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sdshirtman

Fret Slotting Tools. Need Some Options.

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I'm getting ready to start my 4th and 5th builds and at that point where I think I'll be doing this for some years to come. I'm thinking its time to gain the ability to make and slot my own fretboards.

Doing a little research it seems I have four options.

A. The LMI slotting jig at $180 plus $35 per additional template.

B. The Stewmac Fret Slotting jig package at $180 plus $40 for templates.

C. LMI Power slotting system with plans for the jig for $193 plus the cost of wood for the carriage.

D. The stew mac Table saw blade @ $88.00 plus $40 for the fret scale templates and the cost of woods for the carriage and not very detailed instructions.

It seems the cheapest way to go is option D and I'd have to do some configuring to my saw each time I wanted to cut slots. I'd also have to do this with option C.

I'd like some opinions on this from those of you that slot fretboards themselves. Remember I'm on a budget ( who isnt?)

Also if anyone has plans for a slotting jig that they could pass on to me I'd love to look at them.

Thanks.

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If you have a table saw then option D is by far the best. Its very easy to make a small crosscut sled for the purpose. I have option B and it works very well but if i did have a table saw i would use that. You would have the option to batch out fingerboards for future builds very easy.

Watch this

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Actually I would do option D with LMI templates as they have more scales to chose from.

I use a radial arm saw with Stew Mac Saw Blade and have 2 index pin options. One to use LMI templates and one for Stew Mac templates.

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I built my own miter box and use the stew mac fret saw and templates. The miter box took me about 30 minutes to put together from 1/2" mdf and is wide enough to slot a 1 piece strat neck. I have ended up doing enough, though, that I am considering getting the table saw blade and going that route.

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I use the stewmac table saw blade. My cross cut sled is just a 2x4 flattened and squared that's bolted to the miter guage. For the pin I took a nail and hammer it in above where the blade goes and filed it until it was small enough to fit the pin for my fret slotting templates. LMI sells a special pin that is tapered though I think. '

I get my slotting templates off a seller on Ebay for around $31 that are two sided. They are just like stewmacs.

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I just started building a table saw jig for the StewMac blade yesterday. I plan to make my own templates (similar to the way David did, but maybe using a 2mm brad point drill to make the notches in the template with a 2mm dowel for the index pin). I'll get back to the shed over the weekend and take some photos to post.

David, I like your jig - great use of cheap resources. I do cringe a bit when I see you reach over the blade to get to the power switch on the video. Can you move the switch to the front?

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David, I like your jig - great use of cheap resources. I do cringe a bit when I see you reach over the blade to get to the power switch on the video. Can you move the switch to the front?

I could, but I sort of built it backward. At this point, I don't see me making that change on mine, but I'd recommend it for anyone else to tried to reproduce the jig. In the video, I turn it on and off a lot, but when I'm working, it mostly just stays on all the time. I'll be careful. ;)

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Hey thanks for all the replies. I ended up making a cross cut sled like the one in the video Linny posted. It seemed really useful to have around. Its a little too big for a fret slotting jig so I guess I'll be making another one specifically for that purpose and getting the stew mac circular saw blade.

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D was a no brainer for me when I decided to get equiped as its also the cheapest option if you have the power saw. I got the bore of the stewmac blade recut to 30mm to fit my sliding mitre saw and made a little indexing table to clamp on it.

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one thing to watch out for on the stew mac blade~ when they are new, they sometimes have a slight burr on the edges of the teeth, and will cut a little oversize. Most likely this will wear off after a while, just make sure to measure the slots with feeler gauges. What I did was laid a piece of 600 grit paper on the saw table, and carefully ran the sides of the blade over it.

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