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Teardrop fiddle build #15: Nut slots and neck scraping

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Blog entry by Dave Rutan posted 03-31-2020 03:36 PM 237 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 14: Carving the nut Part 15 of Teardrop fiddle build series Part 16: Last bits »

There are several different ways to do some of the operations I’ll be showing in the next few posts. It mostly depends on your background. A guitar person will have different tools and philosophies than a dedicated bowed strings tech. I come at these things from a woodworking point of view and I tend to use whatever tools I have at hand unless I need something in particular.

Here I have made the first two string slots on the nut. I used a razor saw and made them just inside the walls of the peg box. I am using a cheap Harbor Freight caliper to determine a spacing that will divide the nut for four string slots. It’s more or less trial and error.

A view down the neck showing the back of the nut.

The back of the neck is scraped clean of the stain and smoothed. I will coat this with boiled linseed oil. Manufacterers usually just varnish or shelack the neck, but it needs to be slick and smooth for playing. Any time I have had to repair a neck, I’ve scraped it smooth and oiled it.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!



8 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile (online now)

Dave Polaschek

5175 posts in 1319 days


#1 posted 03-31-2020 04:32 PM

For guitar nuts, I’ve got a needle file somewhere that’s just the right width for the low E string. Works really slick, especially in the fancy graphite- and Teflon-impregnated nuts that were all the rage a few years back.

I think shellac and wax might work for the back of the neck too… or varnish and wax. I can’t imagine either one working very well (at least new) without a little wax to make things more slippery…

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1920 posts in 2925 days


#2 posted 03-31-2020 04:39 PM



For guitar nuts, I’ve got a needle file somewhere that’s just the right width for the low E string. Works really slick, especially in the fancy graphite- and Teflon-impregnated nuts that were all the rage a few years back.

I think shellac and wax might work for the back of the neck too… or varnish and wax. I can’t imagine either one working very well (at least new) without a little wax to make things more slippery…

- Dave Polaschek

Do you have a wax recomendation that I should add to my supply closet?

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Polaschek's profile (online now)

Dave Polaschek

5175 posts in 1319 days


#3 posted 03-31-2020 06:10 PM

I use Minwax paste wax, mostly because I can always find it when I’m shopping. You want something harder, not a beeswax for sure, but there are so many different options, and I’m far from convinced it makes a huge difference. I think the important thing is having a good finish under it, and then using a paste wax to fill the little imperfections in the finish.

I strongly suspect a decade or so of “patina” (i.e. sweaty hands, which mayor may not have been cleaned well) will also give a good surface, as long as there’s not too much dirt in the mix to make it feel gummy.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1920 posts in 2925 days


#4 posted 03-31-2020 06:47 PM



I use Minwax paste wax, mostly because I can always find it when I’m shopping. You want something harder, not a beeswax for sure, but there are so many different options, and I’m far from convinced it makes a huge difference. I think the important thing is having a good finish under it, and then using a paste wax to fill the little imperfections in the finish.

I strongly suspect a decade or so of “patina” (i.e. sweaty hands, which mayor may not have been cleaned well) will also give a good surface, as long as there’s not too much dirt in the mix to make it feel gummy.

- Dave Polaschek

I think I will pick some up.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View htl's profile (online now)

htl

5056 posts in 1896 days


#5 posted 03-31-2020 09:46 PM

Looking good and can’t wait to hear a tune. lol

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs https://www.lumberjocks.com/htl/blog/130264

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1920 posts in 2925 days


#6 posted 03-31-2020 10:03 PM



Looking good and can t wait to hear a tune. lol

- htl

I think you guys are all gluttons for punishment.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

2939 posts in 2927 days


#7 posted 04-01-2020 01:29 AM

Project is looking pretty good, and you seem go be enjoying your work.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1920 posts in 2925 days


#8 posted 04-01-2020 12:44 PM



Project is looking pretty good, and you seem go be enjoying your work.

- Oldtool

I do enjoy my work. I often call it the best gig ever. This, naturally puts me on the outside as far as most other people because we’re all supposed to hate our jobs, right?

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

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