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Riffmaster

Fret Slotting Tool

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Hi all, this's my first post here i hope to be on Topic.

I have here two shaped fingerboards with these specs: lenght: 19.75 Nut: 1.75 heel:2.25 but they are unslotted, now i need to make a tool for do a precise job without mistake fret position, i don't want purcase from stewmac or others xpensive tools! any idea? tutorial online? excuse me for errors but i live in Italy i hope that someone can understand what i mean! :D

Greets

Mirko

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A cheap way is to do it with a backsaw and a square. You will have to mark the frets accurately and be sure that your fret slots are perfectly parallel to each other. If you fingerbaords are already tapered you may have to tape it to a straight board and line up the center lines of both. This way you can use the square against the straight edge.

Here is an online fret calculator that works in metric as well too: fret calculator.

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hey myka. Do they make bansaw blades the right thickness? I know that the stew mac saw is the perfect thickness blade so you can just hammer the frets in. I havent seen any bandsaw blades that are thin enough.

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Hi Myka thanks, i solved my problem with a software called Wfret that sw make a printable template of frets position i just cut form paper the template and fixed it onto fingerboard with doubleside adesive and then slotted the fingerboards,

before do this i checked the position of frets in another neck and it's very precise.

Greets

Wfret can be downloaded here: ftp://mimf.com/pub/wfret.zip

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Be careful of printing out templates! I used Wfret to do the same but on checking the printout I found distortion at the printer (a laser printer) gave inaccurate results. It was less than a millimetre per fret but the cumulative across the length of the board was substantial!

I got better results using a good steel rule and working all measurements (as printed by Wfret) from the nut to fret position, that way the error is not cumulative.

Keith

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Be careful of printing out templates! I used Wfret  to do the same but on checking the printout I found distortion at the printer (a laser printer) gave inaccurate results. It was less than a millimetre per fret but the cumulative across the length of the board was substantial!

I got better results using a good steel rule and working all measurements (as printed by Wfret) from the nut to fret position, that way the error is not cumulative.

Keith

Thanks i will follow your hints next time, i have a regular ink jet printer and the template is very accurate, i placed it in already slotted fingerboard and is perfect!

Greets

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i have a regular ink jet printer and the template is very accurate

Yes the problem seems to be with laser printers. I think it's because they heat the paper causing stretching/distortion. I know drawing plotters, which are really just big ink jet printers ,don't have the problem.

Keith

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Last time this conversation came up it seems like someone was worried about the paper not being stable, and suggested using it as soon as you print it. That's what I do, so I don't know if it ever moves.

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Hi all, this's my first post here i hope to be on Topic.

I have here two shaped fingerboards with these specs: lenght: 19.75 Nut: 1.75  heel:2.25 but they are unslotted, now i need to make a tool for do a precise job without mistake fret position, i don't want purcase from stewmac or others xpensive tools! any idea? tutorial online? excuse me for errors but i live in Italy i hope that someone can understand what i mean!  :D

Greets

Mirko

just use a couping saw 15-20 bucks real thin blade get em at local hardware store

this is wat they look likecouping saw

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just use a couping saw 15-20 bucks real thin blade get em at local hardware store

make sure you order fret wire with a matching "real thin" tang :D

P.S. A coping saw is probably not a good idea.

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just use a couping saw 15-20 bucks real thin blade get em at local hardware store

make sure you order fret wire with a matching "real thin" tang :D

P.S. A coping saw is probably not a good idea.

I've actually used a coping saw to slot a board. It worked okay, the guitar turned out fine, but I wouldn't recommend it, the blades are too flimsy.

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I got better results using a good steel rule and working all measurements (as printed by Wfret) from the nut to fret position, that way the error is not cumulative.

Keith

Im in agreement. I mark up with an Xacto knife and a steel ruler with measurments engraved into the ruler. I run the knife down the appropriate marking on the ruler and put a nick across centreline of the fretboard. Once the whole thing is marked up I CHECK measurements and then run the Xacto against a square across the fretboard at each nick. I then CHECK measurements again before sawing slots.

Cheers Martin

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