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I'm building a 3 string fretless CBG. I'd like to make the nut out of oak I have left over instead of using a bolt. Will this kill the sound? What else could I use? 

 

Thanks,

Mark  

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Hi Mark,

I've wondered about this too. When I built my Old Crow style dulcimer I used some Oak and it seems to work fine. I think it takes some of the brightness out and adds some mellow if you know what I mean. I did it because my Mountain Dulcimer has both an Oak  saddle and nut. I've been searching the net for info on hardening wood and so far have only come up with flame hardening. I'm wanting some chemical process to infuse the wood with epoxy or something.  

I think it would work. Bridges on many instruments are made of wood.

I sanded down a hollow plastic nut on a uke and thought, well, if I sanded too much off, I'll make another...out of just about anything if plastic works...

Thanks, I think I'll try it. 

I have access to all the cow bones I want. Just don't feel like boiling them clean. :)  Corian or ebony I don't know where to find. A brass rod was suggested too.

 

 

 

Mark, I've hardened wood toothpick frets soaking with super glue.  

Bone is great!

You can get corian samples in the kitchen counter department in Lowes or Home Depot - a lifetime supply in one trip...

Wood has a warmer tone, plastic or bone is more trebly, less bass. 

Im not seeing your nuts in them IMG s

:) Haven't made them yet. The fret board is just clamped on. I'm not sure if I'm going to fret it or not. Going with wood nut first. I also bought a couple of bones. 

Use the bone!

I also cave wood and have used super glue on fragile pieces. I soak the piece in super glue & it makes a very hard piece. I'm willing to bet it might work on a bridge. The super glue would penetrate into the wood better than epoxy.

Paul Lepper said:

Hi Mark,

I've wondered about this too. When I built my Old Crow style dulcimer I used some Oak and it seems to work fine. I think it takes some of the brightness out and adds some mellow if you know what I mean. I did it because my Mountain Dulcimer has both an Oak  saddle and nut. I've been searching the net for info on hardening wood and so far have only come up with flame hardening. I'm wanting some chemical process to infuse the wood with epoxy or something.  

African blackwood is used to make clarinets, which have a bright to mellow tone.

Pretty build! I use quite a bit of ebony (or I-can't-believe-it's-not Ebony, never did clear that up.....) sourced from the black keys of an old piano. Grind to shape on a regular bench grinder, just mind out for the dust! Works well for bridges, too. Another quick-n-dirty option is aluminum angle stock cut to size then screwed in place. Easy to make and adjust and not a bad, quite twangy, sound. Dont under-rate this option for lower-spec builds.

Made a few beef bone nuts, they work well and can be stained easily. Right now I'm slowly making a nut for my bass from a piece of Black Acacia. I seriously think that stuff is hard enough to be milled!

Hello,
I have been using Dominos for the nut and and bridge with success. They don't sound any different than bone to me. I bought a set of dominos (the white ones) a year or so ago. They are long enough but they are also a little thicker than I like. I have been sanding them down with a belt sander to about 1/2 the original thickness, this also gets rid of the "dots". If you use dominos be very careful sanding them, hold them with a tool (I use a small vise grip pliers) the belt sander will definatly take your fingertips off if you slip!

I like it! My wife brought a big box full of Dominos @ a Thift shop for the Grandkids. I don't think they'll miss 2 or 3.

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