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Old 07-08-2014, 08:58 PM
NEGuy NEGuy is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Roseville, CA --> Zellwood, FL
Posts: 328

Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
In my opinion and experience, measuring the clearance above the first fret is the hard way to do this. I'll tell you why.

The physical thing that is responsible for the height of the strings at the nut is the depth of the nut slot as measured from the top of the fingerboard to the bottom of each slot in the nut. (This assumes no zero fret.) The distance that the string is above the first fret is a derived consequence and cannot be adjusted directly. That is, an adjustment of the depth of the nut slot produces some result a distance away at the first fret. It is an indirect consequence of the depth of the nut slots.

In my opinion, the easier way to set the string height at the nut is to measure the height of the first fret and then cut the nut slots until they are that distance above the reference surface - the fingerboard. Theoretically, that will put the depth of the slots at exactly the height of the first fret. Practically, I find that adding .006 to .008, usually graduated from bass to treble strings, avoids buzzing at the first fret. I have no idea - nor is it relevant - what the actual measurement is between the top of the first fret and the bottom of the string.

Using the same feeler gage(s) used to measure the height of the first fret, laid on the same reference surface - top of fingerboard - simply file until you just touch the top of the feeler gage that is placed adjacent to the nut. You're done. Very simple.
Originally Posted by Brhibler1 View Post
I do it this same way, but add .01 to my height.
So, the relevant range for the “direct” method (and, yes, I do see your point here) would seem to be 0.006” --> 0.010”.

Just for grins, if either (or both ) of you wouldn’t mind checking the “derived consequence” (i.e., the action height @ the 1st fret), I would be most appreciative.
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