Fret slotting options

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Rocky creek, May 12, 2019.

  1. Rocky creek

    Rocky creek TDPRI Member

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    If you had the option would you go with the table saw blade from Stew Mac or the handsaw with the guide system? I am about to make a purchase just wondering what experienced guitar builders prefer.
     
  2. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I use the table saw and the blades from StewMac and Luthier's Mercantile.. Neither are superior to the other, its just a matter of what ya want to use... and sometimes its easier to grab thet hand and guide, than to set-up the whole table saw..

    r
     
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  3. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I have the circular slotting saw and never use it. I also have the stewmac slotting system and use it all the time when I'm making the fretboards. If you are going to make non common scale fretboards where a template isn't available, I'd say get the sawblade.

    If you are making Gibson, Fender, PRS, etc....get the system and the handsaw/templates.

    I'd say a commercially made template is more accurate than what you can layout by hand, unless you have a milling machine or cnc machine at home.

    I'd also check out the LMII fret slotting system. I wish I'd purchased that one over the stewmac one as the side indexing pin is simpler to use than the microscopic pin that the stewmac one uses.
     
  4. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Meister

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    My eyes are old and already need extra magnification for even less exacting tasks, so I just buy my fretboards preslotted from Luthier's Merc. It's not that much more, especially considering how long it would take me to do it right.

    Edit: Oh Yeah, and I don't own a rule graduated in hundredths.
     
  5. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Holic

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    I'm with Telepraise - I have built so many different scale instruments over the years (mandolins to bari's) and so many different f/b radii and widths that I prefer to spend the little extra for a quality preslotted board. One of my first instruments was a dulcimer, I hand slotted the board, it doesn't play in tune.

    And if I was ever to add a cnc to my shop (which I have no intention of doing), slotting fretboards is one of the first operations I would do on it.
     
  6. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Buy the $10 pull saw 'flush cut trim saw' that has the luan wood handle at Harbor Freight.
    Hammer the kerf down until the slot cut fits the fret tang as tight as you want.
    Run a strip of double-stick tape and a finger sized strip of wood at the max cut depth.
    Find something square to rest it against, like a block of wood cut for it.
    Mark the fret locations on your board
    Saw some slots.

    .
     
  7. Honza992

    Honza992 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    If you've got the ability to use the table saw then go with that. I've got a radial arm saw, which is another option. Doing one ebony board by hand is fine, but after the first few the novelty really really wears off!
     
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  8. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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  9. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm another with the Stew Mac set up and a homade sled. Works awesome.
     
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  10. Erebus

    Erebus TDPRI Member

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    If there was an option available that fit one peice necks I would have purchased one... instead I made my own jig and used an LMII template with a nail as an indexing pin. Took a bit to get it all square but worked really well
    AA911586-5EE5-4606-8DAE-C28580B5EB1B.jpeg 1BCAD8FF-9895-4D2E-8F49-94D18300D8E4.jpeg
     
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  11. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted

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    The answer really depends on your build plans. A couple a year doesn't merit big money when a board can be cut by hand in a few minutes. Doing a bunch calls for power equipment.

    I still grab an old home built slot jig when just doing a couple boards. Cost me nothing from scraps in the shop except the saw. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Eric
     
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  12. Davecam48

    Davecam48 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    A long time ago I built what I call a multi-jig which will level a board, or radius a fret board and cut fret slots accurately at right angles to the FB centre line or oblique for multiple scale lengths etc. I cut the slots with a standard fret slotting saw from S.M. set to the tang depth. The accuracy of the certre line is paramount and the fret positions are marked on the centre line and the saw held at 80 degrees by the guide on the movable carriage. A switchable magnet keeps the saw flush to the guide and the depth stop sets the depth accurately.
    I shall add a link to a build where it may be seen a bit better than my explanation!

    This method may not be for everyone but works for me!

    DC

    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/maton-g240-inspired-tele-rip-off.306486/page-2#post-3821198
     
  13. devrock

    devrock TDPRI Member

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    Why don’t you just slot the blanks before cutting them? Problem solved.
     
  14. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    To me, the fretboard should achieve the highest amount of accuracy that is possible and that means using a manufactured template

    Neither the stewmac or lmii slotting systems are designed to fit a 1" thick neck. I had an online machine shop cut me new sides that were in effect 1 inch taller than the stewmac sides. I attached them to a wider plywood base.


    stewmac.jpg
     
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