1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Questions about nutjobs

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by DiabolusInMusic, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    My Jaco artist bass E string gets a little buzzy when I have it as low as I like, and as low as the other strings. I am pretty certain it is because it is slightly high at the nut, it seems to be better if I put a slight pressure by the nut when playing.

    I have never worked on nuts, that is something I was always told was best left to professionals, but I am cheapskate and this seems like a really minor piece of work. I would imagine it would cost me as much to buy a set of files than it would to get the work done. On that note, has anybody used these files? From what I gather you just use the smaller sizes to file the larger slots as even Stewmac's set does not have all the string sizes or even the ones I prefer. The E string on my Jaco is .105 and they have a .105 file though, so I am good there.

    Is my idea nuts? or should I go for it? Any good recommendations for reading material before I attempt something like this? Any tips from seasoned vets?

    One more question since we're talking nuts, should I ever use something to hold the nut in place or should I just let the pressure of the strings hold it in place?

    Thanks in advance for any help!
  2. spz8


    Jan 19, 2009
    Glen Cove, NY
    Oops! I thought this would be a popcorn thread about questionable TBers asking for band drama advice. ;)

    Happy new year!
  3. elBandito


    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
    If I can do it, anybody can. As long as you have the right tools, it's pretty straight forward. Only thing is if you file a slot too low, you either have to replace the whole nut, or patch it up with CA glue. Go little by little and mind the break angle.
  4. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    Let the pressure of the strings hold the nut in place. I never glue my nuts (that sounded dirty).
  5. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    LOL! +1

    When I read the title, the first thing I thought of was some of the people that live in the city I live in.
  6. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Haha, I figured the band drama threads always get more looks than the luthier's corner. You should have seen all the puns before I edited it...

    Thanks for the tips so far. elBandito by the break angle I am assuming you mean how the string comes off towards the headstock.
  7. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Mesa Engineering! Warwick-G&L-Source Audio Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    I was going to say this sounds more like it's buzzing in the nut due to the slot being to loose. If the string is a little bit high it tonight that's one thing you can fix that problem by filing a little lower than a little tighter but first try increasing the breaking galindo other words wind the string farther down on the post in other words closer to the headstock would to the pressure on the nut if that solves your problem the problem was a loose nut slot for the E string
  8. sharpbass

    sharpbass Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2011
    This seems like sound advice for several life situations.
  9. bluebird28


    Feb 25, 2012
    Tacoma. WA
    When you file the nut please save the material that you file off. It may be helpful if you need to fill the slot back in a little. I use prescription pill bottles that I have pulled the labels off of, then I mark the bottle with a magic marker so I know where the material in the bottle came from multiple nut jobs.... I believe StewMac has a video or a white paper on how to make nuts in the Archives. Here is a link to that.


    Best of luck.
  10. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    Same here.

    If you screw up a nut job you have to install another. Not really that hard. And after a couple of times you'll get reall good.
  11. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I suppose I should add that this is not when the string is open, it is when the string is being "fretted". It is not a setup issue, as all the other strings play fine, the E string requires being above the A string in order to not get buzz, that is why I think it has to do with the nut.
  12. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    If the problem does not occur on the open string, the problem is not the nut.
  13. halfjackson


    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston, MA
    Working the nuts is pretty simple. Just keep checking your progress frequently so you don't over work your nuts. I use a crafts/hobby set of files. They're smaller, some are rounded, and you can buy a set for short money. And I agree with others; don't glue your nut. The weight of the strings is fine and you definitely don't want to accidentally glue your hand to your nuts.

    Best of luck, and don't bust that nut!
  14. Oh, sorry. I thought you were referring to one of my ex-wives.
  15. Precision101


    Sep 22, 2013

    Works everytime. Gluing your nuts can be messy:D
  16. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Me too! Having been a total nutjob for over 4 decades I thought I could offer some insight. :eek:
  17. Precision101


    Sep 22, 2013

    You also can use the baking soda and super glue trick. That worked very well for me.

  18. Really? I've never owned a bass that didn't have glued on nut. Until I bought my Dean Hillsboro Eric Bass that is. I changed the strings immediately upon receiving it and when I cut the old ones off the nut just fell off into the floor. I thought it was a defect so I super-glued it back on. :eek: Now that I've stumbled onto this thread I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't have done that??
  19. hsech

    hsech I'm not old, I'm just seasoned. Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    Central Iowa
    That's the same thing I thought.
  20. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California

    If you're really concerned about nut slot depth and want to put your mind at ease, it's easy enough to measure if you have a capo and feeler gauges. Watch this: