Baking soda and CA glue trick

redking

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Will the old baking soda and CA glue trick work on a Graphtech Tusq nut? I understand it is impregnated with teflon, so curious if anyone has had any problems getting the CA glue to adhere to the Tusq? I was trying to "optimize" my nut height and I went a couple of file strokes too many on the low E.
 

Nemisis608

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Use powdered graphite instead of baking soda. Graphite will self lubricant as well. Easy enough to scrape and powder it from a #2 pencil.
 

LtDave32

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Regardless if it bonds well to the Tusq nut or not, the old baking soda and thin CA glue is a temp fix at best.

It will eventually wear down.

The way I use that trick (only when I have to, such as a short-notice, short term fix where they will bring it in later, just get through the gig, etc) is to tape off both sides of the nut tightly. CA will damage a lacquer finish.

Also tape off the sides of the nut, and any slots in the nut you don't want the CA to touch.

(for those at home who don't know this, CA glue when applied to baking soda forms a chemical reaction that is very hard. The idea is to build up material in the nut slot when it's worn down or the cutting went too far. It's a temporary fix, and the nut should be replaced at first opportunity.

Drizzle the baking soda in the E slot. use a business card edge to pack it in.

Hold your finger over the slot, blow away the excess.

After you've packed it some, drizzle some more baking soda in there.

Hold your finger over the slot, blow away the excess again.

Now, get water thin CA glue with a whip-tip or needle applicator. Drop one drop of water thin CA into the slot, on top of the baking soda.

Give it 15 minutes. We have a chemical reaction going on here.

Hey! Science, bitch!

Now re-file the slot, this time, less cutting with the file, and more of checking the string height.

Common-as-hell error. Sometimes you have to go only one stroke at a time, putting the string back, putting some tension on the string and checking the height again, again, and again.

Tedious.

That's why there are luthiers who sit around all day dealing with this tedium.

Like me.
 

Slater529

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As @LtDave32 said, the Baking Soda + CA glue fix is temporary. But the Stewmac Nut Rescue Powder + CA glue is permanent. Shit really works as advertised. I've done the nuts on my '97 R8 and my '99 Custom with the stuff. Before that I had been doing the Baking Soda crap once a month on those guitars.
 

redking

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I've used bone dust and CA but they were bone nuts.
I was just about to ask - Dan Erlewine demonstrates this using bone dust - any reason not to use bone dust if I have it available, even though it is a tusq nut? Since it is only on the low E string and it's not like I'm going to be bending notes like a madman on the low E.
 

Roxy13

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I don't know the answer to how well it will bond with Tusq. So far the only Tusq nuts I've worked on were on other peoples' guitars and in every case someone had just stuck a pre slotted blank in place and the slots were all too high. So I took them down and removed the excess material from the top.
 

jkes01

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StewMac now carries “Rescue Powder.“ Says it is for bone, corian, and tusq.

The cream powder matches natural bone, ivory, and Tusq. The bright white powder matches modern bleached bone and corian. The black powder matches Tusq, ebony, and buffalo. The included specialized applicator tool makes it easy to measure and apply just what you need.


 

redking

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It's gonna be a sad day when Dan Erlewine has to retire from his craft.
 

redking

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I don't know the answer to how well it will bond with Tusq. So far the only Tusq nuts I've worked on were on other peoples' guitars and in every case someone had just stuck a pre slotted blank in place and the slots were all too high. So I took them down and removed the excess material from the top.
The nut I need to fix is on my recent Warmoth project and it was installed by them in the factory and it was darn close to a perfect height right out of the box, but oh no, i have to get in there and monkey around with my nut files and try to make it "better."
 

redking

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StewMac now carries “Rescue Powder.“ Says it is for bone, corian, and tusq.


My low E is not too bad - I can probably get away without the slight buzzing coming through the amp, but it is just annoying that I made that mistake. I may order this and check it out for myself.
 

jkes01

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Here is another fix to inlay material to recut the slot. I can see this useful if you are trying to save a vintage nut, but would be easier to just replace given the amount of effort.

 

el84ster

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I wouldn’t say the baking soda way isn’t permanent. I’ve used that on nuts that are still solid 20 years later.
inthink the problem can come when there’s a pocket of powder that doesn’t get saturated with glue. In that case a part of it can crumble.
 

kakerlak

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You can certainly try it and see. That tusq material might not bond to the CA. OTOH, it apparently bonds well enough with regular wood glue to allow the nut to be glued down.

I would usually rather shim a nut than try to fill a slot. Coffee stirrers are hard maple and the exact right width for Gibson nuts. Just CA it to the bottom of the nut, trim the edges flush at either end and sand down the bottom to the height you need (seconds on a belt sander, if you have one).

If you're just a hair too low on the slot, you'll be sanding almost all of the shim back off, to the point that it'll be nearly invisible anyway.
 

jkes01

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If removing the nut to shim it, why not cut a new nut?
 

redking

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My low E is not too bad - I can probably get away without the slight buzzing coming through the amp, but it is just annoying that I made that mistake. I may order this and check it out for myself.
On second thought, I have a tusq nut and a bone nut that I'm not going to be using for some time. I think I may just donate one of them to be filed into dust for this project and any future goof ups.
 

redking

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Just reporting back on this one - I finally got around to doing this a few weeks ago. I donated one of my tusq nuts to the cause of becoming powder for the purposes of nut height repairs. So far so good, although I did have to pay close attention to smoothing out the new nut slots that were filled (low e and a). After my first few passes through the slots with a file, the strings were both buzzing at the nut because there was an uneven surface in the slot. I then took a piece of some discarded wound strings and smoothed things out by working the string through slot dozens of times until the buzzing disappeared. Good hands on lesson for me - by the time I was done, the slot height was down to the lowest viable height for a clean note to be played. Will see how long this lasts now.
 

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