New Bone Nut on Phoenix

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by G5422T, Jul 13, 2020.

  1. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    Guess that I'm nuts, but I have specifics on what nut material I prefer.

    I'm lucky that my local "doc" makes and cuts oustanding nuts, so last week I had a bone nut made for my Phoenix

    In other thread about string gauges, I posted about going lighter on the Phoenix with XL120's. They feel perfect, happy in every way but, the nut. Sloppily cut.

    I traded for this used, one owner, so I don't know if he did, or had the nut worked on a bit, but it just wasn't very good.

    So I can't say Gretsch sent it out this way, or if it was worked on, but it was time.

    The new bone nut was cut for the XL120 strings, and BINGO, another winner!

    As a lot of folks say, get the nut cut properly, and it will the best investment to make on your guitar, in so many ways.

    Once again, $50 well spent. Plays more comfortably than ever, and the whole set up is the best yet on this Bird.

    @thunder58. Better than a jackplate! Lol

    A few pics.

    20200713_170042.jpg 20200713_170858.jpg 20200713_165856.jpg 20200713_165826.jpg

    Don't miss that chunk of Delrin at all!
    S. Rock, MrWookiee, Echocat23 and 9 others like this.
  2. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    ...OK , ya got me :p
    SAguitar and G5422T like this.
  3. capnhiho

    capnhiho Synchromatic

    Feb 16, 2013
    Oh yeah!
    There aren’t many guitar mods that are as immediately obvious as a new, well cut bone nut! I’ve hired a few replacements, fine-tuned one or two, and lately gained enough confidence to do a couple myself (pre-slotted but finish installation was all me).

    Well worth the investment!
    G5422T likes this.
  4. capnhiho

    capnhiho Synchromatic

    Feb 16, 2013
    I’ve installed my own jackplates too! :)
  5. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    That's great to hear. Always thought about doing my own, but looked at the needed files and a few other things, and never invested in the right stuff or dedicate the time to learn.

    Making a great nut just has to be satisfying.

    My guy loves making nuts from scratch. He enjoys the whole process from picking out the right cow leg bone, to boiling, to cutting up stock, to crafting the finished nut.

    He enjoys it and the end results. He jokes that after 50 years, he can make them in his sleep. Honest pricing too. $50.

    Quick story. I went to pick up my Martin that he worked on, and brought my Phoenix with to drop off for a bone nut.

    Put the Phoenix on the bench and he said I'll show you how I do it.

    Loosening up strings to remove Delrin nut, to retuning the guitar with a scratch made bone nut installed......15 minutes!

    Showed and told me everything that he was doing to boot. Asked if $40 was fair? Lol. That time was priceless to me.
    MrWookiee and Stefan87 like this.
  6. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    That is beautiful, well done.
    G5422T likes this.
  7. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Nice nut. Are you telling me this is a 15 minutes bone nut shaping plus install?
    G5422T likes this.
  8. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    Yes, and I was surprised too.

    He started with some 1"x 6"x 1/4" thick pieces and grabbed one.

    Traced the old nut on one of these, then cut to shape that he wanted, and sanded the bottom, ends, and sides.

    Never used any measuring tools. It fit the nut slot perfectly. Cut the string spacing, shaped the correct height and sanded it.

    Cut the string slots to depth, rough tune and played it, loosened strings and applied wood glue and put it back on.

    Tuned up and said done, play it and see what you think.

    I just shook my head at what just happened so quickly. It was perfect.

    Honest to goodness 15 minutes total time, and this guitar never played as well as it does now.

    Crazy but true. After 50 years in the business, he's got it down.
    Gregor, new6659 and Ricochet like this.
  9. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Good lord. I just takes me 15 minutes to cut the bone to size. Add an hour for the shaping itself LOL.
    G5422T likes this.
  10. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    Oh I know, that would be me too. He's got a band saw and a bench mounted disc sander. After that, just a set of files and nut slot files.

    While doing it I asked him what he uses for nut lubrication. He still uses pencils and scrapes up a little graphite. Old school guy.

    I did the nut slot lube when I got home using some model railroad graphite that I have. I've had this tube forever.


    Crazy experience. I went in expecting to pick up my Martin and leave the Gretsch.

    I went home with both, and it's been like Christmas in July for this old kid.

    A really cool experience that I never expected, and won't forget.
    SAguitar, capnhiho and Ricochet like this.
  11. SAguitar

    SAguitar Gretschie

    Jan 17, 2020
    Wow, that is awesome! I'm not a professional and I don't do one very often, but when I do it probably takes me 3 hours.
    G5422T likes this.
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