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Thread: Nut slot lube

  1. #1
    Registered User Lou Giordano's Avatar
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    Default Nut slot lube

    I know about using a pencil for lubing the slots. Anything else? Lithium or white grease? I see Stewmac has a grease $7.00 for .25 oz anyone try it?

    Thanks
    Giving this another try.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    IMHO pencil lead is the no brainer choice here. Cheap, effective, dry and no mess.

    If your nut slots are cut correctly for your string gauges, smoothed, and your nut is made from properly hard material like bone or pearl, no lube of any kind is needed. I never use any on my Webers, which are bone and thinner than most nuts ( a plus in my book. Why make them wider than necessary?). That said, I always used to use pencil lead on my fiddles when I played fiddle. Those nuts are ebony, and don’t have the self lubricating characteristics of bone.
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  4. #3
    Registered User Lou Giordano's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    IMHO pencil lead is the no brainer choice here. Cheap, effective, dry and no mess.

    If your nut slots are cut correctly for your string gauges, smoothed, and your nut is made from properly hard material like bone or pearl, no lube of any kind is needed. I never use any on my Webers, which are bone and thinner than most nuts ( a plus in my book. Why make them wider than necessary?). That said, I always used to use pencil lead on my fiddles when I played fiddle. Those nuts are ebony, and don’t have the self lubricating characteristics of bone.
    I also have a Weber , but I'm getting that annoying click when tuning. Maybe like you said the nuts slots are not done correctly . It's a 2010 I just purchased so maybe someone tried to adjust them
    Giving this another try.

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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    Big Bends Nut Sauce. Way better than graphite. I also use it on tuner gears.

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    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    I wanted to try some and I ordered D'Addario Lubrikit friction remover. Mine came in incomplete from amazon. But the grease smelled and looked like petroleum jelly. So I made my own "kit" with a syringe. I can't tell any difference.

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    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
    Big Bends Nut Sauce. Way better than graphite. I also use it on tuner gears.
    +1
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    Registered User rowka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    FWI - Big Bends Nut Sauce contains silicone.
    I big issue if there is ever a need for finish repair.

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    Registered User Roger Moss's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    I don't care for the gray residue a pencil leaves. This is what I use...

    https://www.amazon.com/Music-Nomad-M.../dp/B01MPX0994


    It's supposed to be a good all around lubricant, but I only use it in nut slots. It's"fortified with PTFE..." in case that matters to anybody.
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  14. #9
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    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    I use Tri-flow, when it dries it leaves a coating of Teflon. I also use it on my tuners. Great stuff.

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    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    IMHO pencil lead is the no brainer choice here. Cheap, effective, dry and no mess.

    If your nut slots are cut correctly for your string gauges, smoothed, and your nut is made from properly hard material like bone or pearl, no lube of any kind is needed. I never use any on my Webers, which are bone and thinner than most nuts ( a plus in my book. Why make them wider than necessary?). That said, I always used to use pencil lead on my fiddles when I played fiddle. Those nuts are ebony, and don’t have the self lubricating characteristics of bone.
    I've never seen something that moves thru or over something that didn't move easier and smother with a little lube. It may work with out it but will work better with it.

  17. #11
    Registered User Lou Giordano's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    Thanks for all your comments guys. I have to buy some Tri-Flow anyway so I'll try a little of that first.
    Giving this another try.

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    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    I used pencil lead once on the white nut slots of a pretty nice guitar. The black residue it left was pretty noticeable but it worked fine

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    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
    Big Bends Nut Sauce. Way better than graphite. I also use it on tuner gears.
    Pencil. If it's applied only on the groove, the residue elsewhere is minimal. And besides, if I bought Big Bends' stuff, I'd probably have to giggle a little.
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  20. #14

    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    I'm sort of in the camp of if the nut is cut properly it really shouldn't need any lube. I have never used it on any of my instruments. I have had sticking/clicking while tuning on several instruments and after my luthier adjusted the nut slots a bit or replaced the nut all together it was taken care of. I find that nut setup even on high end premium grade instruments can often have much to be desired. I'm no luthier myself but I have had 3 brand new instruments that I had new nuts put on because of spacing/depth issues. This has lead me to believe that cutting a nut properly is one of the most difficult aspects of building. I have also heard several top notch builders admit that even some of the finest builders are not the best at setting up their instruments properly. Obviously this is not the case with every builder but it's an observation I have made over the years.

    Edit: I feel it's worth mentioning that my luthier is an anal perfectionist and I listen to and trust his word. 15+ years of dealing with him as taught me the invaluable resource that he provides. Especially when he is right down the road! Up to this point he is the only one I trust to work on my stuff. I dont know what I will do when he retires.
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    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    Trich,

    That is why Bruce Weber is the only guy I trust with my Yellowstone.

