Does anyone have a measurement for the scale of a mid-60s Texan?

I'm about to slot the bridge the saddle and took a measurement from the nut to the middle of the 12th fret and got 12 & 11/16ths which, doubled, gives me 25-3/8". 

I looked to the Epi site. The copy about their "Inspired by Texan" reissue states the vintage Texan was based on the J-45 but with a 25.5" scale instead of 24.75.

25-3/8" isn't, by my thinking close enough to 25.5 to round up so, of course, it made me check my measurements. I used a 36" aluminum rule and a two tapes and got the same thing, measuring from the center of the nut to the center of the 12th fret and checking to make sure I was vertical, etc.

What do you use to measure scales? My 36"seems reasonably accurate but measuring and layout tools are something I don't want to economize on. Be great if there was a very accurate, stiff yardstick with a lip on one edge like a tape measure to measure the fretboard when the nut is off.

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Maybe be they mean on the bass side with compensation?

I think I would measure from the edge of the nut (closest to the fretboard) - not the middle of the nut as stated.

My bad...I did measure from the edge of the nut. in the first paragraph I said it correctly but in the 3rd mistyped. Thanks for pointing out the typo, Steven.

I guess, I'm confused with how mfgs come up with scale length.  I assumed it was twice the distance from the nut to the middle of the 12th fret (in the center of the fretboard). In the case of the Texan, it is exactly 25.5" as Epiphone states only if measured along the line of the low E and compensated 1/8th inch.

I guess I need to read some books on the science behind guitar building. Any recommendations?

Steve gave you good advice. Measure from the 'speaking' side of the nut.

The rules you mention are called 'Hook Rules".  The finest are made by Starrett. 

That particular rule has an MSRP of $310. An 18" hook rule would cover you (from the nut to 12th fret) for most scale length measurements and cost much less.

There are other makers of superb quality hook rules. Google them for the most cost effective ones.

Lee Valley tools (Veritas) has a super 18" hook rule for less than $20:,43513

Lee Valley also sells the 18" Starrett hook rule for around $60.

Everything I've bought from Lee Valley/Veritas has been of fantastic quality and durability. If you need a low angle block plane, theirs simply cannot be beat (except by a Lie-Neilsen but at twice the price). I am NOT a paid spokesperson for LV/Veritas. I think that Wink Martindale has that gig :) I just find their products a stupendous VALUE.

Hope some of that is helpful. :)

Thanks for the recommendations! The Lee Valley hook rule is a super value compared to the Starrett. I'd still need a 36" for marking slots.

I once subscribed to Fine Woodworking and every review ton Veritas or Lee Valley tools was glowing.

I've been looking for a block plane to replace my cheap Stanley. The Veritas looks like a candidate.

Here's my thing.....I use the Stewmac Saddlematic, and I double check with the math,using a good shop scale. Distance from the fretboard face of the nut, to the center of the 12th fret, double that to the centre of the saddle .150 compendation.A calculator is handy. I lay this all out down the centre line of the fretboard to the centre of the saddle slot / saddle. I don't concern myself with what some book says or internet specs, or whatever. What you have in front of you is the deal, whatever THAT says. I don't usually advocate alot of these Stewmac jigs, but this is one that is so simple to use, and it's cheaper than it would be for me to make a better one.

That's a good idea, Michael. I looked at the Saddlematic once, but forgot about it. The price is certainly right...I think I'll pick one up along with a hook rule. I've modified Norm Abrams's dictum "measure twice, cut once" to "measure with 3 different tools and cut once."

Oh, I agree that it's "what you have in front of you." I was asking not because I would defer to Epiphone's literature based on a production average, but because I was doing a math check as well as trying to understand how manufacturer's compute these things. I've decided that in Epiphone's case, for example, that they must double the nut to 12th fret measurement and add bass compensation. I'd like to measure a few more to see if this stands up. Call me a geek.

As a service to my customers, I give them an evaluation on every guitar where I measure the scale, nut width, etc. It helps me learn about guitars and they end up with something they can use as part of the instrument's provenance. I've noticed scale discrepancies that seem to be larger than production variance would seem to allow which makes me think there's something I don't understand.


...or Robbie, something they don't understand. You'd be surprised.

I laugh about it now, but for years my go to scale length tool of choice was a Stanley Fat Max retractable steel tape, cutting to 1" of course, and I never missed the spot. Luck was on my side I guess. I now use the Starrett with great success.

I just came across this site:

They have some very interesting measuring tools and the prices seem reasonable too.

Gibson (epiphone) scales are always nominal rather than exact

They referred to quite a few lesser true scales as 24.75

Trust your own measurements, but never the hook on a tape measure, or even the end of a ruler unless you have verified that the zero point does in fact correspond with the end.

I've done plenty of head scratching about scale length on old or messed up instruments.

what works for me often is to decide on the nominal length I think the maker was shooting for then figure out what the distance should be from the1st fret to the one farthest away and compare to what I see on the instrument.

This removes both the saddle and the fingerboard end from the equation.  The distance of the first to the farthest also exaggerates any difference between my guess and the actual the most.

Dose that make any sense?


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