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  #1  
Old 12-27-2022, 09:41 AM
seangil seangil is offline
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Default fret board slotting

I need to buy or make a jig for slotting fretboards.

For those who made your own jig, would you mind sharing photos and any notes on what you would do differently if you made it again?

For those with a purchased jig, did you find a good alternative to LMI or Stewmac? I haven't seen anything available other than the Elmer Guitars version.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 12-27-2022, 12:33 PM
Fathand Fathand is offline
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In Brian Forbes book, https://www.amazon.ca/Acoustic-Guita...9220644X&psc=1
there is instructions to build a fret slotting mitre box. I built mine from his youtube video which I can't find but I now have the book and every guitar builder should have it.

The idea is you have a piece of old hacksaw blade in the box,under your saw. You tape your fretboard blank to a pre slotted fretboard. The slots in the board index your blank to cut the slots accurately, https://www.flickr.com/photos/194462...7720296961058/

For templates, I bought a few preslotted boards from LMI from their cheapest woods, they are very accurate. You can use one board for mutiple instruments, e.g. a Gibson scale banjo board also gives you a 24.75" guitar template if you start at the first fret for your nut, or a tenor uke if you star at fret 7. Order your pre slotted boards with 28 fret slots so you can manipulate them like this. You can also make your own templates from scrap wood, even plywood. Luthier Lab free app is good for printing fret boards to glue to a board then cut slots. http://www.luthierlab.com/main-pages/home-page.html
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  #3  
Old 12-27-2022, 01:42 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seangil View Post
I need to buy or make a jig for slotting fretboards.

For those who made your own jig, would you mind sharing photos and any notes on what you would do differently if you made it again?

For those with a purchased jig, did you find a good alternative to LMI or Stewmac? I haven't seen anything available other than the Elmer Guitars version.

Thanks
If you're gonna do a lot of slotting here's my favorite setup:

https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...32&postcount=6

I do several different scales so just print out anything I don't already have with wfret. I then transfer the fret locations to the back of a cheap aluminum yardstick to make a permanant scale layout tool.
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Old 12-27-2022, 03:29 PM
redir redir is offline
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Devils advocate here but, why use any jig at all? This is the way I have been doing it since the 90's. It's quite accurate and in fact I have compared it to templates that were less accurate then what I have done by hand.

Just a thought.

https://www.tiktok.com/@piusone/vide...49438547445253
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2022, 04:42 PM
seangil seangil is offline
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Default By hand

I have never been sure how important the decimals are when calculating slot location. Impossible to measure them fully accurately with a ruler, so I was willing to pay for a CNC-made measure.
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  #6  
Old 12-27-2022, 05:02 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seangil View Post
I have never been sure how important the decimals are when calculating slot location. Impossible to measure them fully accurately with a ruler, so I was willing to pay for a CNC-made measure.
As I said earlier, print out the full scale fret placement on a standard printer using wfret. No measuring required, but I understand there's sometimes a desire to greatly over-complicate something that can be done easily.
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Old 12-27-2022, 05:49 PM
Carey Carey is offline
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Going just a bit off-topic, I'm wondering what crosscut saw others find to
be a good match for commonly used fretwires. I like the Gyokucho saws
a lot, but the ones I have cut a kerf that's a little too large for this use.
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Last edited by Carey; 12-27-2022 at 06:27 PM.
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  #8  
Old 12-27-2022, 06:13 PM
redir redir is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
As I said earlier, print out the full scale fret placement on a standard printer using wfret. No measuring required, but I understand there's sometimes a desire to greatly over-complicate something that can be done easily.
What is this magic you speak of? I Googled 'wfret' and cannot find a lot of info on it and not much past around the year 2010 or so.

How can you print out a full scale on normal paper? Or is it accurate enough to join two pieces? Isn't there some sort of scaling error when printing to be worried about?
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Old 12-27-2022, 07:35 PM
Fathand Fathand is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey View Post
Going just a bit off-topic, I'm wondering what crosscut saw others find to
be a good match for commonly used fretwires. I like the Gyokucho saws
a lot, but the ones I have cut a kerf that's a little too large for this use.
I buy my fret wire from LMI and also my saw from them, they seem to match well. I previously bought a similar saw from Lee Valley, it is .002" less kerf, I was buying fret wire from Amazon or various places and that was troublesome.
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  #10  
Old 12-27-2022, 07:40 PM
Fathand Fathand is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redir View Post
What is this magic you speak of? I Googled 'wfret' and cannot find a lot of info on it and not much past around the year 2010 or so.

How can you print out a full scale on normal paper? Or is it accurate enough to join two pieces? Isn't there some sort of scaling error when printing to be worried about?
Last time I made a template, I printed a full scale board with Luthier Lab app. I printed on 2 pieces of paper and taped them together accurately. Done 4 guitars with it that play well.
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  #11  
Old 12-27-2022, 08:01 PM
Carey Carey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fathand View Post
I buy my fret wire from LMI and also my saw from them, they seem to match well. I previously bought a similar saw from Lee Valley, it is .002" less kerf, I was buying fret wire from Amazon or various places and that was troublesome.
Thanks for that saw and wire info, Fathand. I have a supply of S-M fretwire (it says 'FO18' on the tube), and am hoping to find a dozuki or somesuch to match. Not a big thing.
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  #12  
Old 12-27-2022, 08:41 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redir View Post
What is this magic you speak of? I Googled 'wfret' and cannot find a lot of info on it and not much past around the year 2010 or so.

How can you print out a full scale on normal paper? Or is it accurate enough to join two pieces? Isn't there some sort of scaling error when printing to be worried about?
Wfret is one of the early programs written by Jon Whitney and is still my go-to aid for generating both measurements and actual full size templates for fret locations. It's still quite useful to the PC users among our ranks.

Templates are printed out on a single sheet of paper and are cut and assembled from a couple of sections to create the full length templates.

Remarkably, the templates print out accurately, although if a particular printer has any issues it's easy to calculate any percentage of error for your particular use and simply adjust the "scale length" in the initial input box of the program.

You can see what the program looks like in use at the web archive of my old website, designed to distribute information relating to musical instrument construction.

There's a link to the zipped wfret installation program there, too.

http://web.archive.org/web/201604081...ips1.html#NECK
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  #13  
Old 12-28-2022, 01:39 AM
mirwa mirwa is offline
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Takes me about 5 minutes to turn a piece of rough wood into a fretboard, thickness it, radius it and fretslot





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  #14  
Old 12-28-2022, 09:56 AM
redir redir is offline
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Cool thanks Rudy and Fathand.

I have the luthier lab app too I didn't know it had this feature. Might have to look into these. Measuring the way I do with a steel rule in 100ths of an inch is very accurate but also a bit tedious.
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  #15  
Old 12-28-2022, 04:31 PM
seangil seangil is offline
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Default saw

Hi Rudy,

Where did you find that mini- mitre saw? It looks quite handy.

Sean


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
If you're gonna do a lot of slotting here's my favorite setup:

https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...32&postcount=6

I do several different scales so just print out anything I don't already have with wfret. I then transfer the fret locations to the back of a cheap aluminum yardstick to make a permanant scale layout tool.
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