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Author Topic:  Nut For Artisan Lap Steel
Ted Lowe Jr


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post Posted 2 Feb 2008 8:04 pm     Reply with quote

Hello, is there anyone out there that could tell me where I could get a replacement nut for my Artisan Lap steel, I want some kind of metal one, the 6th string on the wooden one is kind of muffled.
Thanks.
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Tom Pettingill


From:
California, USA (deceased)
Post Posted 2 Feb 2008 9:07 pm     Reply with quote

I don't know of anyone that makes a replacement for it.
You are probably going to have to make one or have one made.
As I recall thats a fairly wide piece of wood, there is probably enough room to take a piece of angle aluminum and make one out of that.

This page may be of some help
http://www.buildyourguitar.com/resources/lapsteel/mounting3.htm
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 3 Feb 2008 7:25 am     Reply with quote

I would contact Loni Specter. He makes an excellent brass nut for his "Redneck". I put a roller nut on my Redneck after I installed a Trilogy changer so used Loni's brass nut on my Artisan, worked out very nice. Very Happy
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Jude Reinhardt


From:
Weaverville, NC
Post Posted 3 Feb 2008 10:11 am     Go with a bone nut Reply with quote

Your local repair guy could probably install a bone nut made from a dobro nut blank. Bone works good for a lap steel nut.

This is a bone nut on one of Tom Pettingill's fine guitars. Don't let anyone tell you that bone's not suitable for lap steels.

Jude
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Chris Drew


From:
Bristol, UK
Post Posted 3 Feb 2008 12:18 pm     Reply with quote

You can get "L" section aluminium from a hardware shop or online, that's what I used on my "Harley-Benton" ( a German Artisan ).
Works good enough, polished up pretty shiny too.

The wooden nut on mine was held on by 2 small screws, I just re-used these in the same holes for the aluminium nut.
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Michael Maddex


From:
Northern New Mexico, USA
Post Posted 3 Feb 2008 1:36 pm     Reply with quote

Ted, I did the same thing as Chris did. Here's a photo:



I used 1/2" x 3/4" aluminum stock available at any hardware store or builder's supply. Mark and file the slots carefully and be sure to keep the tops of the strings in the same plane.

The output jack was under my right hand so I moved it to the other side which is shown in the other picture.

HTH.
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 4 Feb 2008 9:50 am     Reply with quote

That's exactly what I need, Michael.
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Chris Walke


From:
St Charles, IL
Post Posted 4 Feb 2008 10:21 am     Reply with quote

Michael Maddex wrote:


I used 1/2" x 3/4" aluminum stock available at any hardware store or builder's supply. Mark and file the slots carefully and be sure to keep the tops of the strings in the same plane.

HTH.


What do you use to file the nut slots? Just a regular nut file you'd use on a bone or nylon nut?
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Jude Reinhardt


From:
Weaverville, NC
Post Posted 4 Feb 2008 10:37 am     Reply with quote

I would go with a small three-corner file and keep the bottom of the slots in the same plane. You can't precision fit strings unless you're never going to change string sizes. E major tuning puts around .054 in the sixth string slot whereas C6 uses a .036 in the sixth string slot. How in the world are you going to keep the top of the strings level if you like to use different tunings? With the bottom of the strings level you'll have the tops of the strings on or close to the same plane no matter what tuning you use.

Jude
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 4 Feb 2008 10:59 am     Reply with quote

I don't have good tools for working with aluminum. I guess that's part of my problem here. I was hoping I could just buy a good nut.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 4 Feb 2008 11:05 am     Reply with quote

Bob,
Just get ahold of Loni Specter.
He has an excellent brass nut that would mount on very easily. Very Happy
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Michael Maddex


From:
Northern New Mexico, USA
Post Posted 4 Feb 2008 5:18 pm     Reply with quote

Jude Reinhardt wrote:
How in the world are you going to keep the top of the strings level if you like to use different tunings? With the bottom of the strings level you'll have the tops of the strings on or close to the same plane no matter what tuning you use.

You're quite right. My point was meant to be that we don't want any string to be too high or too low with respect to the bar.

Chris Walke wrote:
What do you use to file the nut slots?

b0b wrote:
I don't have good tools for working with aluminum.

Guys, you don't need anything fancy. I cut the stock to length with a hacksaw and cleaned up the edges with a flat file. I marked the slot spacing with the corner of the flat file and filed the nut slots with the files in a tip cleaner.



If you're not sure what I'm talking about, tip cleaners are used to clean oxy-acetylene welding tips and can be had for a couple of bucks at any place that sells welding supplies. Those little round files are a good match for most guitar strings and a lot cheaper than the specialty files sold for the purpose. I suppose that you'd want the fancy files for production work, but this works fine for the one-off.

