Making guitar nuts from bone

I’ve been keeping my eye out for beef bones for the last couple of weeks. Strangely it is not something my local butcher keeps because there is no great demand for them and they have to pay to dispose of them. Luckily I was at a local pet store and found some suitable candidates.

I boiled them for 3 hours with a little detergent, changing the water every hour.

I then set them to dry in the sun for an hour, followed by 2 hours in a very low oven to completely dry them out.

After a quick run through the band saw, it was obvious that two of the bones were not going to be up to the job because of the porous areas, although there may be enough material for making bone saddles for an acoustic, so I’ve put them to one side.

For the Voodoo Telecaster’s nut I selected this piece.

I cut four nut sized pieces from this and have put them in a jar with just a little Zippo lighter fluid. After a day this will be drained, they’ll be allowed to dry and then back into the jar with more of the lighter fluid for a couple of weeks.

The source for the process I’m following is the Acoustic Guitar Forum. Where this post by “AnthemBassMan” appears to be the definitive word on bone preparation (based on his experience as a curator for the vertebrate exhibits at a museum).

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