I'm just starting to learn the building side of playing guitars and I had a question about scale length that I can't seem to find the answer for anywhere

I keep reading that a strat has a scale length of 25.5, gibson is 24.75 etc. the problem is, when I measure my gibson from edge of nut to middle of 12th fret, it's a hair less than 12.25 for an off number of slightly less than 24.5. My jackson seems to be 25.5 on the nose, but I have a few other cheaper guitars that also give odd measurements that don't seem to line up with anything I'm reading online.

so I guess my questions would be, am i an idiot or is something just weird about my les paul?

also, if one did have this odd scale length on their neck and were building a guitar, would they just assume the bridge at double the length to the 12th fret and plop it down at that length even if the measurement came out to something not very typical to measurements found online?
Welcome to the forum.

The saddle position is a bit longer than the scale length, and Stewmac have a calculator that allows you to determine fret and bridge positions for any scale length and some different kinds of bridges.


Hopefully any maker or builder would use the correct position for whatever scale length they are using, though there was one time in the '70s when Martin had the bridge in the wrong place on some of their guitars because their measuring stick had shrunk!
Tony Done ok, but what about in cases where I have a gibson les paul studio with what is supposed to have a scale length of 24 5/8 but my measurements are off by almost a full quarter inch. i might expect something like that with some cheap copy, but I would think that with the way scale length is explained, a guitar i spent 1500 bucks for 12 years ago would be pretty precise with their measurements? I have 8 guitars but it seems like only one of them has the correct specified scale length. does gibson consider 12 1/8 for all intents and purposes to be the same as 12 1/4 and just double the 12 1/4 to get their scale length, or is scale length ALWAYS determined by the exact measurement from nut to 12th x 2 and they go by that even if it goes against what their listed scale length is?

I've seen the stewmac calculator, definitely going to use it in the future!
It will be easy enough to check. Measure the distance from nut to 12th fret, as you have done, then measure the distance from the 12th fret to the middle of the saddles. That second distance should be just a little longer than the nut-to-12th distance. I have always taken the scale length to be twice the nut-to-12th distance, and string length is a little more than that at correct intonation.
i could be way off here but i was always under the impression that the gibson scale length was quoted as 24.75" but was actually normally closer to 24.5".
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