The problem is: if you space the strings equally, they don't feel equally spaced. The thicker bass strings seem crowded together. Each gap between strings has to be slightly different to feel right to the player. How do you calculate this? The String Spacing Rule takes care of it, for guitars, basses, mandolins, and banjos.
Fast. The String Spacing Rule is slotted so you can quickly mark the string positions onto the nut. Use a scribe instead of a pencil, and it creates extremely accurate starter grooves for your nut slotting files.
Easy to use. Mark the two outer string positions onto the nut. Slide the rule over the nut to find a set of slots that matches your two marks. Now just scribe or pencil the string positions onto the nut! No measuring, dividing or calculating — the rule does the math for you.
Accurate. The rule's slots are laser-cut in a continuous scale that wraps around both edges of the rule (our thanks to luthier Kevin Ryan for creating this tool). Proportional slot spacing subtly compensates for the diameters of the individual strings, from treble to bass, to give the right feel and playability.
Not just for nut slotting. You can use the String Spacing Rule to notch Tune-o-matic bridge saddles, to lay out bridge pin holes, and when notching archtop guitar, banjo, mandolin and violin bridges.
The String Spacing Rule is made of laser-etched flexible stainless steel that conforms to flat or arched surfaces. Instructions are included.
The String Spacing Rule is included in the Essential Nut Making Tool Kit, which has all the basic tools you'll need for shaping, string-spacing, slotting and fitting string nuts like a pro.
Using the String Spacing Rule for guitars and mandolins
In this issue:
Erick Coleman uses Kevin Ryan's proportional string spacing rule for more jobs than Kevin ever expected: 12-strings, mandolins, bridge saddles... Plus: an explanation of the difference between equal spacing and proportional spacing. Read more...