Get yer nuts out

sugarlou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,362
I have a parts tele that sounds killer but when I set the relief correctly ( I like low action) I lose the open D and G string. I'm thinking the nut is too low. I'd like to attempt to put a small veneer under it rather than cut a new nut. Is there a secret to getting it out in one piece? It's a warmoth neck and the nut looks to be bone or a similar material.
 

RayBarbeeMusic

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,289
Depends on what it's made out of and how much/what kind of glue the person who put it in used.

If they knew what they were doing it should be reasonably easy to knock it out intact (if you don't know exactly how to do that already, ask). Make sure you cut any finish that might be over the edges.

If they used too much glue or it's "corian" or etc., good luck.

The other option:

I put powdered graphtech material in the slots and mix with water thin CA. Re-cut the slot when it hardens. Works fine for customers who don't want the expense of a new nut, and it's just as slippery as graphtech ever is, which is probably more slippery than whatever the nut was made out of in the 1st place (bone, plastic, etc).

As of about 6 months ago I'm using a PTFE infused Delrin for all nuts because its the slipperiest stuff I could find; it makes graphtech look like sandpaper and bone or plastic look like glue in comparison.
 

testing1two

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,030
Graphtech = a company that makes synthetic nuts & saddles out of materials that supposedly reduce friction compared to traditional materials
CA = superglue. there are many varieties but in this case you'd use a thin viscosity and mix it with powder (derived by sanding a solid piece of bone/plastic/etc) and making a paste to fill in your offending nut slot and after it dries re-file it to the proper depth.
PTFE = Polytetrafluoroethylene = teflon

LOL = Living on Lipitor
 

sugarlou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,362
Thanks for the clarification. My buddy said use crazy glue gel...true?
 

202dy

Member
Messages
441
No. It will not penetrate. It has the potential, however, to make a mess.

Liquid thin CA is applied to the dust in the slot. It will harden immediately. Or sooner. A drop or two is plenty. If the fill is deep, it must be done in stages.

If you are not a regular tool user it is a good idea to mask off the headstock and the fingerboard.
 

202dy

Member
Messages
441
None of these kinds of repairs are meant to be long term. That includes shimming, which is probably the most legitimate method when veneer is employed.

The right solution is to fabricate and install a new nut.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
40,615
As of about 6 months ago I'm using a PTFE infused Delrin for all nuts because its the slipperiest stuff I could find;
ooh!

where did you find it?

i got some "nylon 6" and some sort of delrin from mcmaster-carr, but i was ultimately disappointed with both of them.

as for repairing, a good hardwood veneer shim underneath is every bit as functional and "toneworthy" as the original nut, the only drawback is visual.

not a fan of superglue/dust fills, they work but never as well as the original material.

the slot fixing trick i've hit upon that does work really well is to get a piece of graph tech or tusq nut material, take a really sharp chisel, shave off a "tailing" that's about the size of the nut slot in question and essentially inlay it into the slot! stuff it down in there tight, run in the tiniest bit of water-thin superglue, then trim off any overhang and re-cut the slot to the right height, with your string now riding on pure tusq material rather than any glue.

for bone nuts where it isn't in the budget or the timetable to replace or shim, i'll get a scrap bone blank and my thin x-acto saw then saw off a little tiny sliver, then inlay that into the errant slot the same way. again, once glued in and then re-cut, the string is riding on solid bone as opposed to glue.
 

202dy

Member
Messages
441
Fascinating. You're basically installing an insert. Have you considered widening the slot so that a new slot is cut in the just the inlay material?
 

LReese

Member
Messages
2,273
No one's tried the "dental filling" resin yet mentioned in another thread? I've got a candidate, but I'm a rank amateur!
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
37,155
No one's tried the "dental filling" resin yet
I know someone who uses it and it does a fine job. It sets very very hard, but he has the whole dental kit with the high powered UV curing beam.
It is a special dental spec resin and difficult to acquire.
 

LReese

Member
Messages
2,273
Wonder if there's an industrial equivalent?

I can see it now - "Cast your own nuts!" :D
 

swiveltung

Member
Messages
14,484
If your nut is cut good but just too low overall, just remove it as was your initial intention. I usually just wedge a knife tip between the nut and neck at each side. It should pop right up. Be careful. CLean the nut and the slot. Add 2 or 3 drops of ISO glue on the bottom of the nut along with a couple little shims of paper or whatever is the thickness you want. I have used brass shim before. The shims will hold the nut up in the slot until the ISO glue hardens. Your nut is now higher.
But one wonders: why do you think it's too low?
 

RayBarbeeMusic

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,289
not a fan of superglue/dust fills, they work but never as well as the original material.

Never had a problem using graphtech dust for that. Might be a problem using something else, idk.

You can get the PTFE infused Delrin at McMaster, comes in sheets. Brown is the only color it's available in, but I polish it to 5000 and it looks like a wood nut, kind of cool. It's easier to work than that old "slipstone" delrin Stew Mac used to sell because the dust or more like normal dust; the slipstone dust was like little flying bits of plastic shavings and was awful.
 

sugarlou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,362
why do you think it's too low?

If i want the D and G strings to ring properly ( or at all! ) I need to loosen the truss rod to the point where it makes me unhappy. Now many people will say its fine but I like super low action. So what ends up happening is theres too much ( to me) relief in the middle of the neck before the notes play open. If I set the t rod and relief where I like it the notes will play on the first fret but not open leading me to believe the nut is low.



Perhaps the first fret is too high?? This pic is with my "unhappy" relief setting.


20160924_143221_zps2t4md7mu.jpg
 
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swiveltung

Member
Messages
14,484
It looks pretty close starting at the D string in that view. The A and E look plenty clearance. How is that same clearance fretted at fret 3?
 




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