#1
I decided to make a thread outside of my build thread for this just because it wasn't much to do with the thread and didn't feel like spamming it up with this conversation.


I'm in quite a dilemma as far as the nut on my guitar goes (the twelve string tapper). it has a fretboard that will be 5-5.5 inches wide, which is much longer than any regularly available nut blank. I've come to the conclusion that i should make my own, since i think two or three nut blanks put together would look bad.

I've read up on it, and have realized it's an INCREDIBLY lengthy process to do with bone. and i have hook-ups for that, and it shouldn't be a problem to acquire the cow leg bone. but the time is the issue.

this build's goal is to be done with all the construction by thanksgiving, and considering the de-greasing of the bone will take 3-4 weeks that could be an option, but i REALLY don't want to risk it without a good backup plan.


So now i ask, are there any good alternatives besides plastic (ewww), waiting for the bone nut, or maybe just resorting to a zero fret?

edit- if the solution could last atleast 1-2 months at most, i can go ahead and get the guitar to the customer, then as soon as the bone is ready i can switch out the nut for him. that would not bother me a bit.
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Last edited by conor1148 at Sep 12, 2010,
#3
I say go with a zero fret, then use a harder wood (like ebony or whatever your fretboard is made of) to make a string guide nut, which keeps the strings in their correct spacings.
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#4
Quote by Invader Jim
brass.

or suck it up and use plastic. plastic has been used for decades. it works. it sounds fine.


the sound is not what's bothering me, it's just that i've never seen a 1-piece that length and would probably have to make it out of some random odd piece of plastic i found (and didnt know how it'd respond as a nut)

Quote by salsawords
I say go with a zero fret, then use a harder wood (like ebony or whatever your fretboard is made of) to make a string guide nut, which keeps the strings in their correct spacings.



if i did a zero fret, do i have to get a much taller piece of fretwire for the zero fret? I'd assume so..
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#5
no. the zero fret is the same height as the rest. this allows for the lowest possible action.

think about it. all the frets are the same height, and they dont fret out. the frets dont get shorter as you get to the bridge, amirite?
#7
Quote by Invader Jim
no. the zero fret is the same height as the rest. this allows for the lowest possible action.

think about it. all the frets are the same height, and they dont fret out. the frets dont get shorter as you get to the bridge, amirite?



looks like i'll be doing a zero fret then.

as dumb as a question as it may be, will a string sit alright on a multiscaled zero fret?

Quote by sashki
I've heard of some folks buying bones at pet stores. I don't know if those need to be de-greased.


Ive heard this aswell. thing is i'd need to be 100% sure (as in, doing it myself or getting from a respectable company) all the grease was gone before i used it. since the grease can really wreck havoc on a guitar.
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#9
Just buy some graphite scrap from LMII.
It comes in 1/4 3/16 1/8", so just get the 1/8 or 3/16 and work from that.

http://www.lmii.com/CartTwo/thirdproducts.asp?NameProdHeader=Carbon+Fiber+Scrap
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Last edited by metalwarrior40 at Sep 12, 2010,
#10
Quote by metalwarrior40
Just buy some graphite scrap from LMII.
It comes in 1/4 3/16 1/8", so just get the 1/8 or 3/16 and work from that.

http://www.lmii.com/CartTwo/thirdproducts.asp?NameProdHeader=Carbon+Fiber+Scrap



will i need to buy any special files/saws to work with that?
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#11
Well you need nut files, and some needle/bastard files to shape it. I have some and i just cut some out with a coping saw w/fine tooth blade.
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#12
looks like that's what i'll be doing then.

but i'm still curious, could i do a zero fret on a multiscale?
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#14
Quote by conor1148
looks like that's what i'll be doing then.

but i'm still curious, could i do a zero fret on a multiscale?



yup.
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#15
Alright. i think i may order some of that scrap from that website and play around with it, and if that doesn't work i'll do a zero.


thanks everyone!
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#16
I think a zero fret is still better than any nut. Think about it: a perfectly slotted nut is exactly the same height as all the other frets. If this is your first time making a nut, it'll be pretty hard to do, while a zero fret makes that pretty simple. Plus, you don't have to buy all those fancy files and whatnot. Zero frets give you the best action possible on the nut side. Another great thing about zero frets is that there is no difference in sound between a fretted note or playing an open string. I really don't know why people/manufacturers don't use zero frets more often. They're pretty damn awesome as far as I'm concerned.
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#17
Quote by salsawords
Another great thing about zero frets is that there is no difference in sound between a fretted note or playing an open string. I really don't know why people/manufacturers don't use zero frets more often.

The sound of open strings can be very desirable, especially for acoustic guitars. Not so important for a tapping instrument.

And you still use a nut when you have a zero fret, because something has to keep the strings in place laterally. So that means he still needs nut files.

On a tapping instrument, I think a zero fret is a good idea though.
#18
Quote by cedricsmods
The sound of open strings can be very desirable, especially for acoustic guitars. Not so important for a tapping instrument.

And you still use a nut when you have a zero fret, because something has to keep the strings in place laterally. So that means he still needs nut files.

On a tapping instrument, I think a zero fret is a good idea though.



then just going zero sounds like a better idea
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#19
Quote by cedricsmods

And you still use a nut when you have a zero fret, because something has to keep the strings in place laterally. So that means he still needs nut files.

True, but if you have a zero fret, the nut (a lot of people just call it a guide nut with a zero fret guitar) can be made of just a piece of wood, so it's cheap. You can use a piece of offcut from a fretboard. And if the guide nut just holds the strings in the right spacings, then you don't have to buy fancy files with specific gauges and whatnot. You could just use sandpaper wrapped around stuff, or old strings, or whatever works. It wouldn't have to be perfect.
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#20
I don't know if its been said, but I use PVC for a nut. Sounds fine to me. And it's as long and thick as you need.
Art is Vice. You don't marry it legitimately, you rape it...
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#22
But, if he has a zero fret... will it matter?

(i'm not being sarcastic. I'm legit asking)
Art is Vice. You don't marry it legitimately, you rape it...
-Edgar Degas
#24
Quote by Tone Deaf
But, if he has a zero fret... will it matter?

(i'm not being sarcastic. I'm legit asking)



if it's a zero, it wont at all.

i liked the idea of the pvc nut. i have TONS of pvc. too bad it wouldnt work as a permanent solution. heck, if you ask me, since it wouldnt cost anything, i may try it on a build sometime.
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.. You are the man.

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#25
wait for bone trust me the sound is worth it
I was hoping you could go with me and when you went with me we could hold hands and I could call you my real girlfriend.
#26
Brass rod works well. I bent mine to match fretboard radius then slotted it down to fret height. Kindof a zero fret, but with slots. You can use a 3 sided needle file to make the slots with good results. Only prob is some strings might break into the V more than others so I usually leave the slots deliberately high (shallow), then do a follow up after playing the guit for a while. Don't need super fancy files, although they would make things much easier.
#27
^ That to. Amazing what you learn building guitars out of boxes.
Art is Vice. You don't marry it legitimately, you rape it...
-Edgar Degas