How far should the clearance be from nut slot to fret?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by tone?, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. tone?

    tone? Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,522
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Location:
    SF Bay Area California
    Everyone has their own technique in carving nuts.
    But what is the recommended clearance from the nut slot to the fret?
    Many say that it should be the same distance if you measured fretting the third fret and measuring the clearance of the first fret and string.
    I see many techs cutting deeper than that.


    Thoughts on playability and tone from going lower or higher?
     
  2. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

    Messages:
    14,566
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Location:
    PNW
    I fret the string at the third fret and want to see a few thousanths of an inch between the string and the first fret. If that's what you are asking?
    I like maybe .003/.005 on the high e string and maybe up to .010 on the low E string.
    Playing cowboy chords you sound more in tune as opposed to lots of clearance... which stretches the string sharp as you depress them.
     
  3. Rockinrob86

    Rockinrob86 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,401
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Location:
    Tampa, Fl
    I use a strobe tuner and cut the slots down until I can get the 2nd and 3rd frets to play in tune
     
  4. dazco

    dazco Member

    Messages:
    11,150
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    Theoretically it should be the same as the clearance between the string and 2nd fret when you fret the string at the first fret. In other words, consider the nut just another fret. However, since the nut material is not as hard as the fret and will wear a bit faster, add a hair more. I eye ball it with a strong magnifier and i slot them till the clearance is just noticeably higher than it would be if the nut were another fret.
     
  5. Grez

    Grez Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    170
    Joined:
    May 31, 2014
    Location:
    Petaluma, CA
    I take this approach also.
     
  6. tone?

    tone? Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,522
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Location:
    SF Bay Area California
    thanks guys. anyone else?
     
  7. Kmaz

    Kmaz Member

    Messages:
    8,102
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Can the clearance be the same for all six strings?
     
  8. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius Member

    Messages:
    1,720
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    I don't think so because the 6th string vibrates over a greater distance than the 1st string. This has to be taken into account.
     
  9. buddyboy69

    buddyboy69 Member

    Messages:
    4,471
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    Albany N.Y.
    When I cut slots I use a piece of printer paper and slide it over the 1st fret while holding the string at the 2nd. When it starts to drag you're there. I think it's .01 in, but I have to double check that. I use feeler gauge files so I don't need to have the strings on when I'm making a nut. The same paper works over all 6 strings.
     

Share This Page