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Thread: Bone nuts.

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by colin2121 View Post
    Just saw this thread.
    Have you tried https://bassworkshop.com.au/collections/nuts
    They have flat bottomed TUSQ nuts. Located in Melbourne.
    And also a couple of other locations:
    https://www.melbournemusiccentre.com...h-guitar-parts
    https://skymusic.com.au/products/gra...slotted-p-bass

  2. #12
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Iíve made a few bone nuts from blanks now. I have an oscillating spindle sander and that makes light work of the bulk sanding. I get it almost to size on that and then use sandpaper on a flat surface to do the rest. Once you put your mind to it, it doesnít take much longer than sanding a pre-bought nut down to size (they are rarely the right thickness or height).

    Whether you can use a 43mm nut filed down at the ends on a 42mm wide neck really depends on how close the string slots are cut to the ends of the frets. There isnít a universal standard. Itís normally about 2mm to the outer edge of the slot, but Iíve seen noticeable differences on guitars (Iíve worked on far fewer basses) from the same manufacturer. And pre-bought guitar nuts definitely have differences in the overall string spacing.

    I have a small stock of replacement bone nuts of slightly different lengths and widths and heights, and even on nuts of the same length, I know the string spacing can be different. Iíve recently had to make my own nut for a Squier Tele neck where the slot was quite wide and on the only wide nut I had, the strings were slightly too near the edges once Iíd taken 0.5mm off each end. It was too easy to push the low E string off the board when fretting chords. So that had to come off and a bespoke one fitted.

    Itís probably best to measure the distance between the end of the nut and the string slot on an instrument you already have and like the feel of. If you can get the same distance at the ends after filing 0.5mm off, then youíll be fine.

  3. #13
    Hey Colin, thanks for that, I can't count how many sites I went to, to try and find these nuts. That link has exactly what I was looking for, haa ohh ok so Im now going to order the preslotted Tusq and keep these bone nuts in the collection section of my bits and pieces. I will be trying out, a slotting session to see how I go with the blanks. Thanks again.

  4. #14
    Thanks Simon,
    I will certainly experiment with the blanks, though, not having the correct files will be a challenge. Any thoughts on what I may be able to use aside from the purchase of nut files to get a good finish ??? or should I bite the bullet and just get the files ??? I know I may never use them again unless I do another build or have to replace the odd nut in the future, so it's a bit of an expense learning kerb. Can't justify a luthiers cost to get them done either. I did have thoughts on using the old nuts as a template but that's simply not the way to go, the nut needs to be on the instrument in order to get the nut filed correctly.

  5. #15
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    For bass nuts, you can normally use a combination of needle files. I have just purchased some Hosco bass nut files, but I was using needle files before that. I find the round one to be pretty good for lowering the slots, just using the tapered end of the file to get the right diameter for the slot - though you need to work from both sides otherwise the slot is too tapered.

    Don't cut the blank so it's over-high, otherwise you'll be filing for hours and hours.

    I have a cheap eBay string-spacing ruler. It's pretty much the same one as StuMac sell, but less money.

  6. #16
    I have a set of fine needle files, but not very round, may get away with the E string slot but the rest are a lot finer than the files I have. So setting up the nut for height would require a set of feeler guages layed over the first fret ??? Then draw a line across the nut then sand down the nut till the height is matched before filing the slots ??? Ive looked at a few posts that seems to be the way to go ??? Ive also seen where blow torch cleaners have been used as slots files and are very cheap.

  7. #17
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    On my needle file set, the flat file is 0.048Ē on the side dimension, which is fine for cutting a slot for a 0.045Ē G string. Iíd always start smaller and expand the width, even with proper nut files, so that would be fine for getting all the initial slots cut, which will need widening on the E, A and D strings.

    The nozzle cleaner files have been mentioned by others as OK for cutting bass nut slots, but the sets Iíve seen donít have the diameters for cutting slots for the E and A strings as they only go up to 1.5mm diameter (which at 0.059Ē is slightly too small for a 0.065Ē slot.

    You donít need feeler gauges to determine a good starting height for the nut blank, just a ruler. Depth of the slot (or thickness of the fretboard for an end-of-board nut) plus 5mm (maybe 6mm for a 5-string). An 0.105Ē string is just under 2.7mm deep, so 5mm still leaves 2.3mm space above the board, which is more than enough for fret height and clearance.

    Final nut height adjustment comes after youíve done the final nut slot depth adjustments.

  8. #18
    Thanks again for your help Simon, appreciate it.
    ok my fret board comes in at 3mm to the center and 2.5mm to the sides, the nut blank is 6mm height fits nice and snug into the slot, so that leaves me with 3mm to cut the slots according the center and 2.5mm for the E and G strings, the blank has a radius and looks to be pretty close the neck radius, So im not sure if that will be enough height to cut and sit the strings in ?? Though it should be enough if I don't go too deep to start with, doing the 3rd fret and height check as I go, if go 1.5 mm deep for the E slot will that be enough to hold the string in position without it popping out or should I go to 2mm deep which will leave 1mm clearance to the fret board at the nut, seems like very low action, without doing anything at this point. It will be a fine line. Is the nut not heigh enough ???
    Last edited by Jetblack; 10-09-2023 at 02:14 PM.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetblack View Post
    Hey Colin, thanks for that, I can't count how many sites I went to, to try and find these nuts. That link has exactly what I was looking for, haa ohh ok so Im now going to order the preslotted Tusq and keep these bone nuts in the collection section of my bits and pieces. I will be trying out, a slotting session to see how I go with the blanks. Thanks again.
    Not a problem.
    I have done plenty of searching for TUSQ nuts. It is even harder to find lefty TUSQ nuts.
    Hope it works for you.

  10. #20
    Overlord of Music fender3x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Barden View Post
    The nozzle cleaner files have been mentioned by others as OK for cutting bass nut slots, but the sets Iíve seen donít have the diameters for cutting slots for the E and A strings as they only go up to 1.5mm diameter (which at 0.059Ē is slightly too small for a 0.065Ē slot.
    I made a mess out of a blank with needle files. That may just be me. If I had better hand-eye coordination I would have learned the violin. (my mother thought I'd never have the dexterity for it...so...bass). I have found the nozzle cleaners to require a lot of patience, but with that proviso they have been darned near idiot proof on my bass nuts, at least for this idiot. BUT, you do have to search for the right set. Most are like Simon says. The biggest one is not very big. You can find bigger ones. I was lucky enough to find a set that was specifically for 5 string bass, so it had sizes that worked well for E, A strings. There's one for the low B string too, but I have never used it, not having a 5 string bass...
    Last edited by fender3x; 12-09-2023 at 10:44 AM.

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