Fret slots by CNC, band saw, figure saw...

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Slowtwitch, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,441
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    Location:
    Manheim Pa.
    You can use a table saw or a radial arm saw with appropriate blade and a slotted template and pin to set the correct spacing .
     
  2. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    143
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Location:
    South Africa
    I'm in South Africa and these are not locally available, and to ship fretboards from overseas doesn't make sense
     
    wadeeinkauf likes this.
  3. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    143
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Location:
    South Africa
    If I got the Japanese saw route will this do? Tooth per inch is only 18 but the kerf is 0.5mm which looks great. Price seams reasonable, can't find $10 saws like shown above though
    Screenshot from 2019-02-09 07:33:29.png
     
    Jupiter likes this.
  4. darren7

    darren7 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    518
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto
    I already posted the link above to Precise Bits.
     
  5. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    19,530
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario County
    Back when I started doing this stuff, this was the kerf size of the fret wire. These days it appears that most saws cut a .023 kerf. Just makes sure the fretwire tang will get in there without causing a back bow.
     
    Slowtwitch likes this.
  6. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    719
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Location:
    Monterey CA
    Ok...since you are going to have to cut these by hand here is a suggestion that you can try that will cost next to nothing.

    As guitarbuilder just said fret saws that you purchase from LMII and StewMac (I have 2) are .023 inches. I just measured mine and that is what I got. A regular old hacksaw blade is (I just measured one of mine) is .024. A hacksaw is not the best choice but it will work if you take your time and have a steady hand.

    I would suggest you go to http://www.ekips.org/tools/guitar/fretfind2d/ or use another similar tool and print out this fret layout on “thick” paper….thicker that normal printer paper. You will have to print on two pages and tape these together. Then either double sided tape or spray contact glue on the paper and glue it to the fretboard. Use the thicker paper because the glue has moisture and the damp paper can (will) stretch. You need something straight and heavy to set next to the printed fret line to hold the saw against as a guide. I use a piece of stone that was a leftover from a stone counter top that had been cut square. I have even used two small carpenter squares taped together to get them high enough. It will be tedious but I am sure it will work and the fret slots will not be too wide.
    Wade
     
    Newbcaster and Slowtwitch like this.
  7. s_tones

    s_tones Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    880
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    Location:
    central CA
    I cut all my fretslots with a 0.023 fretslot cutter endmill from Precise bits.
    I've cut about 10 fretboards this way to date and have broken exactly 1 endmill in all that time.
    I run them at 300mm/min and I use a depth of cut of 0.2mm per pass.
    Steve
     
    Slowtwitch and adirondak5 like this.
  8. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    143
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Location:
    South Africa
    So I used the link to print a 22 fret 25.5inch fretboard on normal paper just to check, but boy is it out!!! :eek::eek::eek:

    I laid it out on my MIA Strat to check and even with the paper not 100% flat it doesn't line up (flat sheet will be even worse). I'm quite sure the US Fenders should be accurate (I hope! :confused:)

    second paper starts just after 5th fret so I lined up the 6th fret to continue, and both papers is out.

    Sorry for the poor pics, but you can see the errors
    IMG_20190307_190730.jpeg
    IMG_20190307_190718.jpeg
    IMG_20190307_190601.jpeg

    My next option is to use "Rule of 18" and get someone with CAD to draw it and plot it and compare it to my Strat
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  9. boop

    boop Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    196
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2018
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    You should be able to scale your print size, try making it a hair smaller, between .5% and 1% perhaps.

    If you get it very close you can still place your bridge exactly by measuring from the nut to the 12th fret and placing your high e saddle at that same distance from the 12th fret, assuming you haven't drilled holes for the bridge yet.

    If you were to go with the template you printed you would end up with a very slightly longer scale length.
     
  10. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    797
    Joined:
    May 19, 2014
    Location:
    North FL
  11. A-Zed

    A-Zed TDPRI Member

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    18
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2018
    Location:
    Australia
    I found this clip interesting. A bit long winded on explaining things but essentially a doable option if you have the time.

    I haven’t tried it because old dog.





    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    719
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Location:
    Monterey CA
    I am thinking it may be a printer driver problem...If you have another printer try it. Choose PDF multi page. On mine the page break is on the 8th fret. Below are pictures of my printout using the StewMac scale tool. My print out is exactly right on.

    20190307_123545.jpg 20190307_123602.jpg 20190307_123610.jpg 20190307_125528.jpg
     
    Slowtwitch likes this.
  13. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    143
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Location:
    South Africa
    I did the exercise again and my printout was slightly different ( 25.5" multi page print A4).

    I measured the fret spacing (each time from the nut edge) as accurately as possible on the pages, and it seems like the printout based on the "Rule of 18" calcs, are good on some frets but not all. The second pg is pretty good, first 8 frets are off.

    The neck does comply to "Rule of 18" as I measured it - the measurement is done crudely because there's no centreline and the edge is longer (angled), but the fret tang can be measured.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  14. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    143
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Location:
    South Africa
    Compensated nut theory is a whole discussion on its own
     
  15. darkforce

    darkforce Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    135
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2016
    Location:
    Germany
    You could take the PDF to a copy shop or similar place and have them print it to scale. I seem to recall coming across a printer that was slightly skewing all printouts slightly.
    The easiest method, albeit a bit more tedious, is to just calculate the fret spacing (you can use one of the many online calculators, e.g. the one my StewMac), take a good steel ruler and simply mark it out with a striking knife. Make sure to measure all the distances from the nut to the current fret to keep errors from accumulating.

    Best regards
    Johannes
     
  16. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    19,530
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario County
    Depending on the accuracy of your miter box or slotting system, it might be just faster to measure and mark them onto a piece of wood using a try square. Use a machinist rule and a sharp mechanical pencil. This assumes one can measure using a rule. Not everyone can these days, as the focus of that skill just isn't taught like it once was. My first twenty guitars or so had marks I scribed onto an aluminum bar. I transferred those marks to my fretboard with a compass point. Nobody ever complained about the accuracy of the notes. There wasn't a much more accurate way to do it until fret slotting systems were sold.
     
    Slowtwitch likes this.
  17. Davecam48

    Davecam48 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    71
    Posts:
    4,264
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Location:
    Queensland Australia
    Do yourself a huge favour and buy a fret slot saw from Stew Mac. It will come with an adjustable depth stop (essential in my opinion) and will cut slots at the perfect size for correct fret seating. Any of the other suggestions are fraught with danger of "stuffing" up a usually expensive piece of timber. I've had mine for roughly 10 years and I use it in conjunction with a home made jig and it always delivers perfect fret slots every time. Why run the risk of not seating the frets properly? If you intend to only do a few guitars go to a repair place and pay them a few bucks, but after a couple this way you could have had your own correct saw paid for. A crappy fret job could ruin the world's best built guitar completely!!!

    DC
     
    guitarbuilder likes this.
  18. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    143
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Location:
    South Africa
    I decided to make a purpose built mitter box for a flush cut Japanese blade.
    IMG_20190316_180234.jpeg
    Seems to work well
    IMG_20190316_181418.jpeg
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.