The Workbench

Glue for Brass Nut

1

The brass nut on my Gent came loose. Fits the nut groove well, but slides out.

I've got all the strings off right now for a few other things, so I thought that I would reglue it in place.

Looks like the factory glue was applied only on the fretboard side of the nut. None on the bottom/neck side of the nut.

I never use a CA type of glue on a guitar, just white or carpenters glue.

Any thoughts on glue for this is appreciated.

2

Barge. Just a little.

4

Well you discounted the glue I would have suggested! CA glue is just about perfect for this job because it is so brittle that if you ever wanted to remove the nut a decent whack would remove it with no damage to the guitar. Obviously white glue wouldn't be ideal - it isn't about to soak into the brass.

All you would need is two small spots - very small - of CA and you're good to go.

5

Thanks for this info Jimmy. I had thought of CA, but the general rule is to not use a CA on an instrument.

That said, I realize that brass isn't going to stick very well by its nature. Add the "big" headstock of the Gent, and there's a lot of side pull on the nut.

Thanks again.

6

Well Dan Erlwine seems to use it for everything! I agree that it does seem somehow wrong but maybe that's only because CA glue is a fairly recent kind of glue? I don't know where the rule comes from.

I'm not so sure about any contact adhesive for this job. I'd want something harder and with less volume.

Let us know what you end up with - I'm interested!

7

A medium CA is just the ticket. The fact that it doesn't stick that well to brass is a feature, not a bug.

8

Thanks. Guitar still "on the bench," and haven't done the nut yet.

Looking like a few small dabs of a CA just may be the ticket.

Slow moving project, but in the end, she should be better than ever.

9

Well Dan Erlwine seems to use it for everything! I agree that it does seem somehow wrong but maybe that's only because CA glue is a fairly recent kind of glue? I don't know where the rule comes from.

I'm not so sure about any contact adhesive for this job. I'd want something harder and with less volume.

Let us know what you end up with - I'm interested!

– JimmyR

Quick update JimmyR.

I used a jewelers file and filed in 3 slots on the bottom of the nut. Same orientation as the nut slots.

For glue I decided to give Titebond wood glue a try. Used sparingly, but enough to fill up the new slots and cover the bottom of the nut in the center area.

I'll find out if the dried glue in those slots stops any side to side future shift from the headstocks string pull angle.

So far, so good. Time will tell.

10

At Larrivee we used to use CA for many many things. Finish repairs, crack repairs etc. etc. ON a nut I typically would just use one dot dead center, You want your nut to be removable. That's 'nut' singular.

11

The issue I've encountered with guitars that have had CA glue used to set the nuts is that, when used on nut slots that have exposed wood, it tends to penetrate the wood. This often results in a chunk of the wood coming up with the nut when it's tapped loose. Never seen it happen with a guitar with finish in the nut slot, but sometimes the finish does come up with the nut.

The other common issue is when people use large amounts of glue to hold a nut in place. This almost always results in damage to the slot when the nut is removed. Really only a small spot or two is more than enough, as the string pressure does most of the work.

I prefer two small spots of wood glue or white glue, although I have had people who requested no glue at all. One option that I've had luck with is using two small 1/16th inch pins to pin the nut, similar to pinning a bridge.

12

One or two dots of CA. Really, it's a no brainer.

13

I use Elmer's even for brass nuts. It stays in fine but it won't chip your guitar if you have to remove it.


Register Sign in to join the conversation