Toss Me A Bone!


My dog Leo is a very caring dog and will share his bones with me anytime. Especially when he’s done trying to get “the good stuff” out of the middle…

Photo by Tali

I’ve found that with a little effort Leo’s chew-toy bones are good bone guitar nut material. I just made a trade with Leo so I’m working some bone material to make an unbleached guitar bone nut for my wood bodied resonator guitar. I can usually get 8 – 12 Gibson or Martin style guitar nut blanks out of one bone. Even more if a Fender style guitar nut blank. Depending upon how much fun time Leo had with it of course.

I hear the bones that have been gnawed on for a while produce a better tone than a new one so bribe your dog with a new bone and Give it a try!

How to make a bone guitar nut from a “recycled” dog (cattle) bone.        

Shake the dog spit off of and saw up the bone into guitar nut sized pieces that can be shaped. I make rough cuts a little larger than the guitar nut style I am making.  7/16” x 3/16” x 2 5/16” for a Gibson or Martin style nut blank and ¼”  x 1/8” x 2” for a Fender Style nut blank. Cut the sides as perpendicular as possible to each other. A band saw with a fine blade works great. With a little more elbow grease a hacksaw also works well.

Use a flat file and sandpaper to square up the pieces. Tape down sheets of sandpaper to your work bench to keep flat which helps with keeping the bone guitar nut square. I work the guitar nut blanks into a rough shape with a file and finish progressively higher grits of sandpaper to desired finish. You don’t need to go too far at this stage because you will be doing final shaping  and finishing later. Most important to get square pieces.

Now you’ve got a blank ready to do your final shaping and fit on your guitar. If you want a brighter look they can be bleached. Otherwise use as is – the oils from the yummy fillings and dog spit have already added some cool “vintage” coloring and mojo to the bone. At least that’s what Leo tells me!

Please share with a guitar nut or dog lover – Follow us on Twitter for more Hijinx and updates on the Hijinx Wood Body Resonator Guitar Project!



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