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Nut Problem

 
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bee-g
Junior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2015
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:07 am    Post subject: Nut Problem Reply with quote

I bought my grand daughter a 3/4 violin. it was made in china. I dont have the means to buy her better at this time. Already I know IT needs a new bridge. and the NUT at the scroll realy is to high. But what I dont know is how to fix it.

The strings are so high off the fingerboard that I barely can press them down to the neck. at the first position .

I am afraid if I just loosen the strings or remove them to sand the nut down that the sound post would fall

Where can I find measurements for things like string height and such needed in fixing both the nut and bridge?
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Mat Roop
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Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 828
Location: Wyoming Ontario

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try this site... It will have all you need.
http://www.alangoldblatt.com/specs/Violin.pdf
If you have questions on how to interpret the data or the process to get the results... Just ask!... Lots of us here to help you!... Cheers, Mat
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Chet Bishop
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 642
Location: Forest Grove, Oregon

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you really want to do this yourself, you will just have to take the risk that the soundpost will fall. You certainly can file each string groove one by one, but to re-shape the nut it's really best to have the strings completely out of the way. (I file the nut to the right shape and then file the grooves, but I have none a lot of them and know where to put the grooves. Perhaps you can lay a card up under the strings, and mark the groove locations, so that you can file the nut first, but it is risky, because you don't have the experience to know how far to go... hence the following:)

I use either a "mouse-tail" file (hard to find, and expensive) or a set of the little torch-tip cleaning files sold in welding shops.

(This: http://www.ebay.com/itm/13-Welding-Tip-Cleaner-with-Stainless-Steel-Reamers-4-Welder-Soldering-/311413289559)

The tip-cleaning file set includes round files about 2" long, from larger than the C string on a Viola down to the size of the e-string. But the ones that are literally the size of the E string are too tiny to work. I think I use the third-to largest on the G, and the 3rd to smallest for the E, even though it is a little larger than the string. But they are round, they are cheap, and they work. There is a newer type that are just twisted wire...not files: you don't want them.

When you are done, a stiff business card should fit under each string, when they are under tension, and stay there from friction.

Once the strings are in round grooves (of the correct size, and in the correct locations), and just clearing the fingerboard, AND the grooves extend in a smooth curve over the back of the nut, so the strings are not bent sharply (which causes strings to break), you can file down the nut until the grooves are very shallow-- coming no more than half-way up the side of each string...1/3 is ideal. The strings should be sitting ON the nut, not buried IN the nut. Polish the nut using progressively finer grits (I go to 1500-grit), so it is shiny and pretty, and you are done. Smile

If this does not sound like a job you are comfortable doing, then you need to find a luthier and pay them to do the job. This is why buying a chinese fiddle off e-bay (or other sources) does not always turn out to be such a good deal. But I completely understand and sympathize with the financial issues. You can do this, if you are willing, and just take it slowly and carefully.

Where are you located? Perhaps there is a budding luthier near you who can do it cheaply. When I was starting out, I did a lot of work like this for free, just because it was good practice for me, and was good relations with families who might someday want a better fiddle.

Good luck with it. As Mat says, you can keep coming back here for help.
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Dave Chandler
Super Member


Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 676
Location: Mt Mitchell in North Carolina

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It might be helpful to measure the height at the center of the wide end of the fingerboard to the top of the violin, and again the height at the center of the bridge off the top of the violin. That will give us an idea how much the bridge needs trimmed as well, if refiling the nut doesn't do the trick.

What you don't want to do while strings are off, is to compress the sides of the violin, or for sure the bridge will fall. For instance, don't put the violin between your knees and squeeze while refitting the strings.
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bee-g
Junior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2015
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am in Fayetteville Arkansas

The worst can happen is I break the violin.. I paid only 30 for it at a thrift shop. 22 for new strings and 45 for a new bow.

I lost more that that driving down the road.

thou even with the rotten bridge it does not sound all that bad. just hard to press the strings for a child.
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Franciscus
Member


Joined: 11 Jan 2014
Posts: 37
Location: Tuzla, Bosnia

PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chet Bishop wrote:
Polish the nut using progressively finer grits (I go to 1500-grit), so it is shiny and pretty, and you are done. Smile

This thing: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nail-Buffer-Files-Sanding-7-Color-Buffering-Block-Shinner-Polisher-For-Manicure-/111779383864?hash=item1a06920a38 works very well, replacing the series of sandpaper. But, is that nut made from ebony? If it is not (which happens with very cheap Chinese violins), then you can hide the bare wood using black Sharpie marker after polishing (I took into account that you do not want to go with the new nut).
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Chet Bishop
Super Member


Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 642
Location: Forest Grove, Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Sharpie marker will leave a purple sheen ....which can be hidden under a tiny bit of shoe-polish. Smile
(been there...)
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