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 Post subject: Fretboard slotting ?s
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 9:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:51 am
Posts: 38
Location: Fishers, IN
One of the early decisions I made re building my first one was that I would definitely buy a pre-slotted and radiused fretboard - they're not that expensive and fret inaccuracy is probably what sunk my banjo project 40-odd years ago. But as I learn more, it doesn't seem as daunting as it was, especially with the plexiglass templates and other systems available. These systems are amazing, and while I'm as guilty of tool lust as anyone I really don't want to drop $250+ on such a specialized tool for a first project, so was wondering if there are any lower dollar approaches that folks recommend? I really like the plexiglass template idea, wondering about just building or adapting a basic miter box that would index off the template and have relief for the saw kerf...but I'm sure there are lots of approaches.

Thanks for any thoughts!

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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 9:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:01 pm
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Morecowbell wrote:
I really like the plexiglass template idea, wondering about just building or adapting a basic miter box that would index off the template and have relief for the saw kerf...but I'm sure there are lots of approaches.

Thanks for any thoughts!


I can hear the real luthiers despairing at this suggestion, but a few months ago I successfully made a fan-fret fretboard without any "proper" tools. I printed out (using a high-end laser printer, and perpendicular to the direction of paper travel for accuracy) a template, masking-tape-and-superglued it to the fretboard, and cut along each line by eye.

To guide the sawblade and to keep it vertical I made a couple of guides out of "polymorph" thermoplastic.

The end result's better than it has any right to be!
Attachment:
CAM01465.jpg

Attachment:
CAM01487.jpg


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 9:37 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:51 am
Posts: 38
Location: Fishers, IN
I love it! Hadn't heard of polymorph plastic, fantastic, thanks!!

Which Irwin saw are you using?

(and great looking guitar btw!)

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"Facts seldom sway an opinion." - John Hall
"The difference between theory and practice is that in theory there is no difference." - van de Snepscheut


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 10:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:01 pm
Posts: 18
Morecowbell wrote:
I love it! Hadn't heard of polymorph plastic, fantastic, thanks!!)


Polymorph is amazing stuff - the killer application is making clamping cauls for awkward shaped pieces. The weirdest thing I've done with it yet is make a router base for the Dremel!

The irwin saw is this one: https://www.screwfix.com/p/irwin-pullsaw-7-185mm/5797x
The kerf is perfect for the very small frets I was using - though with hindsight I should have used larger frets, and then would have needed a very slightly wider kerf.

(The guitar's a bit of a Frankenstein job - I can't claim full credit since I bought a pre-made body and neck - but I had a lot of fun with the project.)


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 Post subject: saws
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 10:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:49 pm
Posts: 247
Fretting saws are readily available from luthier suppliers - - - they all seem to have reinforcement at the upper side so as to prevent the saw blade from bending. Inexpensive enough and the kerf width is known and commonly used. Not necessary find a hardware-store 'make do' tool.

And the suggestion to use a printed template is genius itself. Inexpensive, gets the job done (with care). And the luthier learns a new skill, too.

I learned something today. Thanks!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:55 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Ormond Beach, FL
I have the LMI fret slotting jig for sale for $150. It is in like new condition. See it on this forum in the "Tools for Sale" or here [url]viewtopic.php?f=23&t=8673http://www.kitguitarsforum.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=8673[/url].
Sylvan

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 1117
Location: Chestertown Maryland
I bought one of these from Stewmac - 24.9 and 25.34

https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Tools_by_Job/Tools_for_Fretting/Measuring/StewMac_Fret_Scale_Templates.html

And made a miter box and bought their saw with the .023" kerf. The fretboard is stuck on with 2 sides tape - see the first photo. My depth stop is a little finecky and you have to watch it - I need to add a better stop

If the fretboard is already tapered, carefully find the centerline and stick it down like this one covered in Mother-of-toilet-seat - second picture

And you can always print out your fret spacing from one of the on-line programs. Here is a soprano uke fretboard that I glued down the printout on top of - no trouble cutting down the middle of the lines. Third picture

My daughter has her own repair shop and she has a customer who has her cut frets halfway between the existing ones to accommodate his music. She does it with a 1 X 3 with an accurate 90° edge which she holds down with one hand while sawing against it as a guide with the other - although I am not sure how you know you did it right in this case!! I have heard of adding a couple rare-earth magnets to the side of the 1X3 to hold the saw a little more securely.

On the other hand - if you can get an easily adjustable mitre box for $150 you could avoid the fun of building your own. I bought pre-slotted for the first 4, then built mine and have a blast cutting my own now.

And Peter, that back reinforcement on the saw is so that you can have a thin saw plate (blade) and not buckle it when you push. These have been used since the 1600's at least. The Japanese saws are pull saws so don't need it. They are a viable option but I have been using a push saw for 55 years and I am learning so many new things with guitars I don't want to throw another one in there.

Ed


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:08 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:51 am
Posts: 38
Location: Fishers, IN
Ed - that's very much along the lines of what I was thinking, so thanks for posting. Hadn't thought of the hold-downs but that's a great idea. Pretty sure I will buy a cnc'd guide template from StewMac or LMII, I love the accuracy and ingenuity of that approach. Re the saw, will have to see - I'm partial to the Japanese saws, not necessarily because of the pull stroke vs push stroke, but because they're so dang sharp! (and that may be because my push saws are all 40 years old :-))

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"The difference between theory and practice is that in theory there is no difference." - van de Snepscheut


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:46 am 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 1117
Location: Chestertown Maryland
Re- the saws

Much much easier to sharpen a western push saw than an eastern pull saw. A simple triangular file and copy the angles that are there already. Anymore, I can sharpen a 10-12" backsaw (saw with a stiff back) in 10 minutes, but your first time you can do it in 1/2 hour. I would not set the blade until you make a cut - if you are only going 3/4" deep or less you won't need much if any set, and if you will use it for frets, you have a chance to make it cut the .023 you want. If it is too narrow, add a little set. If it is too wide, use a sharpening stone laid on the saw plate (blade) and rubbed along the points of the teeth to take some off, both sides equally.

And there are lots and lots of saw sharpening videos. Here is one of the better ones
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fNosQU1Ujg

While not quite the same as strumming a guitar you made for the first time, successfully using a saw you sharpened for the first time can be a rush.

Ed


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:04 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1978
I have the stewmac jig, saw, and templates and I like them a lot. It's a nice set.


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