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TAGUA nut? Luthier types

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Ed Fuqua, Dec 28, 2005.


  1. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I was looking at some crafts catalogue and they had a buncha crap carved out of tagua nut ( a sustainable, harvestable resource) and they referred to it as "vegetable ivory', which apparently not only referred to its color (yup) but also its hardness and durability. Any a you luthier types ever checked this out or know anything about it?

    I ask cause I was looking through some old DOUBLE BASSISTS and came acroos the article on Tom Kelishek's bass and he used a piec of (antique) ivory for a nut, it looked kinda good...
     
  2. Tagua? - antique ivory? - what about fossil mastodon then? http://www.ashmeadbows.com/bar_violin.htm Other bowmakers seem to use this too but why not use it for a nut? That would give your bass some cache!
     
  3. Eric Rene Roy

    Eric Rene Roy Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    Mystic, CT
    President: Upton Bass String Instrument Co.
    You can play with Corian too (and it comes in lots of colors, you can get three free samples from the Corian website to start. After that you can get free or buy cheap scraps from a certified Corian installer in your area). Carves well and lasts. I know bowmakers have tried it for frogs, but to be honest I haven't heard much about the long term results.
     
  4. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Tagua nuts have fairly large voids in them -- think coconut but on a much smaller scale. This means that tagua isn't going to be used for anything largish...
     
  5. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Damon's right, I have never seen a tagua nut of sufficient size to yield a bass nut.
     
  6. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    You mean like Higdon?
     
  7. M_A_T_T

    M_A_T_T

    Mar 4, 2004
    Canada
    I've played around with tagua nuts for ukulele string nuts, which is about as large as you can get out of them. They do have large voids in them, and are also QUITE SOFT, nothing like real ivory.