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  1. Hello folks, Just replaced a missing (!) nut on a local instrument lending library violin. Rather than order a blank, I cut my own from a decent chunk of macassar ebony I was given by a neighbor. Not perfectly black, but I found a nice dark section and went from there. It got me thinking about other types of materials - I've certainly seen bone and ivory, and I know guitar luthiers use things like micarta, occasionally mother of pearl, and the like. I generally prefer that the nut be the same or similar in color to the fingerboard, so I thought maybe water buffalo horn might be a possibility. I came to the the violin world through harpsichords, and we use a delightful little plastic called delrin/celcon (I see Don Noon has experimented with it a bit) for the plectra due in part to its durability and self-lubricating properties. It can be had in white or black and cuts pretty nicely so long as your tools are very sharp, but as I've only used in for tiny plectra i have no idea how it polishes up. Of course gluing it to the fingerboard with hide would be impossible, and so that more or less blows that idea, though you'd never have to lube the string grooves with graphite again! What are your thoughts? I'm sure many of you have experimented with all sorts of things and I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on tone, workability, and the like. In a world where certain woods that we rely on are becoming more difficult to find or use legally, options are always good! Thanks, Jackson
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