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Sourcing Brass Nut for 6 string

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by halz426, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. halz426


    Jan 14, 2014
    So I dropped my bass off for a new setup, the company (which is reputable) cannot source a brass nut big enough for the bass.

    I find this odd since you can cut your own out of a hunk of brass and file it to fit.

    Does anybody have any resources for brass nuts or material. They left it up to me to source the nut/material.

    This is for an old Washborn Bantam Bass.

  2. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Find some silicone bronze or naval brass. Either one will be harder and less prone to deformation or corrosion than other brass or bronze alloys.

    Find out how big the nut needs to be then hunt up a big metals supplier and ask them for a sample piece of small bar stock that's larger than what you need to produce a nut. They may or may not charge you for a sample, but even if they do charge you it will be less than what a small piece would cost if you go to an industrial supply or metal supply, both of which usually have a minimum quantity which would be enough to produce a couple hundred nuts.

    Just keep in mind that not all brass is created equal, there are alloys so soft they will deform under string pressure so at least give it a file test before turning it over to your tech.
  3. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Actually, the alloy you'd want is called Brass alloy 360. It's essentially the machine shop standard.
  4. themarshall


    Jun 26, 2008
    cochrane wi
    Keystock is alloy 360 and comes in 12" lengths. It's square, so you'd have to thin it in 1 dimension at least.
  5. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    I may actually have a piece of 360 brass or 6061 aluminum that will work for you. What size do you actually need? Where are you located?
  6. halz426


    Jan 14, 2014
    Thanks for the input, I knew that all brass was not created equal, but was not sure of the details/specifics.

    I am really disappointed with the shop, even though WOM came highly regarded. I am planning on picking up my bass asap. I don't even want them to touch my bass, it has been one agonizing let-down after another with this place.

    The tech was also a sarcastic ass when I discussed specifically what I wanted, he acted like he did not want to do anything out of the "norm".

    Slowgypsy: Thanks, I will have to get back to you: I am located in the St. Louis Metro Area. I do not have "nut" measurements on me, I actually left them in the guitar case.
  7. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    I normally use alloy 360 for brass nuts too. It's commonly available, easy to cut and shape, and the right hardness for the job. If you buff it up to a shine, then give it a little wipe of wax or clear lacquer, it will stay shiny for some years.

    If all else fails, you can order brass bar stock by the inch from SpeedyMetals with no minimum order. They are a good company. Not the cheapest, but a good source for small quantities of odd sizes of metal stock.

    If there's a small local machine shop in your area, walk in and ask them if they'll sell you a little piece of brass. Any shop will have a bin of brass bar stock cutoffs. I've got several shelf trays of them.
  8. flameworker


    Jun 15, 2014
    Landenberg, Pennsylvania
    one day....
    i need a piece of 360 5mmx54mm, anyone have a piece near that size?
  9. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Any builder that uses brass on their instruments should be able to get you one.