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  #1  
Old 03-11-2018, 05:58 PM
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Default 12th fret width question

What should be the width at the 12th fret on a 1 7/8' nut?

Steve
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Old 03-11-2018, 06:38 PM
runamuck runamuck is offline
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That depends on what width you want at the bridge as well as your scale length. I'd suggest you draw it full size.
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Old 03-11-2018, 07:04 PM
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Or print it out.

http://www.ekips.org/tools/guitar/fretfind2d/
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Old 03-11-2018, 08:56 PM
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The general formula that most builders use results in the bridge spacing and overall 14th fret width (not 12th) being equal...and this is regardless of what the nut width is.

I tend to prefer a wider fingerboard taper, and this is generally making the overall 12th fret width of the 'board as equal to the bridge spacing.

I do know of a few builders who spec-out their standard guitar with 2-1/4” bridge, and match that at 12, the way I like it. This is great for a bit more distance from the e-strings to the edges of the fingerboard...which is what *I* prefer.

On some builds I have gone even wider, matching a 2-1/4” bridge with a 2-5/16” 12th fret width. That was really pretty extreme, but it was a great “feel”, playability-wise. No matter how much side-to-side vibrato I created, nor with any vigorous hammer-ons, could I pull the high e-string off the edge of the 'board.

Others (players & builders) prefer the *exact* opposite, and they like their E strings fairly close to the edges of the fingerboard...so their fingerboards taper *narrower* than what I have discussed above. With all of these observations, there is no "ideal", nor is there a *right* or *wrong* for *everyone*...YMMV.

Your guitar, from our PM exchange, is 2-5/16" at the bridge.

In my ideal-world this would be the measurement at the 12th fret...but *your* guitar is 2-1/4" at 12, and so I guarantee that at 14 it is 2-5/16" (again, with the 2-5/16" bridge spacing)...this is the way *most* guitars are built, that is, matching the bridge spacing with the overall 14th fret width.
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Last edited by Larry Pattis; 03-11-2018 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 03-11-2018, 09:42 PM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Conquistador View Post
What should be the width at the 12th fret on a 1 7/8' nut?

Steve
Theoreticaly it would be the average of the string spacing at the bridge and nut, plus the amount of fretboard from the outside strings to the edge on both sides (provided the builder keeps that constant along the fretboard. So if you have a 1-7/8" nut and you have 1/8" from edge to center of the outside strings, the string spread at the nut is 1-5/8". If you have a typical 2-1/4" spread at the bridge, then the average is 1-15/16", and when you add the 1/8" on each side, you end up with 2-3/16".
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:33 PM
M Hayden M Hayden is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Pattis View Post
The general formula that most builders use results in the bridge spacing and overall 14th fret width (not 12th) being equal...and this is regardless of what the nut width is.

Good info, and a great starting point. It provides a method to ensure consistent feel and spacing, and a baseline against which other options can be evaluated.
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Old 03-12-2018, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Pattis View Post
The general formula that most builders use results in the bridge spacing and overall 14th fret width (not 12th) being equal...and this is regardless of what the nut width is.
I guess I am the exception to that rule because my standard width of the e to E bridge spacing is equal to the FB width measured at the 12th, although this can easily be changed for custom specs. This method is how its explained in every luthier book I've ever read and I'm pretty sure the big 3, Martin, Gibson and Taylor adhere to this measurement standard too.
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Old 03-12-2018, 07:29 AM
Todd Yates Todd Yates is offline
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Martin traditionally made the 12th fret width equal to the string spacing at the bridge, regardless of whether it was a 12 or 14 fret guitar. This has changed in recent times, but was true at least until the 1990's. It's what seems and feels right to me, but I am a traditionally minded sort.
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Old 03-12-2018, 07:59 AM
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Default 12th fret width question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim McKnight View Post
I guess I am the exception to that rule because my standard width of the e to E bridge spacing is equal to the FB width measured at the 12th, although this can easily be changed for custom specs. This method is how its explained in every luthier book I've ever read and I'm pretty sure the big 3, Martin, Gibson and Taylor adhere to this measurement standard too.


Glad to hear you use this spec as standard, Tim.

Most current Martin models match the bridge spacing with 14...but not all.

Every high production line guitar I’ve ever taken the time to measure is the same, bridge = 14...including Taylor.
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:22 PM
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I should have prefaced my statement as this is what I have seen on older guitars. I haven't had any new guitars in the shop in the past few years, at least that I have taken the time to measure. I guess my measurements are steeped in tradition as well.
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Old 03-12-2018, 02:23 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is online now
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I'm very particular about nut widths, first, and string spacing, second.
I can't say I ever think about width at 12th, although tht is where I prefer the body/neck join.

My ideal nut width is 1 & 13/16", and my ideal string spacing is 2 &3/8".

Depending on the scale length the neck width at 12th (or anywhere else) will vary.
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Old 03-12-2018, 02:56 PM
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Scale length should have no effect on width at 12th fret. The 12th fret is the halfway point between nut and saddle, so the width of the fingerboard there should be the outside string spacing at the nut, plus same at saddle, divide by 2, and add the amount of “overhang” you want on the board, about ⅛” usually, but visually you want the same as you have at the nut.
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Old 03-12-2018, 03:28 PM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tadol View Post
Scale length should have no effect on width at 12th fret. The 12th fret is the halfway point between nut and saddle, so the width of the fingerboard there should be the outside string spacing at the nut, plus same at saddle, divide by 2, and add the amount of “overhang” you want on the board, about ⅛” usually, but visually you want the same as you have at the nut.
That's correct, as I pointed out earlier... it's all about propirtions...
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