Hi All, this is my first post on this forum. I have a problem that I hope you can help me with.
Whilst performing a basic set up on my acoustic guitar, I have managed to file one of the nut slots a little too low and have introduced a buzz when playing the open E string, and although this gives me the perfect opportunity to learn to create a new nut (something I have wanted to do for a while), I have a looming gig to get through before I will have time to do this!
I have read about a technique for filling nut slots using super glue and baking soda, which sounds like it will solve this problem.
My current understanding is that the ratio of medium viscosity super glue to baking soda is 1:1, but I have read conflicting reports on whether to mix the two together first or drop the glue onto the baking soda in situ.
Has anyone done this before, who would be able to talk me though the process please?
What I know is this will work imo....may consider it temporary. Tape the edges front & back for neatness...remove when done.If it's plastic don't use acetone for cleanup of huh oh's..
Thanks for the info Tim
If you try to mix baking soda and super glue prior to filling, it will harden instantly. So I don't know how someone would get a 1:1 ratio. What I've done is tape the nut as Tim describes and put bone dust in the slot, then apply a drop of super glue to it.
Thanks Glen, that's exactly the kind of information I was looking for! Can I just ask, were you using medium viscosity glue?
no, I've always used the thin stuff. you want it to soak into the powder, either bone or soda. And as Jeff points out, use a pipette for super glue. you want an extremely small drop on it, otherwise it seeps into everything and makes a mess. if you don't have a pipette (you can get them at hobby shops), remove the nut before attempting.
Thanks Thomas, and I agree, it's just that at the moment I am looking for a quick and possibly temporary fix.
How I do it: with a sharp xacto, scratch the bottom of the slot, to give the, "plug", something to grab, mechanically. Sprinkle baking soda or bonedust into the slot, and pack it down. Using a pipette--never get a bottle of superglue near a guitar--carefully drop water thin superglue onto the packed powder. It will, "smoke off", shortly, then refile the slot.
Baking soda (bicarbonate) is excellent, but don't forget to grind it to a fine powder before putting it into the slot. I usually do that with a spoon and a plate. The result is incredibly hard!
Hi Rob & welcome (-:
"My current understanding is that the ratio of medium viscosity super glue to baking soda is 1:1, but I have read conflicting reports on whether to mix the two together first or drop the glue onto the baking soda in situ."
There is no magic ratio for using super glue. It's use is "as required" or "just enough to get the job done". The other responders have set you straight on using water thin CA for this task.
I'd only like to add that the fill & file method has never been a good solution for me as, in the long run, the string will eventually wear through the softer material. This tends to happen quickly when you're a working guitarist and it always seems to happen at the most inopportune time.
Personally, I prefer the shim & re-file for these types of issues. The advantage is that all the slots are re-filed and you have a new surface on the newly exposed slots and all the slots are filed from the same material.
Some folks have a problem with shimming a nut. I don't as long as the shim is made from a dense hardwood. Paper & plastic (oft used by amateurs for quick fixes) are not acceptable IMPO.
As a side note... before you attempt cutting a new nut, I encourage you to get Dan E's guitar repair book. It's worth 10 times its asking price. It will serve you marvelously the more you get into repair. Even if you work only on your own instruments, it'll save you thousands of $$$ over the course of your playing career. Oh ya, and to hopefully answer your next question: the BEST material for making a nut is bone.
Best of luck & have a great gig,