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Allright, here is my dilema....I've rebuilt, re-radiused, and refretted..( with stainless steel ) 4 guitars for a customer...Floyd Roses, locking nuts...String hight at the 12th fret on the high E a little over 1/64th..no buzz...Hight at the low E 1/32nd...( he's finally realized you can't go lower with a 42 for a low E string...)..He's super happy with everything except the spacing at the nut..He wants both E strings to be in 5/32nds in from the sides of the nut..This makes my compensated spacing ruler useless..So I've done the spacing with a caliper..First nuts on them were O.K. except he decided he wanted the 5/32nds from the edges..O.K., no problem, I'll cut new ones gratis..The spacing on 2 of them was a tad off , so I said I'll redo them..I got the spacing between the strings equal within about 5 thousands either way..Still not happy...How can one get anymore accurate than that?..I've been in this buisness for 2 decades and can't remember the last time someone complained about spacing..Is he being unreasonable? I have given him a great package deal on all 4, and allways bend over backwards to keep a customer happy...I've spent as much time doing the nuts on all 4 of these as I spend refretting one regular guitar.P.S. new nuts were not part of the initial deal, but I threw them in for 20 bucks each..Anyone got ideas on how to get them perfect?

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Perhaps you could make a spacing rule yourself that can cover narrower necks:

http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Luthier/Tools/NutRule/nutrule.html
I never had any one this fussy!
I have set the out side strings where they wanted and spaced the others with equal spacers between each string.

I have also made a small angle iron of aluminum and cut slots to use as a spacing guide. I slot with a razor saw then use the fret file. Another thing I use is I cut a 3 inch of a old string that is all most the height as the first fret lay it behind the nut and file down until I hit the string and the string will roll as the file hits it and you cant file the slot to deep.

Ron
Great idea on slot depth!
Here's the way I take and make any nut that needs to be made....
First I measure the distance from both sides of the fret board which gives you the clearance that is wanted from the edge of the fret board and then I measure the distance between the two lines made on the nut and divide the distance by 5--
YES I said 5--- this gives you the exact spacing of the strings and it works like a charm... Good luck and be safe.
Donald
Unfortunatly,that does'nt compensate for string thickness..As I said, this guy wants EXACT spacing between the strings!
The post that I left is for the strings to be the same distance from center to center of the strings and NOT the distance between the strings-- anyone who wants the same distance between the strings to be exact should maybe learn to make their own nuts and put the spacing the way they like it -- just my 2 cents--
PS there are different string weights made so if the player changes strings then the spacing may end up not being the same---
Donald
I've dealt with plenty of guys like this......not happy with .005" tolerance? Some people just aren't happy unless they're upset. Gotta put your foot down or it will never stop. Its a tough spot to be in as a service provider, you want to make people happy, but you have to stay in control of the situation. I've had a handful of guys like this and told them that if they're unhappy, they should go to someone else. Found out later that the other repair guys in town had told them the same thing.......
I hate to "should" you, but you never should have told him 4 nuts for $80. Maybe a little price break, like 4 for $150 or so. Now he probably thinks he can boss you around and that you'll do whatever he wants.
Let me guess.... did he say that he could do it himself if he only had the tools? That's my favorite. The only advise I have on the nut spacing would be to maybe start with them high and "push" them one way or another while lowering them, checking the spacing and filing down the top of the nut constantly. Or, do the math and figure out how much space should be inbetween the strings, and make up a little block to put between the strings.
If you bend over too far, you'll break your back. You sound like you know what you're doing, and I hate to see skilled hardworking guys taken advantage of. Tell him if he needs less than .005" tolerance, he should look elsewhere. That's my opinion.
How the hell could he TELL .005 difference in string spacing? Did he check the string spacing with a digital caliper?

YES, he's being unreasonable. One of THOSE customers.

I can't understand why the 5/32" dimension would make your fret spacing ruler useless, but it really doesn't matter, this guy's not going to be happy, no matter what.
It's a smaller spacing than on my Stew Mac ruler....
On the Stu-mac spring spacing rule you can safely use adjacent slots, so it will fit neck-widths well under one inch--but because this device in-or decreases constantly, it will not help with your customer's needs, it is just an approximation.
You will have to calculate and use gauge blocks-like a tool-and-dye maker would do, as someone mentioned here before (because of wound and plain strings don't decrease in diameter in a fair curve) and that can bring you well into the ball park,tolerance-vice.
But maybe you ask your customer beforehand, if he likes the equidistance -between the wound strings- on the outside of the windings or in that corners, where this windings meet.....;-)
Yes, he is being completely unreasonable. I bet he can't even feel the difference while playing. If you've done your best; tell him your finished. Time to move on. Sounds like he's exploiting your good will.
Umm, what am I missing? Floyd Rose locking nuts are steel. How does one change the spacing? Am I totally dumb here or what?

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