nut set up

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nut set up

Postby (Sérgio) » Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:08 am

My Rickenbacker has the black plastic nut and the high E string is buzzing a bit when open. My best guess is that the nut slot has gone too deep but I am no tech.

If it's a matter of filling it up and dressing it until it fits the right string height, what should I use? I know luthiers will use bone powder or baking soda with glue but that might make a mess on a black nut.

Thanks in advance, fellows!
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Re: nut set up

Postby (teb) » Thu Oct 14, 2021 4:02 pm

Get a pencil. Sharpen it. Get a piece of fine grit sandpaper and a piece of plain paper. Rub the pencil tip on the sandpaper, holding it so that the dust falls on the sheet of paper. You want the black stuff, not the pencil wood, so if you're getting down to the wood, resharpen the pencil and continue building up a little pile of black dust. What you are making is graphite powder. There are a lot of modern objects which have various pieces made from a mixture of graphite powder and epoxy resin or similar stuff - fishing reels for example. If you buy a small package of epoxy resin and hardener at a hardware store you can mix it with the graphite powder and make a pretty tough black filler. Usually about 10% graphite by volume, added to a small blob of mixed resin/hardener is all it takes. Mixes containing larger percentages of graphite will eventually end up pretty soft, so keep the ratio of powder to resin pretty low. It will be glossy black, or if sanded but not polished, a satin charcoal grey color.

Super glue and graphite might also work fine for that job, but I haven't tried it. When I'm working on boats using epoxy resin and still have some freshly mixed, but leftover resin after a job, I'll dump a little graphite powder in the cup, mix it well, let it harden and save it. It can later be machined into various small parts for projects - like this nut on my 340/12.
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Re: nut set up

Postby (Sérgio) » Fri Oct 15, 2021 10:47 am

Thanks!!!
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Re: nut set up

Postby (Sérgio) » Mon Oct 18, 2021 11:29 am

Did the job with a friend and it’s good as new.

Are these modern nuts still made of Bakelite?
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Re: nut set up

Postby (iiipopes) » Wed Oct 20, 2021 5:58 am

What teb said. Yes, you could purchase an actual tube of graphite powder used to lubricate locks, hinges, and such, but the pencil solution is much, much cheaper and saves a trip to the hardware store.
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