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Old 02-16-2009, 10:39 AM
skiltrip skiltrip is offline
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Default Pencil lead graphite in nut.. anyone do this?

I was wondering. A little 'trick' I learned from some other guy on tour one time years ago, is when changing strings, take a pencil and spin it in the nut slits to spread some graphite in there. to help the strings slide freely thru the nut to help with tuning stability.

Anyone else do this?
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Old 02-16-2009, 10:41 AM
go7 go7 is offline
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Default Pencil

Been doing it for 30 years. Works well and cheap. Good luck.
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Old 02-16-2009, 10:44 AM
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riorider riorider is offline
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I found and use this stuff -- just a tiny dab, and in fact I use a toothpick to apply it, then wipe off any excess. It's white so it won't discolor your nut (or saddle - I use it on both) but it will pick up dirt a bit.

Same basic performance as pencil lead.

http://accessories.musiciansfriend.c...ant?sku=423700

rr/Phil
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Old 02-16-2009, 10:51 AM
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ljguitar ljguitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riorider View Post
I found and use this stuff -- just a tiny dab, and in fact I use a toothpick to apply it, then wipe off any excess. It's white so it won't discolor your nut (or saddle - I use it on both) but it will pick up dirt a bit.
Hi Phil...
Yeah, I use the white Graphite too - doesn't discolor my fingers or the slot in the nut.
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:13 AM
mmmaak mmmaak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riorider View Post
I found and use this stuff -- just a tiny dab, and in fact I use a toothpick to apply it, then wipe off any excess. It's white so it won't discolor your nut (or saddle - I use it on both) but it will pick up dirt a bit.

Same basic performance as pencil lead.

http://accessories.musiciansfriend.c...ant?sku=423700

rr/Phil
Phil, while this product works great, it did discolour one of my white bone nuts. Not sure if it was just a "fluke", but thought it was worth mentioning.

I've pretty much settled for graphite from a mechanical pencil nowadays, though I've heard players/luthiers mentioning that all this is quite unnecessary anyway (?)
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by mmmaak View Post
...I've heard players/luthiers mentioning that all this is quite unnecessary anyway (?)
Hi mmm...
Yeah - I only lubricate any sticking slots - and then back it goes for a touchup to the luthier. But when student's or friend's guitars stick, I'll use a tiny bit. I've never seen it stain or otherwise discolor the nut like pencil lead does...
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:27 AM
skiltrip skiltrip is offline
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on the same subject kind of, regarding string changing techniques...

I was wondering how many of you do that "hook around" thing with your strings on the tuning pegs. I'm not sure what it's called, but it's supposed to give you more tuning stability, especially on the G, B, and E. You kind of put the string thru the opposite way, then loop it back around itself creating kind of a V in the string, then tighten.

Anyone know what I'm talking about ? Does this have a name?
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Old 02-16-2009, 02:01 PM
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riorider riorider is offline
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I call that (to myself) the "Martin" guitar method, as I first read it in the brochure that came with my D35. I used it until about 5 years ago, when Taylor guitars published their method.

Taylor's method is to pre-measure and cut the string end, feed 1/4" or so through, and tighten. If you use their general length estimating guidelines, you end up with the right number of wraps around the post (fills the scalloped area of the post but does not jump up onto the straight-wall portion). Bass E & A, about 2-3 wraps; D & G about 3-5 wraps; B & E about 4-7 wraps. (see pdf file here: http://www.taylorguitars.com/global/...l_Restring.pdf)

I've not had any slippage from just the 1/4" sticking out. If I use a guitar stand (neck stand, on a mat) and an autowinder (e.g. electric screwdriver with one of these http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Accessor...EZ-Winder.html) I can use my free hand to guide the string onto the post easily and quickly.

rr/Phil
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Old 02-16-2009, 02:27 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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I have, on occasion, lubricated grabby nut slots with pencil lead. But it's always been a stopgap measure for me, when I was out playing a gig and it became obvious that a problem had developed. It's always been: "Okay, this will have to do for now," but then as soon as I could get the instrument into my repairman's shop I did.

It's not something I've ever done on a routine basis, only when needed, and then only for a short span of time.

Same thing with putting little scraps of paper in the nut slots, to eliminate some buzz that's just developed. I've known some guitarplayers who kept those bits of paper under the strings for months or even years at a time, but, again, for me it's just been a stopgap measure that I've resorted to only until I could get the problem corrected by my repair tech.

Properly cut and angled, nut slots shouldn't require any lubrication to function correctly. Sticking or pulling is generally a symptom that there's been some wear, but if the slots were cut correctly to start with, a quick swipe with a needle file is generally all it needs to make things right again


Wade Hampton Miller
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