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Nut Slotting For 12-string

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Hi all.

I am building a 12-string electric. I purchased a 4.83 mm width non-slotted nut, and I am not sure how I should calculate the location of the slots. I checked the nut of an off-shelf 12-string acoustic, which it was smaller than mine.

My questions:

1. What is the correct spacing between each two strings? between the string pairs?

2. Should the thicker strings be closer to each other than the thinner ones?

Thanks in advance,


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The only foolproof way of calculating it is to buy the StewMac string spacing rule, it's a great tool & worth the cheap price. It will show you exactly where each slot should go according to your particular nut width & it compensates for the different string guages.


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Using the string gauge thing on it's own would work if the 12 strings where equi-distant, but they're paired in courses of two strings that are close enough to fret together.

I would assume that you could use the standard methods for setting up a six string neck, and count the six points you end up with as the "middle" point of each set of courses; then pick a measurement that feels good (and won't end up with the strings rattling against each other - I played a cheap bouzouki with this problem) and measure out equidistant from the center point of the courses using this measurement to find the center point of the strings in each course. At least, that's how I'd do it.

I really wonder though - there must be some sort of measurement system to get this right.

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