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String Spacing Rule

String Spacing Rule

String Spacing Rule

Item # 0673
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String Spacing Rule

About This Item

Get accurate string spacing without calipers, calculators or shop rulers.

Our laser-etched stainless steel String Spacing Rule quickly finds the right spacing for just about any stringed instrument. It does all the math for you: proportional slot spacing automatically compensates for string diameters, from treble to bass, so the thicker strings won't feel crowded to the player.

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.


CALIFORNIA PROPOSITION 65 WARNING
WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.


Video

Trade Secrets!

Trade Secrets!

Using the String Spacing Rule for guitars and mandolins

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.

Instructions

Product Instructions

Making a Nut, Step-by-Step

Dan Erlewine, of Stewart-MacDonald's R&D Team, walks you through making and installing a new nut.

Product Instructions

String Spacing Rule Instructions

The String Spacing Rule locates string positions so that heavier strings get the wider spacing they need.

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5.0
  • 4.90 average rating from 210 reviews
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5.0

A brilliant innovation

By

Verified Buyer


I've made a lot of nuts over the years--guitars, banjos, mandolins, duclimers--and I wish that I had had this spacing rule decades ago. I wish, too, that the anonymous persons who set up many of the instruments I've owned had used the string spacing rule. Really beats eyeballing, measuring, or tracing. I recently lost the first one I bought--I spent a whole day searching for it--and had to order a new one. I don't regret it for a second.

5.0

These two items together solve a huge problem

By

Verified Buyer


Yes, I know, real luthiers cut their own nuts. I've seen the course syllabus for the nut-cutting workshop- 2 days to learn it once. Then practice for a few years, using a couple hundred dollars of equipment, and it's always possible you'll throw away hours of work by cutting a string slot too deep.
Instead- a zero fret- requires some skill to fit and to finish the fret ends, but the slots in the nut are NOT the critical issue- the zero fret ensures the right string height, and the string spacing rule gives the right adjusted spacing for wound and unwound no matter what the nut width. Two good products that work together.

4.0

Another tool that needs more than one version

By

Verified Buyer


I've been using this rule for a while now, and it's very handy indeed for standard guitars, banjos, mandolins, etc. I have, however, encountered a few situations where is does not work.

On wide-neck instruments with fewer strings, the widest marks on this ruler aren't spaced quite far enough to line up the strings properly. I encountered this issue on a bass with an exceptionally wide fingerboard, and also on a Portuguese mandocello. If there were 5 or 6 courses on the instrument, this rule would work. But with only 4 courses, it's impossible to find two marks that line up with the outter strings and have ONLY 2-more properly spaced marks for the 2 inner strings.

Perhaps a "bass" version of the rule, with a bigger range at the wide end?

5.0

A must have tool!

By

Verified Buyer


I slotted a nut with just calipers and thought it looked great. Then I did one with this spacing ruler and with minimal effort String spacing was perfect, for those that maybe aren't savy as I wasn't, this String spacing ruler accounts for the proportionality caused by the strings being unequal thickness. No brainier buy for me, made slotting the right distance a synch!

5.0

Handy

By


Bought for string spacing on new nut.

5.0

Nut slotting efficiency!

By

Verified Buyer


I'm not a luthier, but I do build, repair, and modify instruments for myself and some friends occasionally. The StewMac string spacing ruler makes correct, logical, and accurate nut prep a cinch! And it's much more efficient than using calipers to gauge each slot spacing. Thanky!

5.0

Perfect for me

By

Verified Buyer


This rule is wonderful.I can't read a regular ruler and this one with the open notches makes string spacing fool proof.

5.0

Great tool

By

Verified Buyer


This tool made string spacing pretty much foolproof when making new nuts. Helped me get the string spacing perfect on both acoustic and electric guitars.
Definitely worth the price.

5.0

So much time saved

By

Verified Buyer


This rule makes nuts way quicker to make, the result is also better than the regular compass way.
A little bit expensive, but as usual with StewMac, it'll last for years if it's not for decades !
Totally worth it.

5.0

Finally a thief can retire

By

Verified Buyer


I used to go to my favorite guitar store and make spacing templates from really fine guitar nuts using a pencil and the back of a business card. This ruler means I can retire my business cards.

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