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Break angle --> nut slot wear?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by ICTGoober View Post
    The trick to using ANY lubrication in a nut slot is use as little as possible. Put it on with the tip of a toothpick. In the 80's I used petroleum jelly mixed with graphite powder. The problem? The graphite powder spreads too much, and you can see the dark color. Once the graphite separates from the petroleum jelly it contaminates the whole area. I switched to Chapstick in the early 90's because it's thicker than petroleum jelly, and doesn't tend to melt all over the area. It works well when used with intelligence, and it's invisible.

    Dave - tell me. WTH do you think Chapstick is bad for strings, but some other product is cool. Got any hard data? Didn't think so.
    You didn't give me a chance to answer. It is bad because it is gummy and stuff sticks to it. The stuff I used is designed to repel dirt, and a lot more slippery than Chap Stick. And it is designed for one purpose, which it does well.

    None of this is a substitute for a well cut nut.
    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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    • #17
      None of this is a substitute for a well cut nut.
      You'll get no argument from me on this statement - which should have been the very first response to OP (by anyone, not just Dave).

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      • #18
        I'd also say it's a case of poorly cut nut. Also, I wouldn't pull it under the B string's tree. Just think about the G and D tuning issues of some Gibsons due to the sideways pull on the strings!

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Top-L View Post

          I wasn't thinking its bad for strings, per se.

          The issue I see is that the sludge will inhibit the vibration of the string.

          If a nut slot is wide enough to take multiple gauges of strings, that suggests that there is "open air" between the string and the slot. (Until the string diameter gets large enough that it no longer fits in the slot, at which point it is resting on two points, boths sides of the nut channel.) Sludge like chap stick is just filling the gap between the string and the slot, which could impact how it vibrates.

          Sludge in the nut slot would be like lining the slots with felt or some other non solid material. This could have negative impact on vibration of the string.

          Additionally, sludge could migrate down the string (fingerboard side) which would definitely have an impact on its vibration. And its just messy and will get on your hands.

          This does not discuss the potential for chemical reaction or corrosion, but that is another discussion.


          So while there may be some nuts that you could use chap stick, there might be other situations where it is detrimental. In this case I don't think its safe to say its a good practice. It might work for some person, under some condition.
          This seems to be the culprit. Never used chapstick on a nut before. Pencil lead occasionally. So I got in there and cleaned out all the slots pretty thoroughly with a business card, guitar pick, and microfiber cloth. There was a lot of "gunk" in and on both sides of the nut. Lo and behold, good vibrations were restored.

          Makes some sense. Chapstick is pretty gnarly stuff. And one set of 10s sounded great (pre-chapstick), but the second set in the same size and brand had the muting problem (post-chapstick).

          In fact I rarely use anything in the nut slots. Pencil lead occasionally, but mostly because I "should". And then when I intially put the G string down into the B string's string tree, maybe it pulled the gunky part of the string back enough to let the fresh non-gunked string ring.

          Thanks for helping me solve a problem I created . No new string tree, no more chapstick - unless judiciously applied with a steady hand and a pre-meditated plan.
          Originally posted by crusty philtrum
          Anyone who *sings* at me through their teeth deserves to have a bus drive through their face
          http://www.youtube.com/alexiansounds

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          • #20
            Didn’t read all the replies, so this may have been covered, but...

            Put a couple extra wraps on the G. My Tele had a weird sounding open G (no tree), and I went from 3 to 6 wraps and it’s cool now.
            "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

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