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Thread: Nut came unglued

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    Pike Creek, DE
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    119

    Default Nut came unglued

    or was perhaps not glued to begin with. There's no sign of glue. But that doesn't make sense.

    Anyway, I changed the strings on my tenor for the first time today. Loosened all the strings to clean the fretboard and the nut popped off. The strings were holding it on. First, I thought What the? Then I thought this could be useful. If I ever get strings with a low G that's too wide for the nut, I could get an extra nut and widen the notch on one of them. Just swap them out as I need them.

    What do you think? Should I glue it on or just continue to let the strings hold it in place?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota
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    Default

    The second-to-last UkuleleSite podcast covered this. Their feeling was that you could glue it in (they talk about how) or leave it unglued. The consensus was that they glued it in because customers wanted it that way.

    That said, I just noticed that Mainland sells saddle/nut sets (they are available on eBay, but you don't know if you are really getting what you are ordering there...could be bone, could be plastic, could be for guitar).
    My ukulele blog: http://ukestuff.info

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
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    Default

    Nuts are usually held in place with a tiny drop of glue. Nuts are frequently replaced, so they need to be easy to remove. It's entirely possible that your nut was held in place with just string pressure. Assuming you've had no problems up until now, you really don't need to glue it down-- gluing it will always be an option in the future.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Pickering, ON, Canada
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    Default

    Most luthiers glue them in with just a dab or two of glue. It just helps to hold it in place and a light tap is all that is needed to remove it. So your situation is not unusal and nothing to be worried about.

    It appears RichM and I were typing the same thing at the same time
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Ma., Ga., Fl.
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    Default

    As both Rich and Dave said, don't worry about it. As far as I know Mainland's nut and saddle sets are bone. You can shoot Mike at Mainland an email for confirmation.........he generally replies back quickly
    Last edited by stevejfc; 09-07-2016 at 02:41 AM.

  6. #6

    Default

    I have a totally loose nut on a few ukes, only held by string tension, and others that WERE loose, but I put a dab of clear nail polish on the bottom, and that was enough to hold the nut in place as well as being easy to remove.

    IMHO it makes no difference to playability nor sound if the nut is NOT glued in, so just be careful if you do a string change and leave it loose, to no lose it on the floor or OMG let the dog eat it...

    DO NOT use superglue, Gorilla glue, Duco Cement or epoxy to glue in a nut, either some clear nail polish is enough or a few DROPS of Titebond or Elmers even is enough to fix it in place...those other adhesives will NOT be easy to release and WILL in fact damage your instrument if/when you try to remove the nut in the future...
    Guinea proverb: "A cow that has no tail should not try to chase away flies."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    McDonough, GA
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    Default

    No real need for glued in nuts. String tension should hold it in place. Then they are easier to change out for using different string diameters.
    -Hodge
    Humble strummer of fine ukes.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota
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    Default

    I just looked at the video that I mentioned, and at 38 minutes in, they discuss the nut and gluing it in. They seem to indicate that a few small drops of superglue (3) will do the trick. Let us see if this link (starting at 38 minutes) works...



    Nope. You can click this link if you just want to go to that spot without scrubbing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6aUaG9W5H0&t=38m0s
    My ukulele blog: http://ukestuff.info

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
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    Default

    My Mainland came with the nut not glued in. I was moving it when I would bend a string, which I do sometimes. Mike said just a super thin coat of Elmer's would hold it in place. Like several people have said, you want to be able to pop it off if you need to replace it. But talking to Mike, I don't think it is unusual for them to not be glued in.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    USA
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    Default

    I agree with Booli as to NOT using super glue, gorilla glue (especially that, it'd be a disaster after it expands), etc. If you ever need to remove the nut for whatever reason there's a higher risk for chipping in the nut slot. You don't want wood on the instrument coming out along with the nut.

    I like to have a nut attached just securely enough that it doesn't fall out during string changes. I prefer to use one small drop of Elmer's wood glue or original Titebond (in the slot OR on bottom of the nut). It doesn't stick to the nut material as well as the previous mentioned adhesives, so it comes out fairly easily.

    If you do decide to attach it, make sure the bottom of the nut and the nut slot is clean first and doesn't have any residue left behind that will cause the nut to lean one way or another. Then use your adhesive. You do want it to make uniform contact all the way across the slot. Just some light very fine grit sandpaper will usually take care of that.

    If you decide to leave it unattached, change just one string at a time. That way you have constant tension on the nut and don't have to worry about it moving or falling out.

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