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The Curious Kid
02-17-2011, 05:31 AM
Hello!

I am about at the point of my rather rough looking first build of carving up a nut and saddle, and I plan to do it out of an old pair of antlers I found gathering cobwebs in my basement. I was just wondering if antler is an ideal material because it what is available to me, and all I ever hear about being used for nuts and saddles is plastic, bone, and extremely hard woods like ebony. All of which are less than available.

Thanks much

The Curious Kid

Timbuck
02-17-2011, 05:39 AM
Ebony is easy to obtain on E-bay..Get one of these and you'll have nut and saddle material for a long time to come.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Ebony-5-piece-grooming-tray-/290533619095?pt=UK_Collectables_VanityCollectables _SM&hash=item43a5273597

Pete Howlett
02-17-2011, 07:04 AM
Animal bone any day. Ken is building 'repros' so the ebony thing is a good idea. I personally am not a fan of the tone it produces. After the strictures I got from Chuck when I raved on about my hippo tooth escapade I now use ivory coloured Corian. It works really well and for a few pennies I get loads of nuts and saddles.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
02-17-2011, 07:29 AM
From soup to nuts:
Head down to the corner butcher shop (they still have those don't they?) As for a piece of shank bone and a pound of chuck (the meat, not the guy). Also pick up a loaf of crusty whole grain french bread at your corner bakery. Go home and make a pot of soup. Make it early enough in the day so that it has plenty of time to simmer, 4 or 5 hours at least. Enjoy your dinner. (You didn't forget to stop at your corner wine shop did you?)
Next day, fish out the bone from the pot of soup. Reboil in clean water if you must. Let it dry in the sun for may days. Epoxy the bone onto a short piece of plywood and cut nut and saddle blanks on your bandsaw (assuming you also stopped at your local corner bandsaw shop).
Honestly, you probably have at least a dozen materials around the house that are suitable for nut and saddle material. Be creative, As Pete mentioned, corian is good material and scraps can he had for free at your local corner cabinet shop.

Timbuck
02-17-2011, 08:12 AM
Chuck! you forgot to mention the smell of bone in the bandsaw bit.:)

tattwo
02-17-2011, 08:14 AM
Chuck! you forgot to mention the smell of bone in the bandsaw bit.:)

I still cant get use to it............yuck!

Rob-C
02-17-2011, 08:18 AM
Yup, corian is moderately less unpleasant to work with than bone. Although the dust has a way of getting every bloomin' where...

Tarhead
02-17-2011, 08:36 AM
It was much easier for me to go to the dog section of the nearest pet store and get a bleached bone. A $5 bone will make a lot of Saddles and Nuts. Just get a big one. A 1"X30" belt sander makes quick work of rough shaping them.

tattwo
02-17-2011, 08:52 AM
It was much easier for me to go to the dog section of the nearest pet store and get a bleached bone. A $5 bone will make a lot of Saddles and Nuts. Just get a big one. A 1"X30" belt sander makes quick work of rough shaping them.

What a GREAT idea. Im going to try that on my next batch

ProfChris
02-17-2011, 08:53 AM
Don't reject other kinds of wood. I recently bought a Kumalae which has a one-piece koa bridge and a nut of Some Other wood (pale-ish). Sounds gorgeous and really loud. My Mele mahogany uke has (I think) saddle and nut of paduak - wood anyway and not ebony - also loud and a good tone.

Allen
02-17-2011, 09:02 AM
If you want something a little different you can go with MOP. Really dresses up an instrument. Available from MOP Supplies (http://www.mopsupplies.com/luthiersupplies.html). They are in Australia so a very good source on this side of the globe, especially with all the fuss that the US government is making over moving even very small quantities of shell in and out of the country.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
02-17-2011, 09:03 AM
Don't reject other kinds of wood. I recently bought a Kumalae which has a one-piece koa bridge and a nut of Some Other wood (pale-ish). Sounds gorgeous and really loud. My Mele mahogany uke has (I think) saddle and nut of paduak - wood anyway and not ebony - also loud and a good tone.

Yeah, but then where's the soup?

Ken W
02-17-2011, 09:28 AM
I procured some pieces of bone from another forum member who boiled, cut, ammonia-ed, peroxide-ed, and dried pieces of beef shank bone from the corner butcher shop, much as Chuck described. Unfortunately, I did not get any of the soup or the bread and wine. Thanks for the idea of expoxying to another board before going to the bandsaw. These small pieces are pretty difficult to work with.

The Curious Kid
02-17-2011, 11:23 AM
So I gather that a pair of antlers will make perfectly acceptable nuts and bridges? Nothing wrong with the material choice?

Interesting ideas. Pet shop is real simple. I LOVE meat markets though. So I may have to make that trip.

Also you may appreciate this small anecdote. My father and I bought a new bandsaw one day at the corner band saw shop, because it was VERY on sale. We assembled it, and had just finished calibrations when we decided to go hunting. We came home with a buck, and the first thing to go into that big, new, shiny, band saw was the poor sucker's brains. It was the easiest way to remove the antlers. THAT was quite the smell. Pretty sticky, too.

Steve_D
03-16-2011, 08:45 AM
I used some bones abandoned by some of the neighborhood dogs. They made great nuts and saddles, but were very hard to cut. I dulled a carbide-toothed blade on my tablesaw. Do you need a special bandsaw blade (hardened?)? I ended up cutting mine on a wet diamond tile saw.
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=664281&id=100000559810485

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
03-16-2011, 08:51 AM
I've never had any trouble cutting bone with a sharp wood cutting blade, anywhere from 4 to 6 tpi.

Tarhead
03-16-2011, 09:45 AM
I have a regular wood cutting blade on my Bandsaw and it went through clean dry bone like butter. (Makes me appreciate how fast I could lose a finger!) Check any decent sized pet store. They have big ones for really cheap ~ $2-$5. Should be able to get gobs of nuts and saddles out of one.