HTH.
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Clyde Mattocks


From:
Kinston, North Carolina, USA
Post Posted 4 Feb 2008 10:42 pm     Reply with quote

While you're at it, replace the bridge, too. It'll
improve the sound of an Artisan. Last summer, I flew
to Ireland for a gig. I had to carry my dobro, and I
also needed a lap steel that was compact. I replaced
the nut as you all have described with a piece of angle aluminum, but I also unscrewed and removed all the adjustable strat-type bridge pieces and rounded
off a piece of 1/2" X 1/4" aluminum bar stock. I simply let string pressure hold it in place. The mod is totally reversable, since I used the existing
screw holes for the bridge. Since we were doing a
Hank Williams set, I utilized the Don Helms E6th
tuning as far as it would go on six strings. The
tone and bite of the Artisan was quite satisfactory.
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Ted Lowe Jr


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post Posted 4 Feb 2008 11:06 pm     Thanks Reply with quote

Thanks for all the advice, I have aBuddy that is a machine-ist and he is going to make one out of the Alluminum angle. I just wonder what material would be best tone wise, and how much the nut material affects the tone of a lap steel?
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Michael Maddex


From:
Northern New Mexico, USA
Post Posted 5 Mar 2008 3:13 pm     Reply with quote

Clyde Mattocks wrote:
... I also unscrewed and removed all the adjustable strat-type bridge pieces and rounded off a piece of 1/2" X 1/4" aluminum bar stock. I simply let string pressure hold it in place.

Is that stock flat or on edge? Any chance that you could post a photo of that bridge mod? Thanks.
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Tim Carlson


From:
Arizona, USA
Post Posted 5 Mar 2008 11:42 pm     Reply with quote

Michael,
Thanks for the great tip on the O/A tip cleaner for nut/bridge string slotting. I used it to great effect on my project.
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 6 Mar 2008 8:02 am     Reply with quote

If anyone is making these parts, I'd like to buy a nut and a bridge.
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Tim Carlson


From:
Arizona, USA
Post Posted 6 Mar 2008 11:58 am     Reply with quote

Bob, I'd love to be able to offer a nut and bridge to you, but I can't. Judging by the quality of the first, and only ones I've made, I'd have to pay you to take the set! Laughing
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 6 Mar 2008 4:18 pm     Reply with quote

Pay me enough and I might just take you up on that offer, Tim. Laughing
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Clyde Mattocks


From:
Kinston, North Carolina, USA
Post Posted 6 Mar 2008 6:51 pm     Reply with quote

Yes Michael, I stood the flat bar stock on its edge.
Sorry, I can't post the picture. I just got a digital camera and I'm still trying to figure how to
get it out of the box!
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 7 Mar 2008 8:13 am     Reply with quote

Bob,
The best nut you can put on an Artisan is the one made by Loni Specter and furnished with his "Red Neck".
I wound up putting a roller nut on my Red Neck after installing a Hipshot Trilogy so used the Redneck nut on my Artisan.
The nut is solid brass, grooved for the stings and mounts very easily.


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George Miller


From:
Montana, USA
Post Posted 8 Mar 2008 10:30 am     Reply with quote


This is what I thought Clyde Mattocks ment. Reading it again I guess not. That is 1/2 x 3/4 aluminum angle. It works very well and improved the tone also. Thanks for helping me think outside the box Clyde.
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Clyde Mattocks


From:
Kinston, North Carolina, USA
Post Posted 8 Mar 2008 12:16 pm     Reply with quote

That's not exactly what I did, but if it worked, that's great. Lots of good suggestions in this thread. These Artisans are very inexpensive and can be made to sound pretty good with just a little
imagination! Besides angle, flat bar stock, just a
piece of stainless or aluminum round bar will work for the bridge.
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Michael Maddex


From:
Northern New Mexico, USA
Post Posted 9 Mar 2008 3:41 pm     Reply with quote

Tim, I'm glad that my suggestion was helpful.

Clyde, I figured that would be the way that you did it, but thanks for the confirmation. If you ever get that digital camera out of the box, don't throw the box away. I found it's a handy place to keep the book, which I have to read every time I want to use the camera. I can keep a dozen different tunings in my head, but for some unknown reason I can never remember how to use the camera.

George, I like your idea, too. I've got plenty of stock, I may just have to try it out.

b0b, I'm sending you a PM.
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John D. Carter


From:
Canton, Ohio, USA
Post Posted 10 Mar 2008 2:04 pm     Reply with quote

Michael, thanks for the "tip cleaner" tip. Great idea! I was always wondering what the best way to do that would be!!
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