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Thread: My only Mandolin's nut got damaged, what is my best option?

  1. #1

    Default My only Mandolin's nut got damaged, what is my best option?

    Hi,

    I have been playing Mandolin for a couple years now. I have restrung it a few times, and adjusted the bridge placement before. Yesterday, our bulldog was tossing her rawhide everywhere and it hit the Mandolin, sitting in its rack by the chair. The only damage appears to be the nut, but it is enough to make one of the D strings unplayable.

    A tiny piece broke out so that the slot for the upper D string is enlarged, allowing the just that one string to rest against the fretboard. That appears to be the only damage.

    It is a Gretsch New Yorker. What are my best options? Is there certain type of nut for this model? Where can I buy one? Replacing the nut cannot be too difficult, right? Am I better off taking it to someone for repair (I am in the U.S., Chicago area, if anyone has recommended Luthier).

    Thanks for any suggestions.

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: My only Mandolin's nut got damaged, what is my best option?

    Just have a luthier cut a new nut. That's your best option. Hopefully someone can recommend a luthier in Chicagoland.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  3. #3

    Default Re: My only Mandolin's nut got damaged, what is my best option?

    Thanks.
    Based your advice, I then did some searching through the forums here for nearby Luthiers. It looks like Third Coast Guitar repair is my best choice, considering location I guess my Gretsch and I will pay them a visit tomorrow.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: My only Mandolin's nut got damaged, what is my best option?

    The obvious remedy is a new nut as stated above, but if it's only a very small chip, it might be possible to repair it by making a filler with CA glue and baking soda, then refiling the slot. This is a common solution for repairing nuts that have worn or been filed too deep.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...ature=emb_logo

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  6. #5

    Default Re: My only Mandolin's nut got damaged, what is my best option?

    Making a new nut requires some skills but not a PhD degree.
    If you have the tools you can buy a blank mandolin nut, and carve it to match with the existing one.
    Filing the nut slots (8 slots) could be tough for many but not too difficult for some. I have replaced broken nuts a few times for guitars, mandolins, etc...

  7. #6
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: My only Mandolin's nut got damaged, what is my best option?

    For your first nut you should consider getting a preshaped blank. I bought a Tusq for my first nut job.

    Starting with a rectangular bone blank requires a lot more cutting and shaping. Even with a Tusq or bone pre-shaped nut you're going to have to sand the bottom to match the existing profile and cut the slots correctly. The nice thing about a nut is if I screw it up I'm only out a little money and some more time.

  8. #7
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: My only Mandolin's nut got damaged, what is my best option?

    And, by the way, another argument for putting the mandolin in its case when not being played. I know, I know, convenience -- I wanta just pick it up and play it whenever the idea hits me -- it's such a (30-second) ordeal to take it in and out of the case -- yeah, yeah, yeah...

    But the dog couldn't break it if it were in the case, could it?
    Allen Hopkins
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  9. #8
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: My only Mandolin's nut got damaged, what is my best option?

    I was going to make the same argument for preventative measures in the future - a new nut is nothing compared to repairing the top or repairing a broken neck!

  10. #9

    Default Re: My only Mandolin's nut got damaged, what is my best option?

    Sometimes we learn the hard way! I had about 30 years professional experience behind me only to find when I arrived at the gig, my 3-prong amp cord had "danced" inside the amp tearing holes in both speaker cones and breaking four tubes! Fortunately, I was able to borrow an amp for the gig (and not being familiar with it, I sounded less good, IMHO) I believe it cost me about $350 to get back to normal. NOW, I pull the cord out from the back of the amp and place it where it won't do any harm.....protective measure!

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