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Nut height over fingerboard?


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#1 polkat

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 02:25 AM

What's the average on this? I've seen some nuts almost even with the firgerboard, and I've seen some nearly 2mm higher. I try to cut mine so they are about 1mm over the board, but what is considered standard?
Thanks!

#2 ~ Ben Conover

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 02:48 AM

For violin I use about 1.5mm on the G side and about 1mm on the E side.
For violas I use more like 2mm on the C side and 1.5mm on the A side.
Measurements are as taken before making the string grooves.

I do it by eye though, and those measurements are by eye.
You can use feeler guages to help get consistency and accuracy.
I finish 98% of the nut before gluing it on to the neck.

I use digital calipers for setting string spacings, a kife to mark them, and files to cut them.

#3 Brad Dorsey

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 08:36 AM

First I set the string height by filing the string grooves. Then I file enough off the nut so that the depths of the G, D and A string grooves are about a third of the string diameters. (The E string is so small that more of its groove remains.) I don't pay attention to the nut height; I pay attention to how much of the string groove remains.

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#4 DBurns

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 08:42 AM

I use digital calipers for setting string spacings, a kife to mark them, and files to cut them.


Do you have equal spaces between the strings, or equal spaces between string centers?

#5 DBurns

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 08:43 AM

First I set the string height by filing the string grooves.


Can you say what string heights you set?

#6 Brad Dorsey

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 08:48 AM

"Can you say what string heights you set?"

I do it by eye; I've never measured, but here's how I've heard it explained: I set the height of the G string so that my business card will fit underneath. My competitor is a cheapskate and his business card is printed on thinner stock, so I use his card under the E string.

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#7 DBurns

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 09:14 AM

"Can you say what string heights you set?"
I do it by eye; I've never measured, but here's how I've heard it explained: I set the height of the G string so that my business card will fit underneath. My competitor is a cheapskate and his business card is printed on thinner stock, so I use his card under the E string.


I think I need to get my calipers out and start measuring business cards.

Is there a comfort zone sorta like Goldilocks for error or is this pretty stringent?

How can you know if you got it right? Will the player tell you or will it buzz or sound bad?

#8 DarylG

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 09:18 AM

First I set the string height by filing the string grooves. Then I file enough off the nut so that the depths of the G, D and A string grooves are about a third of the string diameters. (The E string is so small that more of its groove remains.) I don't pay attention to the nut height; I pay attention to how much of the string groove remains.


Ditto to what Brad said.

I use a 0.013" (0.33mm) feeler gauge for all four strings, some go a little lower on the E-string but I think it eventually digs in a little so I don't . Mark the position with a knife then file the slot holding the feeler gauge against fingerboard, stop when you hit the feeler gauge. I like to finish with a little steel wool to soften the edges of the slots a bit.

BTW...I measured my business card and it's 0.3mm
Daryl Griffith

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#9 Brad Dorsey

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 09:55 AM

"How can you know if you got it right?"

If I look under the string and see space -- not too much space, but not too little space -- between the string and the fingerboard, I figure I have it right.

"Will the player tell you or will it buzz or sound bad?"

Too little space can cause buzzing on the open string. Too much space makes it hard to finger the string near the nut.

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#10 Bill Yacey

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 10:10 AM

First I set the string height by filing the string grooves. Then I file enough off the nut so that the depths of the G, D and A string grooves are about a third of the string diameters. (The E string is so small that more of its groove remains.) I don't pay attention to the nut height; I pay attention to how much of the string groove remains.

This is essentially what I do; the strings look like they are just laying on top of the nut when I'm done. The finished crown of the nut is perhaps 1mm above the fingerboard.

"It is the mark of an instructed mind to rest satisfied with the degree of precision which the nature of the subject admits, and not to seek exactness when only an approximation of the truth is possible." - Aristotle

 


#11 Darren Molnar

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 12:18 PM

Dito what Daryl does with the feeler gauges. When I can't find them, I have a couple metal rulers that are as thin, and use those.
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#12 Dean_Lapinel

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 01:13 PM

My competitor is a cheapskate and his business card is printed on thinner stock, so I use his card under the E string.



That's too funny... Love it!

#13 polkat

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 01:31 PM

Thanks guys! Lots of good stuff here. It seems that the general concensus is that the string height over the fingerboard at the nut is more important then how high the nut stands. Makes sense.

#14 ~ Ben Conover

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 02:19 PM

Do you have equal spaces between the strings, or equal spaces between string centers?

Equal spacing between the string grooves, centre of the string.
I used to do it according to string tickness and final spacing between the strings, but not now.

#15 FiddleDoug

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 02:27 PM

I pretty much go along with what Brad said. I've seen 2 mm under the string at the nut on some VSO's (before I fixed it), but that's just about unplayable.

#16 DBurns

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 01:42 AM

Do you have equal spaces between the strings, or equal spaces between string centers?

Equal spacing between the string grooves, centre of the string.
I used to do it according to string tickness and final spacing between the strings, but not now.

Any reason why you changed?
Was it at Newark School that you were taught to have equal string spaces?

#17 ~ Ben Conover

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 10:21 AM

Dburns,
Newark school taught me to do equal spacing for string centres.
I set the string spacings on the nut equally, and mark them with a knife, and cut grooves with a file.
I make the shape of the nut sloping so there's more nut of the G side, and less on the E side.
It's important to use the proper size file for grooves, and to make the groove NOT too deep,
about 1/3rd of the string thickenss, according to Strobel.
If you make the grooves too deep, then the string will eventually vibrate in the groove and cause a buzz.

So, to recap, I measure the height of the nut BEFORE cutting the grooves,
then I cut the grooves using the methods descrived above.
The result is a good playing height, and a new violin nut takes about 30 minutes to make.

Cheers.

#18 DBurns

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 04:47 AM

Was it player feed back that caused you to change?

#19 ~ Ben Conover

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 07:39 AM

No, it was my choice, I give myself player feedback.
It makes no sense accounting for different string thicknesses just to get equal spacings between the strings, when it's actually the string cnetre that the player uses, not the spaces in between.




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