Using Stew Mac String Action Gauge to set Fretboard Radius

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by MicG, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. Greetings,

    I'm working on setting up my MIA Fender V my 'B' string is a .120. If I use the .120 mark on the gauge to set the height of the 'B' string and and continue to use that same .120 mark across the fretboard for the rest of the strings, will that result in setting the correct radius for the strings?


    Does the .120 mark exclusively belong to the 'B' string, .100 mark to the 'E', and so on depending on the gauge of string?

  2. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    I work my way down. My P5 is set
    The strings will still follow the radius but get closer to the frets.
  3. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    The mark on the gauge shows distance between the mark and the edge of the gauge. It has nothing to do with the diameter of the string.

    It is up to you to decide where you would like to fix the string height.
    lz4005 likes this.
  4. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    To answer your question, using a uniform string height across all strings will match the understring radius to the fretboard radius. The problem is, you don't want uniform string heights. The lighter strings would end up unnecessarily high in that case.

    As 202dy said, the string diameter (gauge) does not correspond to the string height. The gauge is related to the height though, in that heavier strings will normally have more height.

    Generally, you set the height of the outer strings based on your playing style, and required freedom from fret buzz. Then you grade the inner strings proportionately. The string heights will then progress uniformally from the highest to the lowest. The understring radius will still follow the fretboard radius, but will be slightly tilted, with the lowest string at the highest.