Discussion in 'Guitar Building' started by Renkenstein, Jul 14, 2014.
Bone/antler in aerosol form is indeed one of the foulest olfactory experiences ever.
Don't ask...don'taskdon'taskdon'task...How do you know that?
Turned out killer man. Your builds are very clean and the design is inspiring. Nicely done.
I hate the smell of ground bone... I don't use it in any of my instruments, but another guy in my shop does (he's mainly an acoustic guy)... When he uses my belt sander to sand a bone nut or saddle, ugh. Disgusting smelling.
We have a separate belt sander just for bone, waaayyyy over in the corner away from where people commonly work. The smell of bone is one of my least favorite things ever.
Thank you sir!
What do you use Adam? Tusq nuts? I'm not opposed to trying something synthetic if the quality is good and the price is right. I'd toyed with the idea of a brass nut on this one, since there's a lot of brass in the build anyway, but working metal is rough because it gets so damn hot.
Pretty narsty. This antler has more of a wild game burnt hair aroma. I started working on it early in the morning and the smell at that time nearly triggered vomiting. I found that instead of using the belt sander, just cut it to close dimension on the band saw(longest exposure, maybe 20 seconds), then switch to sanding it on a granite slab or using files really cuts down on the smell. The dust stays in the sandpaper on the granite instead of the sanding belt throwing it in the air.
I always use Graphtech.
Odd coming from the decade of brass nuts (I cut hundreds, half of them Fender from sheet stock) I always enjoyed bone nut and saddle work even the smell
I use Graphtech TUSQ XL whenever possible. Which is very nearly always.
+1 for TUSQ XL, I love it.
I'm really impressed with this deer antler nut. When filing it, it let off a shrill squeal, which I take as a good indication it'll serve it's purpose. If it's musical while working it, it's going to be musical when played....right? Makes sense to me.
The cons of the deer antler:
1) The smell sucks, but I minimized that by cutting close to size on the bandsaw and using files and an upturned sanding block to close in on the final shape. Do NOT use a belt sander to shape, or minimize how much your using it. The dust is scattered EVERYWHERE when using a power tool. No bueno.
2) The color is inconsistent. Antler kinda has growth rings, and there are "dirty" layers that end up on the surface. It really doesn't bother me tho...it still polished up nice.
3) I don't know if I had something on my fingers beforehand or what, but I noticed it was slightly sticky when I got down to the core. I don't know if they need to dry out like wood does and I worked it down to a higher concentration of moisture, but something weird was definitely going on.
Other than those 3 things, I found it to be a very workable material. It looks and sounds a lot better than the Corian nut that I had been using temporarily. I also noticed that turning a tuning key resulted in an IMMEDIATE change of pitch, which means it's doing its job properly and not causing the string to bind. VERY important. I also dropped this nut a couple times while working it, and it didn't shatter like Corian does. HUGE plus.
Despite the success I had with antler, I'm definitely considering using Graphtech. I'd love to have a pre-slotted nut to just take to final depth and be done with it. No smell, no working a small piece that's difficult to handle and work on at the same time. Thanks for the input fellas.
I had a brass nut on an Yngwie Sig Strat I used to own. Loved it. I just love the idea of brass on a guitar in general. Metal = Resonance, IMO.
Still no photos, but I did finish cutting a nut this morning and recorded a quick demo clip.
The light was cooperating today. Still just phone pics, but it's going to be a nice weekend(50-60 degrees in January!) so I'm going to try to get some nature shots with the Canon DSLR. For now, here she is in shitty phone quality!
Holy smokes that's a nice guitar *drool*
And you got me dreaming of a set of little sanding blocks that are the proper shape and width to do scalloping between frets. I don't know if it's physically possible yet, but I'm still dreaming about them
Seems like dowel rod and sticky sandpaper would do the trick.
It would, but it would be hard to get all those different size dowels. I was thinking more along the lines of making them out of 1/2" hardwood. Each would have a handle similar to a file and each would be carved/curved on one side so the only motion needed when filing/sanding would be perpendicular across the fretboard.
I dunno, maybe I'm over-thinking it too much.
@Heretic I'm looking at the shape of the scallops on Renk's fret board and envisioning something like this, but in a set of 12-15 to fit the space between the frets.
I think like a 1/4" dowel, or even 3/16" should be all that you should really need.
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