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Shimming and gluing an odd nut?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Caca de Kick, Dec 14, 2004.


  1. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Last week I re-strung my '79 Ibanez Musician bass to find the A string nut slot now to be a bit low causing some buzzing.

    In the past on "normal basses" I have been able to buildup the groove with epoxy and file the slot to desired depth.
    The odd thing about the old Ibanez is half of the nut is plastic, and half is brass. So I think it will have to be shimmed and all slots re-filed to depth.
    What do I use to shim it? What kind of glue holds a nut like this in place? Elmers wood glue okay?

    My bass' nut is the same as this Ibanez guitar
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Wood glue is fine and is the preferred method - you might want to take it off sometime later.

    That's an interesting problem with the nut. I had an Ibanez Artist EQ (limited edit. Musician) but it just had a brass nut. Yours is prettier. So, thinking off the top of my soft head here...

    - use a tiny section of small brass tubing under the A string and solder it to the brass section of the nut.

    - Make a new nut with brass and ivoroid or brass and Corian®.

    - Replace with a nut of one or the other material or something else.

    - Fill the entire slot with something that will work with both like JB Weld and then recut to the proper depth. All of the repair should be under the string so it won't be seen.

    That's all I've got
     
  3. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Thanks for the tips. I'm going to try "fill the slot" method first. At work I found some rock-hard epoxy called Duramix, it sticks to anything. Like you said it will all be under the string, so it won't be seen. I'm sure it'll probably still sound just fine.
     
  4. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    On a white nut, Karl Hoyt (and probably others) builds up/fills in the oversize slot with a mixture of CA glue and powdered chalk.
     
  5. I've actually experimented with chalk and this method to make side marker dots. I didn't like it much because as the chalk got wet, it turned grey and lost the bright white look. The white was what I was after in the first place. I've done it with colored chalks too and it darkens them so the effect isn't as undesirable.

    Maybe Karl was using a different type of chalk.
     
  6. hoytbasses

    hoytbasses

    Mar 30, 2003
    Cape Cod
    I build stringed instruments.......
    not chalk: bone filings: chalk won't hold up but take your time and build it up a bit at a time: if the bottom of the slot ends up looking grey it's really no biggie since the string covers it:)

    be sure you're not dealing with tweaked action: a backbow may look like a too low nut and a little adjustment can save a bunch o headaches

    kfh
     
  7. OK, that makes more sense to me. I've done something like that too but I did it with bone colored Corian*™. Home Depot was closer than the butcher. :D
     
  8. hoytbasses

    hoytbasses

    Mar 30, 2003
    Cape Cod
    I build stringed instruments.......
    "OK, that makes more sense to me. I've done something like that too but I did it with bone colored Corian*™. Home Depot was closer than the butcher."


    I've used corian as well: works just fine


    generally, I use a lot of bone for nuts and saddles on acoustic guitars in my guitar building class, so I have plenty of scraps around.....
     
  9. BTW Karl, now that I've got your eye for a minute.

    I recently saw a couple of pics of some basses you built for a TB'er. I don't remember much other than them both being a dark wood, very similiar to each other and they had simple rail style bridges. The other distinctive feature was the sheer beauty from the simplicity of the design. That feature has inspired my latest creation - all wood adjustable saddles riding in routed slots on the face of the body. Sort of a bridge without a bridge. I was mulling over ideas like the acoustic guitar style bridge and not really being sold on it's viability when I saw your interpretation. That was all the encouragement I needed to go ahead and try this.

    Thanx for doing good work that can inspire even the hardest heads here. :D
     
  10. hoytbasses

    hoytbasses

    Mar 30, 2003
    Cape Cod
    I build stringed instruments.......
    thanks for the kind words, Hambone: Those were twin fretted and fretless basses made for a TB'er. sadly, personal situations caused him to have to move them along: I hated seeing them split up as I was quite attached to those basses. I also really liked the person I built them for and was sorry that his situationprecluded keeping them together.

    those cool looking wooden bridges are an aggravation since they can't be adjusted as easily as a regular metal bridge. but the piezo/magnetic combination especially on the fretless was pretty nice......

    I started out building (and still build a few) acoustic guitars, so it's not a horrible thing for me to build and then adjust those bridges. getting them right "in the field' poses problems, however.

    still, the idea of a hand made bass with a hand made bridge appeals alot to me.

    thanks again for the kind words:

    kfh