The little piece guiding the strings from the tip of the fretboard to the tuners – the nut – plays an extremely important role in how a guitar stays in tune, plays and sounds. The material, string spacing, depth of the string slots, shape and angle of the slots – a number of variables, each and every one contributing to your guitar playing experience.
It takes years for a luthier to genuinely master the art of making a great nut for the guitar. It all starts from materials. I learned to use moose shin bone in the lutherie school I studied at, and even though I’ve experimented later on with numerous other materials, I’ve always ended up to the same conclusion – the dense, consistent and naturally greasy moose bone is without a doubt the best choice for the nut. It keeps the tuning best, breaks strings the least, outlasts synthetic materials or metals and most importantly, the open notes ring with unique clarity.
There is another perspective to look at regarding my decision to use this exotic material. We have a healthy moose population in Finland – so healthy, in fact, that the clashing of men and these majestic animals leads to hundreds of car accidents every year. Since the amount of cars doesn’t unfortunately seem to get any smaller, the moose population has to, and so we have a government controlled hunting season every autumn here in Finland. We have a few hunter friends who bring us legs of the hunted animals, which we then chop into pieces and boil on open fire to remove excess fat off the bones. Yes, primitive and hard work – perhaps too much for some – but I consider this an environmentally viable way, as the bone we use for guitars is a by-product – no animals are ever killed for our purposes.
For those who prefer not to have any animal origin parts in their guitars, we do offer other high quality options as well.