needs help fixing broken nut - Jemsite
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2004, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Bowling Green, Ohio
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needs help fixing broken nut

well, this buddy of mine has a Kay guitar, and wanted some help fixing it up. so, in addition to adding new strings, i fixed the intonation, the action, and generally gave him a lesson on how to do things.

one of the lessons was how to stretch the strings out. now, i've never owned a guitar that didn't have some sort of metal nut (brass mostly). and, well, long story short, my string stretching techique should not be used on guitars with crappy nuts

so, i've taken it upon myself to fix the nut on his guitar that i broke. i want to get a brass one, and put it in myself. any helpful hints, tips, or tricks?

thanks folks!

PS: now that i think about it, my rg7621 doesn't have a metal nut. can i buy a brass (or any metal) one for it somewhere?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2004, 01:46 AM
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Chances are your friend's guitar had a plastic nut that had aged badly and was brittle. It sounds like you and i have similar (aggressive) string-stretching regimens. I've snapped brand-new strings just stretching them in. (Or at least i did when i used 9s. I don't have that problem with the 10s and 11s i use now. ) I've never snapped a nut, though.

Brass nuts (pre-slotted and blank) are available through AllParts. I don't believe they sell direct, but any music store that carries their stuff can probably order one for you.

I don't know if you'll find any blank material wide enough for a 7-string, though.

Personally, i think there are way better materials for nuts. Strings will have a tendency to bind in a brass nut, which could lead to tuning instability, even on a fixed-bridge guitar.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2004, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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hmm, i suppose that metal-on-metal could cause some havoc, especially since brass is a rather soft metal.

are the graphite nuts strong? i mean, if they are, 'graphite' just isn't a word they should be calling them lol. when i think graphite, i think of pencil refills and dry lube, both things which function on graphite's weak chemical bonds.

are nuts hard to remove? i assume they just glue in?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2004, 09:12 AM
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The lastest are graphtech nuts. They are 500x more slippery than graphite. These are the company's words not mine. They are like a plastic material and they are precut for you. Just bring in the old one and they can match it perfectly for you. There is also ivorex which is man made ivory. Made by graphtech also but they are cream coloured. They also sound better and are the easiest to match. Good Luck!
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-25-2004, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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i still don't know how to get the old one off without harming the neck.

hammer and chisel?
hammer and screwdriver?
just a hammer?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2004, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2004, 04:15 PM
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I tend to tap the nut with a smallish pin hammer, If no movement i gradually increase strength or even weight of hammer

This is mainly to loosen it a tad before tapping against the nut from the fretboard side, if you have patience it'll come off, quite a few nuts i have replaced quite literally fell off with one tap, other have had me going bugnuts for hours

Alternatively, Carefully line up a small (mean small too) chisel and trap the tip in the nut slot (any will do) make sure the edge of the chisel is headstock end, then and i will use a technical term here "whack it some" it'll either seperate or snap ... either one works well as you have a point of attack for the next shot :-)


(please note under no circumstances should this advice be taken as top tech tips, it's just how i get my work done)
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2004, 04:32 PM
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You should check the headstock side for clear buildup or a nut that's cleared in even a little. Break it loose and some clear will probably come with it. If there is use a jewelers saw or at the least an exacto knife to cut a line through the clear right at the nut. Mind you I've never done this, but I read alot
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2004, 04:39 PM
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typically you would score both sides of the nut w/ an exacto nut and saw across the slots on the nut (parallel to the frets ). then use a pliers to compress the nut and remove it easily.

that is harder to do with a brass/metal nut however

definately use the knife to score both sides before tapping or pulling it out. score lightly and repeat several times to avoid wrecking the board/headstock when it's removed... glen
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-29-2004, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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much appreciation fellas!
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graphite nut , music store , string stretching

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