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  #1  
Old 06-27-2008, 08:42 PM
woodruff woodruff is offline
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Default How do I measure the nut width....?

hey AGFers.

I got a 1993 Gibson Hummingbird. I know Gibsons are notorious for not being consistent from model to model and year to year re guitar dimensions. But i know the website says the H-bird has a general nut width of 1 11/16. but it just feels wider. definitely wider than my wife's J-45. it feels like the width of a taylor, but much lower profile(depth). anyone know the nut width of a '93 Hummingbird off hand?

thanks!

ps: i like the low profile neck, but would really prefer a 1 11/16. just easier on me.
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Old 06-27-2008, 09:35 PM
Joe's Corsage Joe's Corsage is offline
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go down to harbor freight and get either a cheap dial caliper for 2-3 bucks or a digital one for less than 15-20 or so.

or did you mean how to make the measurement itself? hehe. sure someone else is able to help with that in a more useful fashion than i, if so.
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:41 AM
woodruff woodruff is offline
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thanks Joe. i think my local luthier guy has one of them there calipers you talk about. anyone else got a hummingbird from the 90s? has the nut width always been 1 11/16? feels wider, i swear....
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:37 AM
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Got a ruler? This isn't a high-tech measurement.
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:12 PM
PastorSteve PastorSteve is offline
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+1 on the Ruler.
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Old 06-28-2008, 01:22 PM
paul84 paul84 is offline
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Excuse a silly question, but how is this measured - is it the distance from the 'outside' of the 1st and 6th strings as the 'leave' the nut? I presume its not the dimension of the nut itself.
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:02 PM
hesson11 hesson11 is offline
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Paul, nut width is not a measurement of the string spacing. That is usually expressed as "string spacing at the nut" and is usually measured from the center of the low E string to the center of the high e string.

But you know, maybe your question is a bit tougher than a lot of us think. Do you measure the nut itself? Do you measure the very end of the fretboard, adjacent to the nut (often just ever so slightly different than the nut itself)? If the neck tapers inward toward the fretboard, do you measure the width of the fretboard or the width of the neck at its maximum. The nut itself is often tapered, so do you measure it at its widest point or as it tapers inward toward the strings.

In any event, of course, no matter how you measure it, you're lot likely to mistake a 1-11/16" nut from a 1-3/4" nut or a 1-13/16" nut. But getting a finer measurement than that could well depend on where you measure it.
-Bob
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:40 PM
paul84 paul84 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hesson11 View Post
Paul, nut width is not a measurement of the string spacing. That is usually expressed as "string spacing at the nut" and is usually measured from the center of the low E string to the center of the high e string.
=
-Bob
Thanks - I would expect that the string spacing at the nut is the measure that makes the difference for me then. Just curious about why everyone is so concerned about nut width - surely spacing is the real deal?

Last edited by paul84; 06-28-2008 at 02:40 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:45 PM
Chazmo Chazmo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul84 View Post
Excuse a silly question, but how is this measured - is it the distance from the 'outside' of the 1st and 6th strings as the 'leave' the nut? I presume its not the dimension of the nut itself.
Not a silly question at all. I am not positive, but I believe "nut width" refers to the base of the nut from outside-to-outside -- nothing to do with string placement. I.e., the width of the neck. Slide a flat ruler under the strings of the first fret, and read from from the two outside edges of the nut.
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Old 06-28-2008, 03:14 PM
PastorSteve PastorSteve is offline
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It is usually expressed "neck width at nut". You measure the nut from it's outer edges. As mentioned earlier not all 1 3/4" nuts give the same string separation.
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  #11  
Old 09-24-2009, 10:34 AM
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so if it is really the fretboard width, I would think that has a much lesser impact on playability than string spacing at nut and bridge.

How do you builders measure it? (and please don't bring the ruler up again)

Karl
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:57 AM
Troisnoir Troisnoir is offline
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Nut width determines the limitations of string spacing, so it does matter.
Also, if you liked narrower string spacing, just recutting the nut doesn't always do it...you still have to deal with the neck width, which the nut width corresponds to.
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Old 09-24-2009, 12:45 PM
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Don't measure it. If it's comfortable it's comfortable, and if it isn't it isn't.
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  #14  
Old 09-24-2009, 04:02 PM
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It could feel wider because of the shape/depth of the neck.....or the string spacing could be a tad wider on the same width nut, it doesn't take much of a difference in string spacing to make a big difference in the feel of the guitar. I measure the nut width at the front, lower edge of the nut, outside edge to outside edge, which for me is the same width as the fretboard at the same location.

Cheers,
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Old 09-24-2009, 04:18 PM
Jeff M Jeff M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Klepper View Post
Got a ruler? This isn't a high-tech measurement.

Depends on who is trying to use it.

FWIW, it is not unusual for nut widths to be a "bit" off the stated width.
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