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String spacing

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I'm still in the process of painting but I'm thinking of the next step. Which is (among other things) making the top nut. B)

I have some questions, maybe someone could give me a hint.

Is there some kind of formula to determine the string spacing of the top nut?

What are the measurment of the slots in the top nut?

And finally, Has anybody made his nut files of a set of feeler gauges?

Gerard :D:D

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As far as I know, there's no formula to determine the string spacing at the nut. Different guitars have different necks with a different width and it pretty much depends on what the width of your neck is.

On the photo you sent me, the neck looks like a strat neck. Why don't you measure the widt of your neck at the nut and we'll take it from there.

Yes, I made a file out of a set of feeler gauges. It works okay, but I use strings to file the slot depth.

What material is your nut btw? Some nuts are very hard to work on.

Feel free to email me.


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Hi, thanks for the swift reply

The width of the neck is 4,2 cm

Yes it looks like a strat neck. It is an ESP neck.

The obvious thing to do was to measure the neck on my stratocaster.

(Silver anniversary stratocaster)

I did, but the original strat neck is smaller and I don't like the string spacing.

I hope it is not a 'monday morning' guitar but what I don't like is that the high E string is much shorter to the side of the neck than the low E string.

The spacing is not even.

I believe the material of the nut is a hard kind of plastic.

I got it of a Hopf guitar which was completely ruined and was found by the garbage. I took it home (10 years ago) because there where schaller machine heads on it.

Gerard B):D

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  • 2 weeks later...

New member here, just goin through some of the posts to see if I had something to add.

Here is the method of finding the string spacing at the nut:

1) Take the 2 outside e strings and lay them across the nut and see where you want them located in relation to the edges of the fretboard. Mark the spots with a pencil and make a starter slot to hold the strings with an X-atco knife or something.

2) Measure the distance between the the centers of the 2 E strings. Divide the distance by five (with a calculator, its best to get the decimals correct) , this will give you the approximate string spacing.

3) Using the approx. string spacing use a pencil & X-acto (just for a starter slot so you can get an idea of what the spacing will look like with a string in it) or whatever to begin laying out the spacing of other 4 strings. The approx. spacing will only give u a rough idea of your final spacing. This is because the lower strings are thicker, and the spacing measurement is from the center of the string. So... in the final adjustments you do by eye you should account for the thickness of the lower strings by adjusting the spacing a little to your liking, especially on the E and A strings.

Hope this helps....

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  • 3 years later...

Here is a link to a calculator that I found.
I am looking for something similar for a 5 string bass guitar, so it did not help me.


LINK TEXT: <http://www.guitarrasjaen.com/English%20Version/EquispacingCalculator.htm>

If anybody knows of something like that, please submit links.

Take it easy,



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OK Here are some other areas for the actual calculations:

[url="http://home.hiwaay.net/~jehle/"]http://home.hiwaay.net/~jehle/[/url] (Goto Download section for excel spreadsheets)

[url="http://www.buildyourguitar.com/index.html"]http://www.buildyourguitar.com/index.html[/url] (Go to /resources/ and /tips/ pages for fretboard SHAPE calculator which ties into the string spacing look as well)

If all else fails ...go to Stewmac:




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