Removing the nut

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by fdeck, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    How? It is a Kay with rosewood nut and fingerboard. On one of the strings, the nut is lower than the fingerboard, so the string has kinda grooved its way into the fingerboard if you know what I mean. That can't be the best thing for intonation.
  2. Aerdna


    Dec 4, 2006
    Sorry for responding to an old post but I was wondering about this too. I'd like to replace the nut on my bass as the string spacing is not even. I've already done some set up work on my bass (new bridge, new soundpost, fingerboard dressing) and small repair (open seams) and I'm satisfied with the results. Does anyone want to share her/his knowledge on the subject?

  3. I like to learn also but I guess that there are no luthier on this forum :crying:
  4. uprightben


    Nov 3, 2006
    Boone, NC
    Well, I hesitate to reply, I am no luthier, but I have seen this done by one. You take a very thin piece of metal, work it between the nut and the board as far as it will go by hand, and then carefully tap on it until the nut pops off. When my luthier did this on my bass he looked at me and said "I usually try to do this when the owner is not around to see it". I would never try this myself on anything but a junk instrument, one wrong move and you could seriously damage your bass, so if you value your instrument you will take it to a luthier to get the nut off.
  5. 1st Bass

    1st Bass

    May 26, 2005
    Forest Grove, OR
    Sometimes you can put a block against the end of the nut, where it extends past the FB on one side, and rap it sharply with a mallet, and it will pop off easily...provided it was glued with hide glue which is now dry and brittle...a GOOD thing in this case.

    I have frequently (successfully) used a heated, thin, dull knife-blade, working it carefully between the surfaces of alternately the nut and FB, or the nut and neck. Be careful not to touch the varnish-- the heat will lift the varnish.

    If you are replacing the nut anyway, use a broad chisel, at the joint between the nut and neck. Go easy-- sometimes they just pop off with no damage, but if something is going to be damaged, you want it to be the nut, not the neck or FB.

    This is why many luthiers don't glue the nut on a bass, BTW. String pressure holds it pretty solid. (I do glue mine, but I may get past this fear of unglued joints eventually.)
  6. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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