Depends on if you are playing slide. I like to finger pick and have a neurological deficit in both hands so like to use a hardtail bridge and set the height as low as possible at the bridge to make fretting easier. I think bone is the best if I'm not using a hardtail so long as I can cut it outside if I need to grind it to size or shape (the smell of power cutting/grinding bone always takes me back to having fillings at the dentist when I was a lad).
Thanks For the Tips
I have used bolts and like them, I found that a big first fret works quite well and then smaller frets after
and have made a bridge with a bit of mahogany and a fret on top works quite well.
But none of these are ever spot on. I note quite a few guys use ebony nuts as its workable or bone.
As presumably you adjust till its just right.
So at the nut on my guitar looks like 3-4mm that must be what you are aiming at?
Is the neck flat or slightly raked, as a guitar neck has a truss for a slight adjustment, os does your bridge height do this for you?
Maybe I need to dress my frets, as I never do.
I use a short level with a nice flat side of 280 grit sandpaper tape and dress my frets after a black marker high light across the tops of frets to show where the high side is. Each build is different and so my choice of bridge and nut height varies. I enjoy having an adjustable bridge. As far as material used in the nut, I think harder denser is better for tone because it doesn't absorb the strings vibration. So anything from bone, ebony to aluminum and other metals work great. String depth should be sunk less than half into the slots, not buried. All this is personal opinion and subject to what works for you.
Bone !!!! and as far as setup i learned a long time ago the Jim Frets method of dialing in the nut height. I lay a dime on the fretboard and slot the bone nut to the top of the dime. 3/8 bridge height with a thick bone saddle so it also can be dialed in to give you an exact fingerstyle action. You can`t beat bone nut and bridge with a mag pickup !!
Randy, Nice set-up would love to hear it. Do you have a video?
You lay the dime on the fretboard up against the nut, I usually make my nuts about 3/8" high or a tad bit higher figuring the fretboard is a 1/4" thick. [ it`s always easier to make the nut a bit higher and take them down then to have a low nut and not enough left to slot ] The dime is your stopping point when slotting the nut, sometimes it`s needed to deepen the slot if your using low fret wire. But having the slots at an even depth gives you a good starting point. The one pictured above was a higher nut giving that the angle of the limb neck was steeper. But i`m sure you get the idea. On my limb necks i like having a thicker nut with a tapered back guiding the strings to the tuners. Plus it helps in cushioning the stress on the natural angled peghead.
we don't have dimes in the uk ...