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String splay advice.

6 Posts
4 Users
Topic starter

Hi guys, I'm currently following along to the "design your own electric guitar" course.
For the headstock I'm using the provided A4 pattern which I've traced on to my design. The problem is, the strings will be splayed out quite a lot. As you can see in the image, the line of the strings misses the tuning posts by quite some distance. I've doubled checked the print out of the pattern and the dimensions are bang on, the holes are the same distance from the nut take off point and the spacing between the holes is also an exact match to the pdf, so I'm a little confused as to what's gone wrong.

What would be the best course of action here, move the holes closer to the centre line? How far do the holes need to be from the edge of the headstock?

PXL 20231118 143444549


Robin Robin 19/11/2023 7:21 pm


I'm assuming that you haven't drilled the tuner holes yet.
If you want the string to be straight then your right, the tuners need to be closer to the center line. Your best option is to draw what you want and reshape the headstock to make the edges the same distance from your new tuner holes as on Mark's pdf.

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This was my latest attempt, didn't quite get it right.

nortski Topic starter 19/11/2023 7:34 pm

Hi Robin, I thought as much. I'm just a little worried that the headstock may look a little too thin and pathetic haha
Nice effort btw, almost there!

Robin Robin 19/11/2023 7:59 pm


I quite like the compact (thin and pathetic) headstock.

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This was my first of that style, I had filled and drilled some of these holes several times to get it as good as that.

2 Answers

@nortski string splay is fine, most 3 aside headstocks have it to varying degrees with zero issues. Straighter string pull is generally more desired if fitting a non locking trem because then you want the strings to glide as smooth as possible through the nut.


But go check out pics of guitars online with 3 aside headstocks, gibson, prs etc


It’s fine, don’t worry about it, that’s where they are supposed to be. Don’t forget that the direction of the strings are heading for the outside edge of the posts, not the centre of them. 



Make guitars, not war 🌍✌️🎸