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Hi, first post here. I am doing some restoration work on a 1914 Martin 0-21 which was so badly damaged (and poorly repaired in the past...epoxy, uneven cracks repairs, etc.) that someone brought it to me after they found it in the trash, not knowing what they had.

The cracked nut on this is made of ebony, I was wondering if this is original or if bone would be correct for a replacement. Can't seem to find any other ones online with ebony nuts.

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Of al the crazy things, Martin never used bone for nuts.  That is until the 1990s, I believe.  Elephant ivory would be the original, with ebony only on the most inexpensive things, such as mahogany top guitars starting in the 1920s, or so.

Bone is the standard acceptable replacement, you bet.

Frank,

What did Martin use before the Corian nut and Micarta saddle era? Was it indeed ivory?

Elephant ivory 'til mid-60s, when they went to cheesy white plastic, and then back to ivory for a while, later ivory colored Micarta, white Corian, and finally bone.

The earliest Martin guitars tended to have nickel alloy nuts, should you care.

You shouldn't. . .

Thanks Frank! Not sure why someone put an ebony nut on this...there are ton of odd repairs going on with this one that I'm trying to undo.

If you have or can get any pictures, we LIKE pictures!

Taking them, and will post a bunch online when this project is over.

Thanks, I'm looking forward to it!

might as well discuss tonal properties of ebony nut/ vs bone ...why is ebony used on fiddles and rarely on guitars...is it tone or that wood wears faster ?

Likely more for looks than anything else on violins. Tim.Bill.........

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