nut change

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by hyperlitem, Aug 7, 2002.

  1. hyperlitem

    hyperlitem Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    ok the thread isnt as dirty as alot of you were hoping. Im not paying a luthier $50 to change the nut on a bass with a broken nut. A plastic nut cost like $3. How exactly do I do it. I was thinkin using a soldering iron, gettin the glue hot, sliding it out, and glueing the new one in. Am i wrong or is there a better idea? Thanks.
  2. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I would think you could find someone to do it cheaper than $50. I think the local guys charge maybe $30 around here.

    Depending on what kind of nut it is, you might not want to apply heat. You should be able to tap a nut out without softening the glue.
  3. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    What kind of glue is optimal for this?

    brad cook
  4. Well if youre changing the nut, don't replace it with a plastic one, get brass or bone insted, and improve your bass a little! Take it from one who's been there, you'll just end up changing it in a year anyway..
  5. I have to agree with the bone or brass, they are also pretty cheap. The nut should tap out or it may be set in place with glue that may need to be steamed. If none of these work you might need to saw the middle, length wise, out of the nut then crush it, then file or use a chisel to clean up the slot. If that’s the case the $50.00 might not be a bad way to go. If it pops right out do it your self. Most of my information comes from Dan Erlewines "Guitar Players Repair Guide" and my own experience.
  6. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    I use just a dot or two of liquid hide glue. The strings should pretty much hold the nut where you want it so you only need a dab to keep it in position. I am not a luthier , but this works for me. And definatly go with bone, (my preference), micarta, or some synthetic ivory.

    And fifty bucks isn't so bad. These guys are trying to make a living you know!
  7. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Two points:

    (1) The nut can only affect your tone when you play open strings. IME bassists tend to do this less often than guitarists (sure, there are are plenty of exceptions). So the nut material, while not meaningless, may not be all that critical, depending on how you play,

    (2) Putting the nut in place is probably less of a chore than cutting the slots properly. That, if anything, is probably what you would need a good setup person for.
  8. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    yellow or white glue will hold the nut in place fine. it's important that you don't glue it too securely so you'll be able to get it back off if you need to.
  9. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
  10. That's a GREAT book IMO!
  11. kboyd


    Jul 6, 2002
    Hey man, go with anything hard and dense. Any dense hardwood or bone or graphite. You will not notice much if any difference in open strings. I tend to think of nuts as nothing but string retainers to hold them in certain positions. People will argue whether brass or bone or wood or whatever you use will give you the best tone. You are only talking about OPEN strings, and most often you will not be able to tell the difference in an open A and a fretted A. Also, the nut should be able to come out with one quick blow from a narrow blunt object. I only use one or two drops of titebond on the nut. String tension will keep them in place. If you want to change them, you want to be able to just knock them out without damaging your fingerboard or your neck.