For the sake of simplicity, your scale is 25" and you are using a 1/4" bolt for the nut and a 1/4" eye bolt for the bridge. So the 25" is center to center. Correct? When I'm laying out the frets do I take into account 1/8" (1/2 of the nut to center) or do I just take the measurement from the side of the nut. I'm thinking I read somewhere that the measurement starts where the strings break over. In this case would be 1/8"?                   ................. 

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Hi will, I think you may find it easier to mark out your fingerboard as if you were using a proper nut with a flat  front face. Then I would cut the fingerboard shorter [ between the first fret and nut position] the desired amount as you described.

The scale length would be the free length of the string, from contact point top contact point plus compensation of the bridge if fingering frets.


Thanks Taff. That was my plan, but I just wanted to double check what I thought was right.

Hope this helps...

fret measurements are from the point of 'last contact', for a bolt it's farter back than a nut.

What I'm not seeing with this example(which I'm sure about) they don't show the #1 fret spacing shifting to compensate. If the measurement from the nut is 1.141mm( c to contact point) to the #1fret. Isn't that a constant? What are they compensating for? Tone? Scale length? Not starting an argument, just trying to understand and maybe help another newbie. Thanks

if you are using a bolt then the first picture is what is important. the distance to the first fret is from the middle of the bolt to the first fret. so if you have already cut the frets in the fingerboard then you need to allow for the distance of half the bolt. 

the second picture is for a std guitar using a nut where the front of the nut is where the distance to the first fret is measured. 

the last two pictures are examples of how to fix it if you measured wrong or cut wrong and the distance to the first fret is out. or if you change from a bolt to a nut..

so for your original question yes you have to allow for 1/2 of the diameter of the bolt when marking the first fret position..  

on a side note always measure each fret from the nut. if you try to measure each fret from the previous fret then accumulated error will make the scale way out by the 20th fret.( or even less)

Thanks for the clarification. I  never was good at interpreting picture puzzles.LOL

well compensating for my limited ability to draw using windows paint - ok I updated it how's this....

Well it's about time! LOL Got it, thanks for your efforts. You are proof someone can teach this ole dog new tricks.

Hi JL, with respect, your drawing confused me a bit, even though I understand the scale length issue.

I would have thought that it might give a better interpretation if the yellow ball had the reference line going through its centre. Which is like my explanation, it puts the rod further forward, and the distance from the first fret to the end of the fingerboard shorter.

i have installed those compensated nuts over the years. 


.......what I meant was, the line on the front of the nut - 2nd one down - should it not go through the middle of the  bolt [yellow ball] showing that the distance from the first fret to the take off point of either nut is the same distance.


in the second drawing he has moved the frets down the neck a bit so the distance from the middle of the bolt to the first fret is the same as the nut to the first fret .


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