  23. #16

    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    Quote Originally Posted by George R. Lane View Post
    Trich,

    That is why Bruce Weber is the only guy I trust with my Yellowstone.
    A luthier you trust is an invaluable tool to a musician. Speaking of Bruce, I ordered a trust rod cover from his company and he literally called me and talked for a few minutes and made sure I was getting exactly what I wanted. Seemed like a great guy and his reputation definitely precedes him.
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  25. #17

    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    pencil lead is a mixture of graphite and clay, I no longer use it on my nuts.

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  26. #18
    Registered User Lou Giordano's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    Quote Originally Posted by Trich View Post
    I'm sort of in the camp of if the nut is cut properly it really shouldn't need any lube. I have never used it on any of my instruments. I have had sticking/clicking while tuning on several instruments and after my luthier adjusted the nut slots a bit or replaced the nut all together it was taken care of. I find that nut setup even on high end premium grade instruments can often have much to be desired. I'm no luthier myself but I have had 3 brand new instruments that I had new nuts put on because of spacing/depth issues. This has lead me to believe that cutting a nut properly is one of the most difficult aspects of building. I have also heard several top notch builders admit that even some of the finest builders are not the best at setting up their instruments properly. Obviously this is not the case with every builder but it's an observation I have made over the years.

    Edit: I feel it's worth mentioning that my luthier is an anal perfectionist and I listen to and trust his word. 15+ years of dealing with him as taught me the invaluable resource that he provides. Especially when he is right down the road! Up to this point he is the only one I trust to work on my stuff. I dont know what I will do when he retires.

    I recently got back to learning to play after a 3-4 year layoff due to health issues. I bought two mandolins, both very different and both from people with great reputations. I won't mention their names. Both have sticking , clicking nuts an not so hot slot depth. The strings often jump when tuning, meaning I tune a string and start getting to the correct pitch and it jumps to sharp or it goes sharp after I play a little. So I'm stuck with the choice for loosing $100.00+ for round trip shipping or trying to find someone here local and there isn't anyone near NJ I trust. One is a Weber I bought used from a dealer. I would love to send it to Bruce Weber , but roundtrip shipping and insurance would be crazy. That's why I'm asking about lube to see if it will help.
    Giving this another try.

  27. #19
    Registered User Lou Giordano's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    Quote Originally Posted by George R. Lane View Post
    Trich,

    That is why Bruce Weber is the only guy I trust with my Yellowstone.
    George I would love to take a ride out to see Bruce. I love the west. I have worked and lived in AZ and CO . I traveled all though many western states, hunting , fishing ,camping. I love the Rockies. Now I'm old and broke down living in the state I was raised in, NJ by the Shore. I hate it, but I'm stuck here.
    Giving this another try.

  28. #20
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    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    Another thing to think about is, maybe you could smooth your nut slots. Maybe whoever did the set up just used files and left burrs and roughness in there. Mitchell’s Abrasive Cord is sold by Stew Mac. You can get all 4 sizes for your different slot sizes for 22 dollars. Makes it easy to smooth the slots. Use just like dental floss! A smoother slot should make lube unnecessary. Note that the smallest size is .015. Too big for the E course. You can use just a regular piece of 200 grit sandpaper, folded, for those. That won’t work for the bigger slots though. They would distort. For them, the cord is much better.
    Don

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  30. #21
    Registered User Lou Giordano's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    Another thing to think about is, maybe you could smooth your nut slots. Maybe whoever did the set up just used files and left burrs and roughness in there. Mitchell’s Abrasive Cord is sold by Stew Mac. You can get all 4 sizes for your different slot sizes for 22 dollars. Makes it easy to smooth the slots. Use just like dental floss! A smoother slot should make lube unnecessary. Note that the smallest size is .015. Too big for the E course. You can use just a regular piece of 200 grit sandpaper, folded, for those. That won’t work for the bigger slots though. They would distort. For them, the cord is much better.
    Great idea thanks!
    Giving this another try.

  31. #22
    Registered User rowka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    If you use the cord, or sandpaper for that matter, be mindful not to round or disturb the bridge-side edge of the nut slot.

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  33. #23

    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    A clean, properly fit nut is best but in a pinch I keep some chapstick handy..

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  35. #24

    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    GHS has sold for years a product called GraphitALL, supposedly designed by Rene Martinez (Stevie Ray Vaughn's guitar tech), white powdery general purpose lube for nuts, saddles, etc. -- good stuff -- tiny bottle will last for years. I bought two bottles years ago, and I'm still on the first bottle.......

    GIVE your mandolin that SRV advantage......

    I see Rene Martinez now markets GraphitALL under his own name, no longer affiliated with GHS. $16 a bottle, but for most of us that will be a lifetime supply, using a pinhead size drop, as needed.

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  37. #25
    Registered User Lou Giordano's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nut slot lube

    Quote Originally Posted by rowka View Post
    If you use the cord, or sandpaper for that matter, be mindful not to round or disturb the bridge-side edge of the nut slot.
    Yep I remember , Thanks
    Giving this another try.

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