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Violin nut repair.
Raising a low nut without replacing it.
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
August 5, 2016 - 5:16 pm
Member Since: November 9, 2015
Forum Posts: 19
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So I thought I'd post here how I raised the nut on my violin a while back. Maybe someone will even find it useful. Who knows. The problem was that the E string groove was too low and the open string was buzzing against the fingerboard. I have done this on my bass guitar nut as well once and it worked quite well. I used baking soda instead of ebony filings for reinforcement to get the white plastic colour on the bass nut. Glue used is regular thin super glue. The gel kind won't work for this.

Here goes. Click the pictures to enlarge.

First I filed the surface lightly to prep for the glue.

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Then masked off the surrounding area. Best to contain the mess if it happens. Care should be taken to match the edge to the fingerboard to come out straight. Otherwise it might slightly alter string length.

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Propped the violin up so the are I was working on was mostly level so the glue wouldn't run down anywhere.

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Filed some ebony powder on a sheet of paper and put it on the prepped nut area. You want to have quite a generous amount of it since it does collapse a bit when the liquid glue is added. I only noticed later that the powder photo came out blurry 🙁

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Dropped some super glue on top on it. You should avoid using so much glue that it completely covers the powder. A good amount is when the powder is wet but the texture still visible.

Minutes later I removed the masking tape. There is no strict time window here. Just wait until you feel it has dried enough to start working it. Best to wait longer than to try peeling the tape off too soon.

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And another shot with the tape removed.

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Now a shot with the glued part filed down to blend in and also the new groove filed in. Basically the finished thing.

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You do want to wait for a while longer to tune the instrument once the nut is done. The glue remains softish for a while. I don't remember how long I had it sitting but an hour or some should do.

So that's it. Hope someone finds it interesting. Also I hope the formatting of alternating text and pictures came out ok.

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August 5, 2016 - 6:09 pm
Member Since: March 15, 2014
Forum Posts: 224
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great job .. thanks

With violins there is no fretting over the music.

Fort Lauderdale
August 5, 2016 - 10:53 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 12578

This is a great technique though those who don't want to use Ebony powder can get away with black superglue in combination with Super Glue Accelerator.
One can also use titebond and Ebony powder.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

Honorary advisor

February 4, 2017 - 12:35 pm
Member Since: December 10, 2016
Forum Posts: 245
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Cool find. I like reading posts from do-it-yourself people.

I have a nut with bad string slot spacing. I am planning to replace that nut, but I did want to know how it could be repaired. I do plan to keep the nut that gets replaced, so I could always fix it and use it again at another time.


February 4, 2017 - 4:40 pm
Member Since: November 9, 2015
Forum Posts: 19
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

BTW! If you are looking for material for making the new nut then I recommend buying the cheap fingerboards on ebay. They cost as much or less than what people ask for nut blanks and there's plenty of material there if you mess one up and need to start over.

Honorary advisor

February 5, 2017 - 9:58 am
Member Since: February 11, 2014
Forum Posts: 484
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

You have a great mind.  And thanks for the tip.

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