close to the edge of the freeboard... might be challenging to play without having strings slide off the edge.
  3. hotbass57


    Nov 27, 2011
    +1 with Gypsy and the strings slipping off.
  4. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Never been a big fan of brass nuts, but it's not a bad idea. If the bone nut cracks I could always keep that idea in my back pocket.

    Being too close to the edge would not be a problem as I'd only be slotting the nut where the strings would be on an unbound board. I'm just looking to make up for the 1/16th or so of wasted space on each edge of the board. I'm not looking to go wider than a normal, unbound Jazz. I know I wouldn't be gaining much, but every little bit helps. I generally prefer wider necks.

    Keep the thoughts coming! I'd especially like to hear from anyone who's actually tried this. Surely somebody must have....?
  5. bThumper38

    bThumper38 brian ebert

    I've got a P-bass brass nut on my jazz bass, with bound edges, I had to widdle away at it before I got the size and depth right, but I like it A lot;)
  6. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    bThumper38, if that nut were made of bone, do you think there's enough material on the edges to hold together without cracking? It's encouraging to hear that the concept works.
  7. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Well, it took me a good long while to get around to it, but I went ahead and tried it and it worked fine with a bone nut. Extending the nut over the binding - about 1/16" on each side - enabled me to increase the overall string spacing by almost 1/8". A big improvement for me. These clumsy fingers need all the room they can get!
    AGH likes this.
  8. Jefff


    Aug 14, 2013
    Never discount what a 1 16/th of an inch can do. I mess around on the mandolin and the difference between a 1 1/8th and a 3/19th nut is HUGE.

    I'd go brass and give it a whirl.
  9. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Already finished. Went with bone. Worked out great.