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 Post subject: Fret placement
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:06 am
Posts: 16
I am new to this forum as well as guitar building. I purchased a kit from what I believe is a reputable company. It is a dred kit with a 25.4" fretboard scale. Since I am new to this, I purchased the kit with the fret slots already cut. I checked the placement of the first four fret slots by measuring with calipers. The distance to the nut for the first fret should be 1.4256", but it measures 1.4612". That is, the distance is 2.5% larger than it should be. The next three distances from the nut should be…well you know. But the actual distances are consecutively 1.14%, .84%, and .63% greater than what they should be. Are these differences common? Will I have trouble with intonation? Should I return the fretboard and request a more accurate replacement? Thanks in advance for the help.


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 Post subject: Re: Fret placement
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5421
Location: Hegins, Pa
no I would tell you that where you get the kit and where you get your information may not use the exact same scale length. The kit was designed with the scale length they sent you . It is fine. Try not to over think things. In the end it will all work out.

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John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
Board of Directors of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
http://www.bluescreekguitars.com


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 Post subject: Re: Fret placement
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:54 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:56 pm
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It would seem a reputable company would want to get that board and glad to have it back to determine what went wrong in their machining process -- no those errors are not common, fretting machines are normally very accurate and very repeatable.


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 Post subject: Re: Fret placement
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:06 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:50 pm
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Location: Seattle
I am with John, I am sure the frets are right where they are designed to be.

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 Post subject: Re: Fret placement
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:35 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:49 pm
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Is there the possibility that the nominal 25.4" scale length is the 'other' 25.4", 25.34"? Does that make the numbers sound happier? You can get scale length dimensions from a spreadsheet calculator at Stewart-Macdonald. I have fretboards cut to both scale lengths, and they're both identified as 'Martin long scale', but there is that variation, and fretboards are cut with both lengths. One supplier I spoke with was surprised when I asked him which '25.4"' his boards were cut to, Martin's or the others. He had no idea that there was a difference.

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peter havriluk


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 Post subject: Re: Fret placement
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:30 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:56 pm
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So this is interesting -- the numbers do not reflect 25.4 or 25.34 but rather 26.1, even if the rest of the spacing is correct the board is shifted up the neck over 1/32" I have heard of taking a little material off the nut end but never adding length, it would be fair to say an explanation is in order.


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 Post subject: Re: Fret placement
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:22 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
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Location: Hegins, Pa
I have to ask
1 were did you get it
2 what information are you using
3 how are you measuring the fretboard
A caliper would have a large degree of error as you have to guess center line. Measure center line of slot perpendicular to the fretboard center line
Measure nut to 12th fret , that is the most accurate way for measuring scale length without using a comparator and I don't think the average shop has one of them.

If you measure with a caliper you can only get the inside or outside dimension.

You will also find that Martin is different than LMI and they are different to Stew Mac. Do not assume all scale lengths from the manufactures are the same.

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John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
Board of Directors of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
http://www.bluescreekguitars.com


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 Post subject: Re: Fret placement
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:35 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:06 am
Posts: 16
Thanks for the quick response. One other question; the fretboard came with a fret slot cut about 1/4 inch from one end. The next slot is 1.4612" from this first slot. I assume I should cut off that 1/4" and that is effectively where the nut will be located. Right?


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 Post subject: Re: Fret placement
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:09 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5421
Location: Hegins, Pa
that is correct
the board off the machine is cut with a zero fret , some builders use that . So yes trim that off then measure from the nut ( wall side of the zero fret ) to the 12th fret and double , that is the effective scale length

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John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
Board of Directors of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
http://www.bluescreekguitars.com


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